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A day with a Morvidus student


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Actual Location:Infirmary ( <= Did you think that this was for fun?)




Artemis woke up on a comfy bed in a room with white ceilings and floors that Artemis thought he was blinded by a beam of light. His sister Mina was leaning down towards him with concern all over her face.


"Morning sleepy-head," said Mina in a soft voice and smiling.


Instead of responding, Artemis just got up, threw his arms around his sister and gave her a hug.


Mina was surprised for a moment then she got down to her knees, adjusted herself and tried not to hurt Artemis as she returned the gesture. The hug was just for a moment but it felt like ages to the two of them. When Artemis finally looked up at his sister he gave a happy smile, of which Mina responded by smiling back and gave Artemis a peck on the cheek. For the first time in a long while, Artemis didn't whine about it.


Artemis sat on the bed as his wounds began to hurt again. Examining it, Artemis saw that his right arm and chest were bandaged. The smell of herbs was faint and the air was cold as he didn't have a shirt on. In fact, a single pair of shorts was all he had on him. Looking at Mina, he saw that she had brought him a fresh batch of clothing. He wanted to put on a shirt but Mina just told him to lie down on the bed first then proceeded to drape the blanket over him.


"The infirmary wizards say you need to rest for now. You can put on the shirt after your wounds close, don't worry about it alright? You will be healthy enough to run a race by tonight. I heard you got attacked by a huge plant or something?"


Artemis replied after taking a few mouthful of water from a glass, "You should have seen it. It was bigger than Piccolet!"


"And you saved him right? Imagine that, you taking on a plant that big and actually beating it. You should be proud of yourself Arty."


Artemis didn't respond but gave a humble smile. Mina gave a little chuckle and stroked Artemis' hair. "Just go back to sleep and I'll be back at lunch time alright?"


Artemis gave a nod and Mina, chuckling a second time, gave him another peck on the cheek and got up to leave. Familiar voices were heard amongst the crowd outside when Mina opened the door. Artemis could distinctly hear Mina telling someone not to talk to him for too long. He could hear footsteps approaching but couldn't see who they belonged to as he suddenly felt too tired to open his eyes. Somebody put their hand on his right hand and it felt warm in the slightly chilly environment. Artemis slowly opened his eyes and found Ana, Cante and Piccolet standing over him. He greeted them with a friendly smile.


They talked a little. Asking whether Artemis was still sore, what was the nightmare (that he had forgotten already), anything they could get for him.


"What time is it?" asked Artemis after a while.


"Actually Botany class just ended. The professors wanted to show us how to clean up a sticky mess with magic" said Ana.


"It sure looked complicated. The professors showed us how to separate the still living parts of those killer plants from all the dead ones. They wanted examine it or something," piped in Cante.


"Actually I think the professors wanted to use it to find who planted them. Some of the students were saying some mad wizard was using the plants as distraction to steal artefacts from the school" said Piccolet as he handed Artemis a glass of water mixed with a bit of crushed seeds and roots. "And thanks for saving me Artemis."


"Me too. That was really brave of you. Thanks," said Ana.


"No problem. You will tell me what Professor Pachait wants to show the class today right?" asked Artemis with his eyelids growing heavy.


"Of course," everyone said as they wished him well and promise to meet at lunch right before Artemis closed his eyes and fell into a deep and rejuvenating sleep.






Mina exited the infirmary and was face to abdomen with Piccolet Gleyre when she turned around. All three of the children greeted her with a "Hi Mina."


Mina greeted the children and talked to them a while and jokingly attempted to give them a kiss on the forehead (the cheek for Piccolet) before walking out of the Academagia. She walked at a quick pace towards the Aranaz dorm, ignoring the sounds of laughter and the cool breeze pushing her ponytail. She quickened her pace as the Aranaz dorm appeared in her sights. A few Aranaz seniors saw her and tried to stop her from entering the building. Mina glared at them and they backed off.


Casting a quick invisibility spell, Mina made her way through one of the little-used passages hidden throughout the school to a place that was known to contain wandering spirits that were either harmless or extremely dangerous. Rumour has it that there was one ghost that was the most horrible, even more dangerous than the spirit of a warlord who had accidentally invaded the Academagia and the wizard who had experimented on students during the old days. It was the spirit of a really, REALLY terrible bard.


Mina didn't even stop before the door and just barged right into the room. It was filled with all kinds of ghosts floating around and generally making a nuisance with spells flying around and groups partying in the corner. A few of them were duelling with real gusto and another group was discussing their recent haunting. A single ghost, a girl no older than fourteen years of age, came floating down to meet Mina. The ghost circled Mina and made "Humph" noises while sticking her nose up high. Eventually she stopped in front of Mina and said "Well?!" in a haughty way.


"Who was here before me?" asked Mina patiently.


"And why should I give you such valuable information? Hum? It's not like you've been doing favours for me. Oh no, the ghost girl is only a tool, no one cares about her, no one would ask her what she wanted. All they want is information that only a wonderful informant like me can gather. Where is the Legate, where is the hidden map to a buried treasure, what was that cute boy wearing underneath that costume," ranted the ghost girl in the most obnoxious way possible.


"Look. All I want to know if anyone came and summoned the Night Terror. What if someone actually used the Night Terror on some powerful people? People who could find themselves in a room full of ghost, people who could be powerful enough to banish everyone of you here. People like the Legate of the school. He is really powerful, I once saw him banish a particularly violent ghost with a flick of his wand. What if he…"


"Alright already!" shouted the ghost girl. "Sheesh! All you young mages and your manipulative minds. You know I hate your kind. Always thinking that you are so smart that you are instantly better than everyone, even normal students like me!" Mina raised an eyebrow at this before the ghost continued. "The last person here was that Kong guy. You happy now?! Good. Now get out! And remember to bring something, anything for me to play with. I can still touch things you know! Even people!"


"Thanks," said Mina as she began thinking of how to dispose of Kong.


Speaking of the boastful one, Mina had practically bumped into him when she exited the dorm.


"Mina," sneered Kong.


"Kong," said Mina.


"So how is little Arty? I heard that he was badly hurt from an attack by a big dumb plant. Ha. I knew that he was weak but I didn't think that he was that weak."


Mina sighed. "Cut the insults. I know it was you who sent the Night Terror."


"And what proof do you have? A nightmare is so common and who in their right mind would trust the words of a ghost? And besides, what possible reasons could I have for wanting to attack your little baby, oops… I mean little brother."


Mina remained calm despite the rage building up in her. "Listen you. I have put up with your arrogance for two years now and you still don't understand how dumb you are. I never said anything about nightmares or words from a ghost. So let's just cut to the chase, you're still mad at me for winning the scavenger hunt. It's already two year now, are you still upset with me and Aron winning?."


Kong's calmness was starting to crack. "You cheated! You must have cheated" He looked around and after following Mina to a private location Kong said in a menacing voice "I know that the scavenger hunt was anything but normal! That shady guy was a Gates user, you must have learned everything you know from him!"


"How many times do I have to tell? My parents tutored me before I was old enough to come to this school! When that Gates user tried to kill me and Aron, some weird guy came and rescued us. he taught the two of us how to refine our skills"


Kong just snorted in her face. Mina, exasperatedly, continues talking. "You better not try anything else to harm my bother just to get to me. You want to beat me so bad? Fine. I'll duel with you again."


"Well then I want a rematch tonight. Midnight. The bridge at the Garden Gallery."


"Fine but you better watch it. If I catch you harming Artemis, you will regret it!"


And with that, the two of them go their separate ways.






Artemis woke up feeling refreshed but still his back hurts. Mina was already sitting next his bed, fresh clothes in hand and Cuddles sitting on top of them but was looking lifeless.


Seeing the concerned look on Artemis' face, Mina explains that Cuddles needs to rest until his magic reserves were full again. Apparently when Artemis was asleep, Cuddles got up and use his magic (obtained from the same source that animated him) to heal Artemis as much as possible. Apparently the Infirmary wizards just assumed that Cuddles was an ordinary child's toy, and didn't mind leaving it in Artemis' hands. They reasoned that it must be helpful in keeping kids his age calm. Artemis wanted to blush but felt thankful to Cuddles. Mina helped Artemis into his clothes but Artemis noticed that she was looking a little distracted as she didn't do what she does best, making him feel embarrassed in any situation. Or maybe it was because she was too concerned for him to actually tease him.


Artemis and Mina came out of the Infirmary with Artemis' bag floating gently behind them; Mina had insisted that Artemis let her carry his bag. Artemis argued that she was cheating by using magic, but Mina just retorted by saying something about a potted plant in the Morvidus dorm smelling of milk. Artemis locked his mouth and threw away the imaginary key. Mina laughed and rubbed her knuckles into his head playfully and stop quickly when Artemis flinched a little. The hallways are filled with students either so hungry they could eat three helpings of school lunch or students who are so busy that they are carrying their projects in their arms and rushing about.


When the Toran siblings reached the dining hall, Mina gave Artemis his bag and left to find her own clique. Artemis saw that everyone was eating a strange new dessert. Even his friends were enjoying it more than their lunch.


"You have to try this Artemis. It's delicious," said Cante after he puts another mouthful of what appears to be red-coloured snow.


"What is it?" inquired Artemis.


"I think the cooks called it Fruity Snow. Though I think it would be better if they called it shaved ice" said Piccolet with a spoonful of bluish snow.


Artemis had a bowl of porridge with mashed peas and carrots on the side. A few of Artemis' classmates were still hesitant about eating their vegetables but Artemis himself never had any trouble with vegetables and was willing to eat any kind of vegetable. And so Kurt Henning returned Artemis' notebook while pouring in half of his veggies into Artemis' bowl. Tulia Faspalla promptly smacked Kurt on the head. All the time Artemis was enjoying the steaming hot porridge, his friends were telling him about what they had done in Zoology today. Professor Pachait had brought with him two fully grown griffins and everybody had a chance to ride on either one of them, everybody except Artemis and a certain male bully but Artemis, for some mysterious reason, didn't feel disappointed for missing out. He was quite happy to listen to their experiences.


"Of course the professor had to kill the mood by wanting us to write a short essay about griffins," said Uliva who had joined the group and had brought Artemis a bowl of light-orange coloured snow, which made Artemis so happy when he thought that the cooks had finished serving it.


Everywhere people were talking and eating, some were doing both at the same time. Artemis just enjoyed his dessert while listening to the conversations around him with topics ranging from late homework to "what should I get for her/him so she'll know I like her/him?" Artemis was thinking about why people are so obsessed about romance when he suddenly remembered that he had a close to overdue library that he needed to return. Artemis excused himself and tried to make his way back to the dorm while convincing his friends that he doesn't need anyone to help with his bag.


Walking along the hallway, Artemis nearly bumps into Zorzi Galea who was holding onto a bunch of Rimbal gear. "Hi Artemis, Bye Artemis. See you later in Revision Artemis,"was all Artemis heard before Zorzi ran off. A common sight so Artemis continues walking until he slipped as he stepped on a ball. Artemis would have picked himself up immediately had he not heard talking coming from underneath the door. Without realizing how ridiculous he looks, curiosity got to Artemis as he continues to listen under the door as the voices were familiar to him.


From what Artemis could discern, a bunch of girls are plotting something against someone, a boy by the various words used to describe the person. Artemis got to his knees and tries to peep into the keyhole but someone was blocking the view. He would have continued to spy on the occupants had not a female voice coldly said "Spying are we?" and before he knew it, a sleep spell hit him.



To be continued

And I have invented shaved ice in the renaissance.

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And pause.


Time for an evaluation. Is there any part of the story that requires improvement? Don't be shy and offer your suggestions before I continue the story during the weekend.


And if you have any suggestions on how the girls would punish Vettor for all the times he has sprayed them, tell me please!

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Heh, I had a run-in with a Rottmundyn(ish) irl. For whatever reason she insists on sitting next to me in the classes we have together, also insists on beating her views into me too <_< . Still, as long as I keep my arms to myself and don't do anything that could be seen as part of a mating dance then she'll hopefully lose interest.

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Summary of Artemis' humiliation and injury:


  • +2 (Permanent) Stress - Cursed
  • +1 Stress - Rude awakening
  • -2 Stress - Daily meeting with Mina
  • +2 Stress - MILK!!
  • +1 Stress - Embarrassed self
  • -/+ 1 Stress - Cante's terrible jokes
  • -1 Stress - Arithmetic class fun
  • +1 Stress - Kong encounter
  • +1 Stress - Rush to class
  • -1 Stress - Interesting plant (Schwarzbart weed)
  • -3 Vitality - Killer plant attack
  • +2 Stress - Nightmare
  • -2 Stress - Moment with Mina
  • -1 Stress - Moment with friends
  • -1 Stress - Shaved ice
  • +1 Stress - Pain in body
  • +1 Vitality - Medicine

In total: Stress: 3 Vitality: 2 out of 4




Location: A random classroom


Artemis woke up and found himself blindfolded, gagged with an apple and bounded to a chair.


"No, no. That's too simple. We need to think of something that he will never forget."


"Uh huh. Hey, what are we going to do about him?" said the same female voice he heard before he was knock out by a spell. "We can't let him go. We don't know how much he heard and he might even warn that human Morvidus monkey."


"Hey! Don't you talk about Morvidus like that. And come on, he's a sweet kid. He was the one who thought up how to save Ana and Asmita today. Also, he is kind of adorable."


Artemis didn't know what to feel about being called adorable.


"How nice, but lets figure out what we should do to ensure his silence first," said Flore Yveuillet now that Artemis recognized the voice.


The blindfold was pulled off and Prudence Cossins was glaring into Artemis' eyes, she made him feel so uncomfortable that he squirmed a little. Prudence plucks out the apple so hard that Artemis winced. She then took a bite out of the apple where his teeth were and Artemis could only think "Ew…" But Prudence didn't stop staring into his eyes so Artemis tried to lower his head to avoid her gaze but Prudence just shifts herself, meeting his eyes with the same challenging gaze. It was the same when Artemis tried to look sideways, always meeting the same unnerving stare from Prudence.


Artemis squirmed even more until Prudence grinned and said "I think he's going to wet himself."


"No I'm not!" thought Artemis to himself in a quiet voice.


Now that he had a chance to look around, Artemis saw Flore, Prudence, Uliva, Isabeau, Eliana, and a few more girls. But the one that caught Artemis' eye was Amada Kiffer, the one he had suspected Vettor of having a crush on. Then realization hit Artemis when he remembered that these girls were pranked, sprayed and playfully harassed mercilessly by Vettor last week, the whole week in fact when Vettor had that sugar rush when he volunteered to test a new potion Artemis and Cante had made. This is bad.


"So," said Flore as she sat opposite Artemis, "Mind telling us why you were spying on our little meeting? I must warn you thought, if we don't like your reason, we will have to get nasty with you."


Artemis swallowed hard before saying in a quiet little voice "I … slipped and … heard voices behind the door … when I fell down."


The sounds of eyebrows arching was almost audible. "You slipped, fell down next to the door, heard our voices and still decided to spy on us? Clever."


"I'm sorry. It was just out of curiosity. Honest."


Flore's arms were crossed as she considered the total honesty of Artemis' excuse. Eventually she said "Curiosity? Alright then, girls prepare the patient for a little game of Infirmary."


More than a few of the girls seem a little more than enthusiastic as Artemis struggled to get out of his bonds. "Please no! I swear that I didn't hear anything. I don't even know what you're going to do to Vettor. Eep…" Artemis squeaked out that last part as Prudence starts pounding her fist into her palm. Artemis bounced back with his seat until he fell over with the chair. The girls were standing over him and sniggering quite loudly when Artemis closed his eyes as horrible thoughts were passing through his mind.


And then someone removed his silver bracelet and Artemis felt a jolt running through his body.


Artemis's eyes popped open and shouted for whoever it was that took off the bracelet to put it back on. He looked desperate and scared, which made the girls back off a little. This allowed Artemis to see the signs that the curse was starting up as Artemis had already known that it always starts from midday and ends around midnight. From the shadows, cracks were crossing the ceilings, floors and walls. A big silver monkey had climbed onto a branch looking into the room, the legs of the furniture were starting to rot and there was an evil in the air that Artemis was familiar with. Even the chair Flore was sitting on looked like it would break any minute.


"Please!! I'll do anything, just please give me back the bracelet!"


Uliva elbowed Isabeau roughly. She quickly slips the bracelet back onto Artemis' right arm. Immediately, the cracks disappeared back into the shadows and the furniture became shiny and new again, just as they were when students kept messing around with them. The monkey glared into the room for a minute and decides to go look for someone else to harass, it found a banana peeling off its own skin in front of a talking melon. The feeling of evil had disappeared and Artemis could feel the cold coming into the room from an open window.


A little disturbed at how over-reactive Artemis was about his silver bracelet, which the girls find it to be childish, they decided to continue interrogating Artemis with caution. The first they did after picking the chair and Artemis was to take off his shoes and socks so as to establish him as a nut if he escapes. Flore was sitting opposite him again looking elegant like a perfect lady, of course knowing her after a few weeks of torture from her, Artemis felt like he was in bigger trouble than the time he accidentally set fire to Professor Viada's beard.


Flore spoke in a calm voice. "I'm going to ask you a few questions. You will answer truthfully or we will throw you out of here with your clothes off. And believe me, we will." Artemis could only nod nervously.


"First question, is your name Artemis Toran?"


Slightly confused, Artemis answered "Yes."


"Second question, are you spying on us for Vettor?"




"Third question, do you have a crush on Ana Flavia Bessa?"


Artemis looked at Flore confusingly and said "Huh?"


"Answer the question, do you like Ana?"


Artemis answered truthfully "Of course, she's my friend."


"Ah but I mean do you LIKE her?"


Artemis could only moan softly as he realizes what was happening. "Come on Arty. Do you like Ana?" asked the girls around him.


"…Yes?" and he quickly closed his eyes.


After five minutes of teasing and / or laughing from all the girls, Flore regains her composure and says "All right we've had our fun. But you know that we can't let you go or you might warn him and complicate the prank. So everybody, what do you think we should do to poor little Artemis here?"


Amada suggested giving him a bad hair day as she snips a pair of scissors menacingly.


Isabeau suggested that they put ants into his closet and his trousers right now.


Eliana suggested that they pour a bit of the specially-made powder for Vettor's bath onto Artemis' … head.


Gwendy suggested using Artemis as target practice. Everybody looks at her. "What? Harmless target practice. With spells. Duh."


Emilia Picotti suggested that they gave Artemis a kiss on the cheek and everybody, including Artemis, gave her the look. But Emilia just smiles smugly as she explains that she has seen how Artemis reacts when Mina, Artemis' sister she explains, showed her affection for him. All the girls promptly made various sounds from little giggles to kissy-kissy faces as Artemis' face turns scarlet.


Even Flore was struggling slightly to contain her laughter as she said to Artemis "Your choice. Help us and you will be safe. Don't help us then…"


Artemis did the only sane choice for a boy of his mentality and accepted the offer.




A little shorter but school work so... A little opinion would be nice thought. What suggestions do you have to improve the reading experience. Don't worry Adrian, I'll see if I can get the girls to sic Els on Vettor. If I can't I'll try something else.tongue.gif

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  • 3 weeks later...

Wow, almost a month since I updated this. But now I have some free time to continue this, even if no one has given suggestions.


Adrian your idea to use Els on Vettor WILL feature later.









Artemis came out of the room feeling completely fatigue and had to walk a little faster to clear his mind. How do girls talk for so long without taking a breath?


They didn't actually talk out loud but observing the gestures and reaction of the girls, Artemis came to the conclusion that whatever they had planned for Vettor, it would be unpleasant.


Eventually, the girls had determined that it was safe to let Artemis go. But before Artemis could walk out the door, Flore leaned into his ear and whispered "Don't think that we're letting you off the hook. If you breathe one word of this to that obnoxious little toad, I will personally come to you at night and rip out your…"


"Hello… Cante to Artemis. Anyone home?" said Cante as he tapped Artemis' head.


Artemis snapped out of his daze in an instant. "I thought you said you were going back to your room?" questioned Cante. Artemis quickly replied "I took a detour" and gave a slightly nervous smile.


Cante eyed Artemis suspiciously before shrugging his shoulders and asked Artemis whether he wanted to do more experiments tonight. "I have a bunch of combinations I want to try out tonight. And you know that the best ingredients are always kept in one of the labs. So…"


Artemis laughed a little and agreed to help Cante break into the ingredient cupboards. In fact, this isn't the first, second or even tenth time they had done this. But Artemis made Cante promised to let him finish his homework first then break into the cupboards.


Cante would have moaned and persuade Artemis to rush the homework had not the two of them saw Iustus Venture walking pass them with a droopy expression on his face, which was normal. They would have calmly walked up to Iustus and jammed a vial of stinkweed juice up hisnose to wake him up but at this moment Iustus was about to walk off the stairs and get seriously hurt. Artemis launched forward and proceeded to grab Iustus by the seat of his robes. After Artemis pulled Iustus down to the ground and hurting his own back a little, Cante strolls right up to Iustus and uncaps a vial of crushed stink bugs instead of the usual stinkweed. Iustus rolled off Artemis as soon as the smell escaped the little glass vial.


"Cante would you please stopstinking up the place? And also close that vial?"


"Nice to see you wide awake," replied Cante.


"Sleepwalking now Iustus?" asked Artemis after rubbing his sore backside. "Maybe you should go see the nurses about your condition."


"Or you could always volunteer to be our test subject for our potions. See which one works for you best."


"No thank you. I don't want to end up bald or have my skin turned blue" replied Iustus as he helped Artemis to his feet. "Sorry about that Artemis. Not hurt too badly I hope?"


"No, no it's… fine. Ow. Just some small wounds I got this morning."


"Small? More like battle scars" said Cante as he proceeds to tell Iustus about the "Battle of Botany/Botanist" as the more dramatic students of the school calls it. Despite Artemis' protest, Cante told Iustus about how Artemis had taken down a huge plant, easily as tall as the Dimmae Theater and a terrifying shade of red and black. Artemis thought that Cante was exaggerating the story a little too much as Cante told Iustus of how Artemis had thrown a spear towards the dark heart of the plant and the terrible scream that followed. Eventually the plant is defeated but fell on top of Artemis as he was busy fighting back a few more of the killer plants.


Iustus was obviously amused with Cante's version of the tale and decided to annoy Artemis further by adding a few more spins to the story. Artemis decided to block the chatter of the two by listening to other conversations around him. Two teenagers were talking about how long it has been since the last tale of "A Heroic Wimp", a group of seniors were in heated debate on whether the planetary status of Tumultus is justified and a couple were whispering about meeting each other in a large hollowed-out tree. Artemis tried to concentrate harder on where the tree is but picked up ona conversation between some rough looking seniors.


"…and we all know that animals will spend their time doing the four F's."


"Which is?"


"Feeding, fighting, fleeing and …"


Artemis didn't hear the last part but heard the conversation of his two friends in front of him. They were talking about the time Professor Briardi had the class practice their spell deflexion techniques. Artemis managed to deflect the spell directed at him but it deflected off the surface of the window and knockout Artemis for a moment. When he came to, he learned that the spell had knocked him out from behind and caused him to fly into Professor Briardi and knocked her to the ground with Artemis on top of her. The professor recovered quickly enough and tried to wake Artemis up. Unfortunately, Artemis had mumbled something but the word "Mommy" lead to others giving him more nicknames.


"And then he actually said "Five more minutes please" to the professor."


"Cante please stop already. Iustus you're not enjoying this are you?"


"Actually this is quite fun Mommy's boy …I mean… Artemis" and the two boys tried hard to not laugh in front of a pouting Artemis.


"Alright you two stop it already," said Mairgrete who had suddenly appeared and was holding on to Foss, her familiar in her arm and whacking the two boys with her other hand. "Cante you remember the potion that made you look like a spotted lizard? And Iustus, remember the time you nearly walked into the girl's bathroom?"


The two boys were suddenly too ashamed to say any else. Artemis quickly changed the topic towards what they were expecting for the upcoming feast. Cante suggested roasted meat coated with sweet and sour sauce. Iustus suggested juicy fruits and plates of sweet rolls filled with cream. Mairgrete suggested puddings with different flavours and delicious mutton stew. Artemis suggested fresh vegetables and gotodd stares from his friends. So he quickly suggested lemon cake.


The conversation about the possibility of funny dumplings being served was grinded to a halt when Mairgrete suddenly asked "Where are we going?"


Everybody stopped as they suddenly realized that they were just walking around and wasting their time in the hallway. Iustus left the group claiming he had to pass up an essay to Professor Pluiete. Cante and Mairgrete had to report to Professor Chastellain for a little mishap they were involved in last week. This leaves Artemis free to wander to an empty practice room in a particularly quiet corner of the school. Artemis heard rumours that ghosts have been scaring students that had wandered into that part of the school. But even after two weeks of silently practicing his spellcasting there, no ghost had appeared. Although Mina being beside him all those times may have helped.


Artemis entered a room and instantly the smell from spells that had backfired assaulted his nose. Artemis chose another, less smoky room to work in.


After setting down his bag and gently pulling out Cuddles to check on him (still asleep), Artemis took several deep breaths before attempting the Glow of Victory spell. After stupidly blinding himself for a minute by looking directly into the light, Artemis moved on to the Beginner's Dispel spell. Out of the five times Artemis casted the spell, three times did a spell shoot out of his wand. At least the spells are working properly now, thought Artemis. Then without thinking, Artemis drew the phemes for a simple lightning spell. The spell worked, which was surprising, but it blasted a huge hole in the wall. Artemis could already see the paint of the room on the other side before the smoke cleared.


Artemis was calm and his heartbeat was slightly above normal. That changed when pounding footsteps were heard. Artemis quickly gathered his things and exited the room. He ducked behind a suit of armour and started to panic a little when he saw the robes of Professor von Rupprecht fluttering pass. Soon the professor was joined by senior students and he ordered them to search the area for the culprit. Artemis would have been caught and forced to have detention for three years had not a loud crash came from somewhere nearby. The professor and his hounds rushed off to investigate the source, allowing Artemis a clean getaway.


When Artemis managed to get to an empty cubicle in the library, he finally relaxed and took a moment to relax. His body tensed up almost at once when he felt... it.


"Careless casting again boy?" whispered a soft voice in front of Artemis. The source of the voice had appeared from thin air, looking like a black cat with folded leathery wings and a tail with a sharp end. The eyes of the creature were strange; the right one was amber while the left one was bright green and they were even so hypnotising.The strange creature had a scar running down its left eye that connects to thecorner of its mouth and the expression it wore was one of pride. Its regarded Artemis as though he was a child caught will his hand down a cookie jar, which was mostly right considering what Artemis had just done to the wall of a practice room. The creature waved its tail back and forth in a hypnotising manner, distracting the boy in front of it.


Artemis sighed and greeted the creature with an exasperated "Hello Nexus."


"And?" asked the cat-like creature while arching its eyebrow.


"Hello Nexus and thank you for the distraction."


Nexus sneered a little. "You should have been more careful. It is no wonder that she needs me to babysit you at every moment. Though I still do not understand why she would care for someone like you. You lack power while she has too much."


Artemis thought about the girls who had captured him and wondered briefly why Nexus did not appear then but then got a little upset about the fact that Mina still thinks that he needs babysitting. "So I supposed you want a reward now?"


"If you could reign in your desire to feed on these strange sweets you've recently purchased" said Nexus as it settled down on the desk.


Artemis sighed again and took outhis last lollipop and unwrapped it for Nexus. Nexus reached out with its tailto take hold of the sweet and instantly crushed it and devoured it through the mouththat was transformed from the tail. "Much appreciated young one. But I thinkanother payment is in order. Wouldn't want my master to find out about thislittle incident now do you?"


Artemis got annoyed and opened another pocket of his bag and pulled out an orange-flavoured mint from a little pouch. He gave it to Nexus who had watched the bag with well hidden greed. Nexus enjoyed the sweets as much as it liked to make Artemis miserable. "Amazing what mortals could make with simple ingredients" said the creature as it opens its mouth and revealing nothing but darkness in it as it swallows the mint whole.


"Be more careful young one. I detest having to save you from being removed from this place but somehow she wouldn't like that" said Nexus before he became transparent and then ghostly blue and finally disappeared all together in purple smoke.


Artemis counted the number of his special orange mints left before setting off towards class, still feeling nervous. He wondered why someone would want something as strange as that creature for a familiar, as the familiar in question opened a small portal and took another five of the mints in the bag. Nexus nearly dropped them when Artemis had to stop suddenly when Professor Pachait was leading a herd of giant salamanders rushing through the hallway. "Don't forget about the essay on griffins Arty!" shouted the professoras he went 'YEEHAW!!"


I don't know what you could be thinking about when you thought about the last F but I can tell you it was Fornicating. happy.gif




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Another update!




Location: Negation Classroom


Artemis had reached the class with his usual punctuality. The class only had Basia Rydz reading from a hefty tome, Honors Plafox writing into her journal, Asmita Tidar combing her hair, Irene Oxina chatting with Ana Flavia who gave Artemis a quick smile, and Els Rottmundyn glaring at Artemis for some reason. He quickly pulled out his notebook to shield himself before her glare bore a hole into his head.


Eventually the class was filled with students chatting away with one another. Artemis could pick out snippets of conversation left, right and behind him.


"…Don't forget to bring you know what. Those Aranaz scoundrels will never know…" Lambert Cobo and Kurt Henning discussing strategies. Check.


"…if you can get these facts into your fat head, you would realize that Tumultus should not be considered a planet!" Carmine Sturzo arguing with Corradin d'Alfi. Check.


"…and I heard that Poli wants a CRACKer at Sixt!" Lame joke by Jere Niemela. Check.




For extra fun, play this while reading the next paragraph


And then silence fell as the door creaked open. A woman with a face as pretty as the moon and a gaze that would turn you to putty appeared at the door. She walked into the room and only her footsteps were heard as the students quiet down. A Durand student rushed to an open window and shut it before a gust of wind could mess up the woman's hair.With a grateful smile, her eyes looked from one corner of the room to the other; many of the kids, mostly boys dare not look her in the eyes for fear of meeting with a disappointed look from her. With the little smile still on her face, she stood in front of the class and some of the boys began to slowly rise their heads and some of the girls regarded her with a bit of contempt but would never say it to her face. Artemis was no exception to the pressure the professor could pour onto her students.


"Good afternoon class. Today we will be studying about how a stance affects one's chances in a duel. Mr. Marchant is not with us today?"


Vettor, sitting in front of Els, told Professor Briardi about how Philippe was feeling unwell today or as he puts it "Moaning like he swallowed a whole turkey."


The professor didn't seem upset or even happy as she began the lesson. "Ah I almost forgot. Everyone please have your wand ready. Today I am going to test your reflexes as part of Legate Orsi's little … experiment" and she continued her writing on the board as though that was the most normal announcement she has even made in her life, which was nothing compared to her otherworldly experiences. Everybody else was suddenly terrified as to how the professor would test them. Artemis had resolved to make himself inconspicuous by attempting to slouch but not too much that the professor would call him out on it. Of course some of the other kids saw this and were attempting to do the same.


After twenty minutes of nervous waiting, everybody was starting to calm down when Artemis saw for an instant, a ball of blue light coming from the corner and bounced to the back the room. It would have hit Piccolet but due to amazing luck, missed him and Hector Per Vittoria found that his arms had became colourful wings. His voice came out as a series of squawks and he found that the desk had suddenly become taller than him, worse of all was the beak that had appeared in the place of his nose. Hector squawked desperately until the professor called to him "Calm down Mr. Per Vittoria! The spell will wear off in ten minutes. Of course now the rest of the class will have a better chance to prepare themselves. Right class?" Artemis couldn't help but imagine the professor going 'HIIIISSSSS!!" and putting on a creepy smile as his knees knocked together.


The next ten minutes were tense for everyone. During the professor's lecture on proper techniques to ensure goodcasting, Basia Rydz had successfully defended herself, Durand de Thiomines had been turned into a gerbil and Carmine Sturzo had deflected the spell and turned Jere Niemela into a ferret. Hector had turned into a boy again with a loud crash. Artemis kept darting his eyes around the room, anticipating the spell and resolved to jump from his chair. What he didn't expect was the painting in front the class to swing sideways and a blue ball of light to fly out. It was aimed at Artemis' neighbour, Vettor. Unfortunately for Els, who was behind Vettor and was close to bursting for witnessing Vettor doodling in his notebook with various plans to harass the first year girls, the spell turned her into a grey cat with dirty fur and sharp claws. Els meowed in sadness.


Before anyone could react to Els' sudden transformation, the atmosphere changed when an unexpected sound was heard.


There was the sound of bells chiming coming from the front of the class. More specifically it was coming from Professor Briardi's pockets. The professor wore an expression of annoyance as she pulled out a small flat tablet with runes shining on it as the bell chime sounds continue to play. Artemis couldn't make out what the runes were spelling but it was obvious that the professor wanted to hurt this device very badly according to the curl of her lips and the slashes of her eyebrows. Needless to say, the entire class was feeling nervous.


"Excuse me everyone. I have to go and take care of a little problem but I won't be long. Please try to remain quiet until I return" said the professor as she stalked out of the room. Artemis sworn that the professor was mumbling "How many times do they have to test these things?"


In two minutes, everybody was relaxed enough to start chatting. The Durand kids were pretty upset that the Aranaz kids didn't get turned into animals. The Aranaz kids were congratulating one another for managing to pass the test. Artemis was talking to Ana and Piccolet, who was trying to cheer up Hector, about their Zoology essay. The atmosphere was calmed without the pressure of having to perform well in a surprised test that would show off how good or how bad your college was. All that would change as Vettor had decided to poke fun at Els.


Sigalis du Sonmeil and Tacito Viada were comforting Els, who was still a cat, when Vettor swaggered up and boasted about his quick reflexes. "I'm pretty sure you could have dodged the spell if you were half as quick-witted as me."


Tacito place a hand on Sigalis, who was about to wiped Vettor's smug face off with his socks, "I don't think you should taunt her Vettor."


"Of course. Sorry about you turning into a cat but maybe you should try to be quicker. A few more intense training with Professor Massioti and maybe stop eating those honey cakes for a few weeks and you might…" was all Vettor could say before Els pounced onto his chest and knocked him to the ground. What followed was too graphical for this story.


"Ow!! I'm sorry Els!! Please…stop!!"


"Ow!! Ow!! Not the face, not the face!!"


"AHH!! Not there, please anything but there!!"


*Shrill screaming*


*Sound of hissing and scratching and the ripping of fabric*


Some of the kids looked on in horror at the damage Els' claws could do. The other more squeamish kids looked away and covered their ears and shut their eyes. The rest were just plain laughing at him. Artemis and Tacito tried to pull Els off Vettor but she was quick. Els was dashing and clawing around underneath Vettor's clothes and tormenting him with unimaginable pain. Eventually, Professor Briardi came back and still mumbling at the device.


After overcoming her initial shock, the professor uses a spell to drag Els out of Vettor's trousers and immediately turned her back into a human. After getting the facts straight, the professor gave Els detention and a demerit but not without giving Vettor one too. Artemis was asked to escort Vettor to the infirmary, with his clothes slightly torn in many places. Luckily Els did not intend to kill Vettor or he would be bleeding profusely right now. The Infirmary nurse had found some minor cuts but found the most serious at Vettor's … more private areas.


Artemis sat next to Vettor's bed as he was laying face down, moaning slightly. Vettor was thankful for the curtains as the nurse had applied medicine to Vettor's rear end and had to wait for itto dry. Artemis was sitting patiently and was reading a book detailing the differences in the male and female body. Apparently a male griffin would have a different beak shape than a female but another way to tell the difference was to compare their feather colour. Very interesting facts. Artemis found that the section on humans had been torn out, and was thoroughly disappointed, when Vettor waved his hand weakly at Artemis.


Vettor moaned softly and Artemis put a hand on his elbow. "Lesson learnt. Never tell a girl she's fat" mumbled Vettor.


"Maybe you should stop harassing the girls for a while"


"Yeah maybe. But I'll prepare a big surprise for the girls next week. Maybe with a bucket of snow."


"Vettor, maybe you should stop this. Eventually the girls might want revenge."


"Oh come on. Girls? Revenge? "


Artemis sighed and proceeded to spill the beans on the girls' (the one's that had held Artemis prisoner before) plans to humiliate Vettor. His face became less playful as Artemis told him of a few details he managed to discern when reading the girls' lips. Vettor was silent for a while.


"Wow. Are they really that mad at me?" Artemis just nodded.


"Maybe I did go a little too far with the sprinklers in the hallway."


"Just don't mention any of this when the girls are around. I don't want to end up in a bathtub filled with ice cold water."


"Pffff. They'll never harm you. Trust me, I heard some girls describing you as adorable and how they want to just cuddle you and dress you up like a doll. Hehe…" Vettor felt the pain lifting a little as Artemis started to blush.


"Just…just try to cut down on the pranks will you? I…errr…I have to get back to class" stuttered Artemis as he ran out of the infirmary with his face all red, leaving Vettor with the trained nurses that have seen wounds, scars, blisters and boils and yes, privates throughout their career. And one of them is about to apply a fresh layer of medicine onto Vettor's … nether regions.


"Adorable?" was all Artemis could think of on the way back.


He couldn't concentrate on anything the professor was talking about as he tried to figure out why and who would consider him adorable. Maybe Mina was just making fun of him in front of some friends, maybe someone had a grudge with him (who?) or maybe someone was trying to blackmail him. Unfortunately the professor has notice that Artemis was not paying attention. Now it's a bad thing to not concentrate when the professor, especially this professor, is talking in front of the class and he/she notices you with your face down, all a shade of red and you continuingly bury your face in your hands.


Five minutes left and the professor was telling everybody about a student named Adrian Char. The boy's room was a mess and had attempted to clean up by enchanting a pile of brooms to do his dirty work. The professor had everyone (except Artemis, who didn't hear anything about the anecdote) laughing when she told them of how the boy had tried to negate the enchantment because they were sweeping the boy's clothes right out the door. Artemis was lost in thought again when the professor, who was demonstrating the boy's horrible negation stance, casually flicked her wand at Artemis.


Artemis earned a few new nicknames that day. The most popular being 'Artemis the Cluck' and 'Artemis the Fowl'.


The bell rang and everyone else was leaving. The professor wanted to have a word with him and everybody was already starting rumours. Kids these days.


Artemis was clucking softly besides the professor's desk as she cleaned up the chalkboard. When she finished Artemis turned back into a boy and fell on his behind.


"Mr. Toran. Artemis, why don't you stay awhile and listen to what I have to say."


Artemis felt his heart pumping as he took a seat opposite the professor's desk. What could the professor want with him? Is it about his academic performance? It has to be about his academic performance! He can't cast spells without causing a minor accident! Oh no, the professor is going to suggest that he drop out! He would bring shame to his family if he had to drop out! He would probably have to spend a lifetime making toys or just gathering ingredients for the rest of his life! ... Not that there is anything wrong with that.


"Calm down Artemis!" said the Professor Briardi as she notices Artemis breathing heavier and heavier with each passing moment. "This isn't about your academic performance."


"I wanted to talk to you about Vettor. I believe you two are close?" Artemis nodded stiffly.


"And I'm sure that you know about a group of girls have planned to take their revenge on Vettor?" Artemis nodded slowly.


"And I'm sure that you know what I'm asking you to do don't you?" Artemis shook his head normally.


The professor sighed a little and gave Artemis a little chuckle before saying "I need you to try and resolve this little situation. I know you think that you can't stop two of the meanest girls in the first year but from what I learned from your mother, you are resourceful. And it seems that you are a lot more caring of your fellow classmates than most. I'm sure that you wouldn't want him to suffer any grievous injuries not after he help you escape from a vicious dog before I had to rescue the two of you."


Artemis was a little surprised to learn that the professor would play this card and also knew his mother. But then Artemis was more surprised to learn that his mother would call him resourceful when all he did was paid another kid to help him buy the groceries while he worked on his little project. "Still it may be my fault," thought Artemis as he remembered the potion Vettor had tested for him and Cante "But why me?"


"Now I know that you are questioning my decision," interrupted Professor Briardi "You don't have to do this straight away, but at least think about it. If not for Vettor then for you sake's as I believe you have already tangled with the girls? But you can think about it later. Go on now before I assign you a project to tether you to Vettor" laughed the professor.


Artemis quickly packed his things and after a polite "Goodbye, Professor" and ran to his next class thinking of how to help Vettor. Artemis nearly stepped on a little salamander as he thought about who would call him adorable in this school, excluding his sister of course.

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  • 2 weeks later...

Emm ... ehh ... I have nothing to say.


On with the reading!




Location: Revision Class



Artemis sat in the class thinking about how to get Vettor to stop his pranks or maybe convince the girls to let Vettor redeem himself. He felt that it was safer to deal with Vettor first since he was one boy, if he tried to deal with a group of girls he might end up caked in make-up and wearing a dress.


While pondering his many choices, Professor Aventyrare was writing down the phemes necessary for the spell she was going to teach today.


"Afternoon everyone! Today we will try a little bit of material alteration. So pair up and take one of those pots as your target."


Everybody had already chosen their partners, leaving Artemis alone at his chair looking around and feeling puzzled. Looking satisfied as she surveyed her students, Professor Aventyrare was checking attendance and notice Artemis sitting at his chair like a lost duckling. She looked through her list and found Vettor and Philippe missing.


"Was expecting Philippe to be missing today. Certainly didn't expected Vettor to be missing too" muttered the professor to no one in particular. "Well Artemis," said the professor as she smiled while looking at the boy giving her a sorry smile, "looks like I'll be your partner for today's practical session." The professor then guided a reluctant Artemis to a corner of the classroom and setup a target for him. The professor chose a particularly plain looking vase which she called ugly though to Artemis, it looked like a normal vase with random blotches of colour.


The professor demonstrated the spell a few times with remarkable ease; she barely had to look at what she was doing as she explained to the class to watch their aim and to make sure to examine their phemes before casting the spell or risk stuff blowing on in their faces. A few of the students saw this as a little hypocritical considering that the professor was not above having stuff blowing up in her face too. The professor demonstrated the spell a few more times to Artemis before he was to try it out. When he prepared himself, he could hear the other students hurriedly taking cover. Apparently they haven't forgotten his last casting mishap. Everybody needed a good shaving that day. There were students hiding behind the door, there were students using their chairs as cover and there were students hiding behind the students using their chair as cover. Even Professor Aventyrare was standing a few feet away with a negation spell ready.


Artemis breathed deeply, closing his eyes for a moment and when he opened them, they showed determination that only a warrior could possess. The boy steadied himself, spreading his legs apart to give him maximum stability. He raised his wand and slowly traced the appropriate phemes for the spell, exactly as the professor had done. The phemes glowed brightly as Artemis glared at the vase as though it insulted his sister, his parents and mostly importantly his favourite toy Cuddles. You could have sworn that the vase was sweating. He pulled back his arm and 'WHUP' goes the spell as it left the tip of the wand. It impacted with a bright orange glow and loud whiny noise and it disoriented everyone for a moment. Strangely, a dust cloud had formed and no one was able to see what happened to the vase.


The vase survived completely unscathed.


Artemis' shoulders drooped at once. But the professor encouraged Artemis to try again amidst the stares of "Are you crazy?!" from the other students. Artemis' confidence lifted slightly and this time he slowly traces the phemes and looked at the professor for her approval before unleashing the spell. This time the spell missed the vase by two inches and went bouncing off the walls, ceiling and floor. It bounced around as an orange globe of light, knocking over some decorations, tables and chairs. It caused Kurt Henning to dive out of the way and bump into a table with an inkwell on top. No ink spilled but the globe went on to hit a painting depicting an idyllic little village. The little people in the painting screamed as the globe knocked the painting off the wall only to be saved by Malthezar Mhadi's quick thinking. The pots used by the other students were touched by the globe and turned into funny looking statues. The orange globe of magical energy continued its bouncing spree until the professor finally managed to catch it in a bubble where it bounced until it disappeared.


Everybody picked themselves up and some of them looked very crossed at Artemis. All he could do was rub his arm in embarrassment. But Professor Aventyrare congratulated Artemis for successfully casting the spell, even if his aim missed it by that much, at least the spell worked on the pots as intended.


"Well wasn't that fun. Come now everybody, continue your practice. Artemis, maybe you should use practice your aim with some simple spells, is that all right?"


Lightly contend with being able to cast the spell, Artemis tried a few simple revision spells to his 'still an ugly vase' into different colours. It may be dull but at least he wasn't making incidents like that one time a simple spell to remove a caramel chew stuck on a piece of paper ended, to the delight of a certain girl, with Philippe running out of the class in a little skirt made from the remains of his robes. The poor boy couldn't get a break for at least a week with all the constant teasing and pranks.


Artemis was bullied, not Philippe.


Still, practicing your aim is really boring while everybody was doing the wonderful things like turning a book into a book of lead. Artemis took the opportunity to survey his fellow classmates. Raoul and Montague turned their pot into a little figurine of Aveline being eaten by a mimic, Durand and Cante turned their pot into a little warrior figurine, Kurt and Zorzi turned theirs into a figurine of Not-Philippe being kissed by some kind of monster. Oh wait, that's Joana.


Joana knocked the two boys' heads together painfully without the professor noticing and turned her pot into a gaping maw with square strong teeth about to eat two boys. Professor Aventyrare and Joana's partner Beatrix were impressed.


Artemis then noticed something odd going on with Ana and Irene. The clay pot seem to morph into a metal pot and after Irene negated it and asked Ana to try again the pot then turned into a wooden one. That's just weird. A third try and this time Artemis' vase turns into sand. Not a vase with sandy textures but coarse sand. Having no way to turn a pile of sand back into a vase, Artemis had called out to the professor to fix the vase while looking at Ana's group again. Irene was putting a reassuring hand on Ana's shoulder.


Almost at the end of the class and Artemis prepared to cast the spell one last time. Remembering and memorising the phemes one more time, Artemis carefully traced and then pointed his wand at the now restored and soon to be changed vase. He took the precaution of standing several inches away from the pot. More than half the class were prepared to run out the door if the spell bounced around the room again. Professor Aventyrare was explaining to Neta about how this spell could be used in everyday situations when she noticed Artemis all ready to cast the spell. Before she could say another word, the spell was released and 'POP' goes the vase. After everyone picked themselves up from the floor they found the vase was now a rather big statue of a fish. Artemis was too busy feeling annoyed at the silver monkey actually laughing at him from outside the class to notice his success.


After the class was dismissed, Professor Aventyrare asked Ana to stay back for a while. On his way out, Artemis could see the worried look on Ana's face. He immediately thought back to his quest to save Vettor from the wrath of very angry girls and what a silly title that is for an adventure. Waiting by the door and trying to eavesdrop on the conversation within was really hard. The number of students in the hallway generated so much noise that never seems to penetrate the doors of the classroom. Another reason Artemis doesn't want to leave yet was because he didn't want to change into his gym clothes for Athletic class. Just thinking about how hard Professor Leo Massioti might push him really gives him the butterflies.


But Mina successfully persuade him into taking the class by offering to buy him parts for the figurines he just loves to make. It's not that he's cheap, it's just the parts were restricted to kids older than twelve while he looks like a ten year old.


After five whole minutes, Ana finally came out of the room sniffing and teary-eyed. Artemis couldn't help imagining the things the professor would say to Ana would be similar for him if his silver bracelet wasn't made. Walking beside Ana, Artemis kept feeling upset every time he looked at her. This reached its limit when small tears were starting to roll down Ana's cheeks. When they reached a fairly empty hallway, Artemis blurted out that he would do anything and everything he can to help Ana lift her curse so that she can remain here in the Academagia.


Artemis made this promise so strongly that Ana was speechless for a moment. She felt so happy that she wrapped her arms around Artemis causing him to blush a little even though no one was there to witness it or wasn't commenting on it. Artemis tried to look around to distract himself from the fact that he just received a hug from a girl. Not counting his sister.Then he found that they were outside the Infirmary. Despite Artemis' confused look, Ana just asked him to follow her amid her non-stop sobbing.


Inside this stark white room, Artemis counted a few new patients. Nothing serious but the sight of those boils was grossing him out. Artemis went to check on Vettor and found him all dressed up and ready to go. Artemis asked him whether he was going to Athletics class and Vettor said "No!"


"I'm going back to rest a little longer. Besides, Els will be there. Maybe I should let her cool off first, just in case she tries to skewer me later."


Artemis then moved on to find the nurse handing Ana some cream and instructed her to wash her face over a basin nearby. Artemis was curious and asked the nurse what Ana was doing.


"She got some Tragedy Dust in her face. That powder was once used by actors who needed to fake crying scenes and couldn't be washed off so easily, actors used to sweat a lot you know. Poor dear's got a face full of that disgusting stuff. It smells like onions"


Clever was the one thing Artemis could think about the powder, until he became paralyzed upon realising what he had promised to Ana. "I was going to do it anyway," thought Artemis' sensible side. "Oh just shut your mouth next time," moaned Artemis' more emotional side. He couldn't imagine what Ana thinks of him now. Would she think that he did it because he pitied her? Is she thinking that Artemis only wanted to help her for selfish reasons? What would happen if Artemis couldn't help her, what would she think of him then?


Ana was done washing and started to approach Artemis, who was busy trying to slow his beating heart. His face became a little warmer when Ana clasped his hand with hers and thank Artemis. Artemis could only respond with "I…er…I…I…er…"


Ana let out a little giggle, causing Artemis to snap out of his discomfort but gain an even redder face. Ana thanked him one more time, explaining that usually people would require a lot of persuasion just to sit next to her in class. Artemis promise her that even-though he is also curse, he will do whatever it takes to help Ana look for away to lift whatever is plaguing Ana. They agreed to begin their research into her curse tomorrow Saturday in the library. Ana was so ecstatic that she practically skipped away to her next class. Artemis was left standing there for a moment, smiling contently to himself.


Then he remembers what Professor Massioti would do to him if he were late, forcing him to break the no running in the hallway rule. Failing to notice a certain someone who was just around the corner smiling proudly at him.

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  • 4 weeks later...

Ah sweet freetime after an exam, how I miss you!


First off, I just want to make it clear that I will not abandon this story. No matter how long it takes me to write the next part.


Second, I love you all for reading this, though a comment now and then could ease the loneliness a littlesmile.gif


Anyways, read on!




Artemis ran as thoughhis life depended on it. Which it does, considering how Professor Massioti had made Alan do push-ups with Zorzi sitting on him for being late once.


Ten minutes left and the Morvidus dorm was in sight. He reached for the door only to have to rear back and fall on his rump as the door swung open.


"Careful there! There's no need to rush."


"No need to rush?!" thought Artemis as he picked himself up.


His thoughts died away when Artemis saw whom he was talking to. It was the Bane of All Pranksters, the One Strict Man, the Terror of Rowdiness, the Master of Rule Enforcement, the Mean Shiny Headed One, the Regent of Morvidus and all around trouble maker's trouble maker.


"Professor Storey!" squeaked Artemis. The professor gave him an arched eyebrow and Artemis quickly corrected himself and greeted the professor normally.


"So, what was all the rush about?"


"I - I just wanted to avoid the cold, that's all." It was best to not tell the professor that he was late for class as that would make things a lot worse.


"Hmm, well come on inside" said the professor as he put a hand on Artemis' back. A new problem arises as Artemis couldn't think of a way to rush to his room without being rude, especially since the professor seems to be having a rather one sided conversation with him. Sweat beads were going down his back as the combined pressure of being late for Athletics class and being in the company of Professor Storey take their toll on Artemis. The professor was talking without noticing his discomfort though; so Artemis decided that he had better listen.


"You know I have been receiving word about your … slow but steady progression. But at least you are a well-behaved student in this college, unlike some students" The some students mentioned might have been a handful as the professor sigh a little as he rubbed his balding head with his free hand. Artemis couldn't help but feel sorry for the professor. Having to deal with a Marchant is enough for one lifetime but all three brothers and other trouble makers like Vettor, scary girl Joana, and possibly overly pushy vegetarian Girars, Artemis would rather be trapped in a cave surrounded by witches and nothing to eat but Philippe Marchant's dirty underclothing, and he would rather eat his toes first.


The professor kept lamenting about how hard it was to make sure the Morvidus college stand out among others with so many trouble makers giving the college the other kind of reputation, but he is very proud of those who continue to make College Morvidus shine. He gave an example concerning Mina, who had once subdued three black chickens from attacking some visiting nobles. All the professors were impressed with her skills and also completely agreeing that she will a very powerful mage when she graduates. Artemis felt a little uncomfortable.


In truth, Artemis would rather spend his time in his room working on his little toys. Artemis pouted a little and rethinks that line as "… spend his time in his room working on his Combat PuppetsTM."


The walk and talk was taking forever until the two reached Artemis' room and walked right passed the door. Artemis was trying to thinking up an excuse. It was entirely unnecessary when the same bell chime sound Artemis first heard during Negation class starts playing from Professor Storey's front pocket. Putting on the same annoyed look Professor Briardi put on, the professor pulls out a flat tablet with the exact same runes and while excusing himself and ending the one-sided conversation, taps the tablet once and put it to his ear.


"Yes. This is Professor Storey. This is the sixth time you called us in one day! How many times do we have to test this infernal device of yours?"


Artemis looked at the device for a moment and wondered what it does exactly and hurriedly entered his room. After making sure the door is locked, Artemis quickly changed his clothes while regretting not closing the window first as he put on his gym clothes. The shirt sleeve snagged onto his silver bracelet, costing him valuable minutes as he forces the shirt on. After resting Cuddles on a small pile of clothes in the dresser, Artemis put on his robes and ran out of the dorm as quietly as possible, while thinking of possible excuses to use on Professor Massioti in case he got caught.


"Wait a minute. Shouldn't there be class right now?" thought Professor Storey out loud causing Artemis to tumble out the main door.






Bursting into the hall of the Calomantia Gym, Artemis found everyone warming up.


He was breathing heavily but felt relieved. Until a


"ALRIGHT!!" was ringing through his ears.


"Now that everyone is finally here, let's begin with some laps!" shouted Professor Massioti cheerfully as he began to lead the jog around the hall. Artemis was slightly deaf in one ear as he picked himself off the floor and joined Cante at the back of the group. Cante welcomed Artemis with a friendly clap on the back as they began the class.


"Are you sure your back doesn't hurt anymore?"


"Yep. The medicine works great" said Artemis, conveniently leaving out the part where Cuddles had used up most of his energy to heal Artemis.


Five minutes into the run and the professor was already encouraging his students. "Come on I sleepwalk faster than all you", "Shape up those buns boys and girls", "Luti, if Zorzi tries to pull the Ol' aching routine feel free to kick him in the behind", "Hey Cosette, if you run a little faster I might finally stop catching you spying on me" and also "Come on Cyrus, stop worrying about your looks and worry more about putting some muscles on your skinny frame."


The grumbling was already beginning in front of Artemis. Most of it was childish statements but one of them was quite different. "He's got a date tonight" particularly stands out.


That explains the professor laughing as he jogs.


Most of the kids were already breathing and sweating heavily and someone exclaimed "My buns … can't … take anymore … shaping … *Breath*" and was instantly return by a simple "It can't and it will!" from the professor. No one laughed.


The professor then wants everyone to pick up the pace as he zooms ahead with surprising speed and grace. Everyone groans a little as some of them try to quicken their pace (Godina kids mostly) and others trying to catch their breath, while cursing the professor to spill his drink down his lady-friend's dress tonight.


Artemis and Cante, still at the back of the group, were discussing about the potions they wanted to try out tonight."Where did you get this recipe for an invisibility potion? My recipe needed ten kinds of ingredients. And you just have to drink it? Mine needs to be spread all over your body! How come you just thought of it now?"


"I took a peek at my sister's friend's cousin's *Breathe* brother's room-mate's notepad yesterday. *Breathe* And the pig appeared this morning remember? *Breathe* Did you find a place for tonight? *Breathe*"


"Yep. I scouted the place a few times already. No one uses it at night, it'll be perfect. You know I can't believe you told me about this formula earlier."


"If I did *Breathe* Vincent wouldn't have his blue hair day."


The two giggled for a bit as they remembered how Vincent (Eins) tried to negate his funky blue hair and turned it pink. PINK!! All because he was so excited to become invisible. Presumably to spy on a certain girl.


"Y'know Artemis, maybe we should try adding that potion into Professor Massioti's drink. I wonder what his date would say when she sees him with a head of sapphire - blue h…"


Cante would have finished his sentence but a large shadow was suddenly hovering over the two of them. Suddenly feeling a chill in the air, the two boys slowly turned their heads back, still running/jogging, and saw Professor Massioti with a calm expression on his face. Slowly, the man puts a hand on one each boy's shoulder forcing them to slow, he leans down as the two boys stop running. With the calmest expression, the professor uttered one word as softly and as menacing as possible. "Run."


After running fifteen extra laps the two boys collapse on the ground gulping down air and drenched in sweat. Five minutes was all they had when the professor blows his whistle and everyone lines up for the high jump. Artemis wanted to moan a little upon seeing the bar. Super fit kids like Vincent Eins, Vrenelle Borvin, Joana Lio y Rossollo and, gods forbid, Philippe Marchant would enjoy themselves in this class. Vrenelle was all right though, she just likes to keep fit. Artemis didn't like most sports and the high jump was one of them, especially since the word high relates to the word tall.


So of course the bar gets pushed off by Artemis failing to jump high enough, causing him to have to do another twenty push-ups.


Vincent was all excited and ready to run just as Artemis was getting down doing the push-ups. Artemis just drops on the floor by the tenth push-up as he notices something slick on the ground before the jump. Vincent was too focused to notice the slick and Artemis was too fatigued to shout. Somehow, Vincent still manages to jump high after he slips a little from stepping on the slick. But Vincent still had quite a distance needed to clear the jump.


All eyes that were following Vincent saw that it was clear the bar will end in between Vincent's legs. Some were already wincing before the pain comes. But the drama was short-lived as Professor Massioti had jumped and caught Vincent like a prince carrying his princess like in all those sappy novels and plays. The professor just continued like nothing happened as Vincent was trying to mumble out his thanks. A few more students have whispered to each other about how the professor wishes Vincent was his lady-friend right here, right now.


And then the bell-chime sound came again.


The professor pulls out the same flat tablet but instead of an annoyed expression, it was one of excitement. Judging by the professor's expression as he talked into the … thing, it was obvious to anyone that PLUM's girlfriend is the caller. Everyone was relieved to have a moment to rest. Artemis was staring ahead as he listened to the conversation behind him while fingering his bracelet.


"… and then I nearly saw Avgust in his undergarments. Gross!"


"R-really? I t-thought that I was the o-only one to b-be afraid of t-those cats."


"Do you think he's thinking about Ana?"


"Hey Aymeri. I think Lambert caught wind of your plans."


"Ah so you want to know where he keeps the training manual. I can tell you … for a price of course."


"Come on Luti! It'll the adventure of a lifetime!" "That's what you said last time Alan! I still have the scars you know!"


"Artemis is dreaming of his girlfriend."


"Look at him! how can this fool actually help us in developing our fitness. We should petition for …


Hey wait a minute!


Artemis turned his head and found Vincent and Cante sitting behind him and laughing. Artemis' face was turning red but tried to laugh it off. Cante then asked if Vincent would like to be their test subject for tonight's experiments and was rejected straight away. "I don't think I need more people remembering as the kid with pink hair. Though I would like to see what happens to the professor if we tried adding the other potions into his drink." The trio then made up some possible results of tonight's potion making such as uncontrollable burping or worse, like uncontrollable flatulence.


The final activity for the day, announces the professor as soon as he finishes the conversation, is rope-climbing. A few of the kids went WOO!! while some went UGH!! as the professor brings the students to a rope suspended from the ceiling. The professor marks the rope at 25 feet and said "Just do your best and don't look down."


Artemis was dreading the climb as everyone in front of him were able to climb a few or more feet before climbing back down and/or falling on top of the cushion. Vincent had just came down from 23 feet, beating everyone else, when only Artemis was left.


The bell rang and Artemis sighed in relief.


He was turning when a "Not so fast Artemis" came from his back.


Artemis was dragged reluctantly back to the rope. The professor watch with a smile on his face as Artemis took hold of the rope, which turned into a slight frown as Artemis couldn't pull himself off the floor. After a few instructions from the professor, Artemis was able to climb a few inches before falling off the rope. Everyone had already packed up and left while Artemis had to try to at least get two feet off the ground. He looked at the professor but all he would say is "Let's consider this your punishment for being late to class again."


Giving the professor a rueful look, Artemis stood up and took several deep breaths. He gripped the rope with his little hands and pulled himself up while clamping his knees around the rope. Large sweat beads were forming on his forehead and back as he slowly makes his way up the rope while grinding his teeth. Artemis felt that a long time had passed as he pulled harder on the rope, all the while Professor Massioti looks on with approval. Struggling for the last few inches, Artemis grunted a little as he climbs up to 10 feet and had to stop and rest. But then his hands slipped and he falls from the rope but was saved when a column of air had brought him down slowly. The professor congratulated Artemis as he gulped down the air around him.


"See Artemis? All it took was some effort and you too can conquer any obstacles in your path. Yes I got that line from a book so stop looking at me like that" said the professor as he escorted Artemis to the locker room for his things. Artemis took the opportunity to apologize to the professor for his tardiness again.


"See that you do or I'll make you run till your legs fall off", the professor laughed as he practically skips away, which would have indicated that he was joking.


Artemis was not reassured.

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  • 2 weeks later...

"What followed was too graphical for this story." :rolleyes:


Wonderful. I can't imagine how I missed your last few updates!


Also, for the record, that spell worked perfectly! Not a spec of dust all year. (Not much furniture either, but that is neither here nor there)

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  • 3 weeks later...

And back again! School work can make you go crazy, but to relieve the stress I now present the next part of the story. Enjoy.






"What is it now?" said Razputin, a dark brown haired boy dressed in Godina robes, exasperated by Mina's fifth sigh in ten minutes.


"It's nothing Raz."


"Nothing? Let's see," scoffed the boy as he counted with his fingers. "Your first sigh was about that essay on Earth: An alternative to water. The second sigh was about exams. The third sigh was about the torn page in that book in your hands that's still on the same page for over an hour. And the fourth sigh was about my handwriting looking like worms."


"Actually they look more like chicken scratches in the dirt" pointed out the red-headed girl beside Mina with a smirk on her face.


"Shut up Fish-girl."


"For the last time!" said the Morvidus girl, Arianna, as she slapped down her quill. "You threw that fish at my face, Fish-breath."


"Whatever, you hot-headed little princess."


"Try working the forges sometimes, maybe they will help you dry off, Mr. Bed-wetter"


A little red in the face, Razputin spluttered out a retort "Th … that only happened a few times last year! You…you…fire-haired pixie!"


Mina was hardly paying attention to the childish name-calling contest. She couldn't help but think about the duel with Kong tonight and how she should have acted earlier in the day. Mina could see it now, her mother sitting with her on the bed, pointing out her mistakes while keeping an arm on her shoulder. First, she agitated her rival, bad idea in most cases. Second she might have made him associate her with gates magic (partial truth). Third, she didn't even consider the location of their duel without remembering that the guards will be around more often after the little war earlier in the day. Mina let out another sigh. Great, now she misses home.


"Alright you two that's enough" sounded a gruff but not menacing voice.


Mina was still musing over the facts over and over again when a brown haired gangly Godina boy and an apparently shimmering girl joined the trio at the table. "Hey Tina, could you teach me to make a silence potion? I need to shut up this yapping puppy" called out Arianna. "Who are you calling a puppy, you old woman!" retorted Razputin


Tinarrakril, or Tina for short, gave a glance at the other boy. He rolled his eyes and pinched the quarrelling kids' ears until they were begging for mercy. "Now shake and make up you two." Grudgingly Razputin and Arianna did so and muttered a few more insults under their breath.


"So what is bothering you Mina?" asked the new boy. She doesn't answer but he then asked "Is it about Kong?" to which Mina responded by giving him a glance. Then Razputin piped up "Is that baby that still angry about that scavenger hunt last year? It's just a stupid contest right? You two didn't even win anything."


Aron, the brown-haired boy immediately sits up straight upon the mention of the scavenger hunt and Kong. "Is that the reason?" asked the boy. Mina just gives a nod.


Then with a little smile, Mina told her best friends that she was going to just talk to Kong tonight, no magic, no violence, just some friendly chatting. Arianna snorted and Razputin chose to roll his eyes, each saying something unkind about the bully. Tina elbows Aron rather violently to say something, which was quite a feat considering that she was a ghost. He would have but he noticed some snot-nosed kid lurking around the corner. Aron's eyes zoned in on the kid and Mina followed his gaze. The boy, a second year, was close to watering his trousers by Aron's unnerving stare. He approached the table cautiously while clutching a piece of paper and handed it to Mina. And then he ran as fast as possible and trips himself.


"Changing to Ardica Edge. Same time. You better show up." read the note. Mina suddenly felt someone breathing over her shoulder and found her friends looking at the note. Arianna was slapping Razputin for breathing so heavily.


Razputin gave Mina some duelling advice. "Bring an extra wand. Just in case he breaks yours. Or just rush up to him and break his."


Arianna chimed in. "He likes overpowering his opponents with more powerful spells but can't keep them up for long."


Tina was doing sign language in front of Aron, by poking the back of her hand. "Tina says to watch your back. His posse might try something … not nice."


Mina nodded appreciatively even after she already told them she wasn't going to duel with Kong. The bell sounded and Mina began to pack her things. Her friends were all ready to run to the dining hall because tonight's dinner was prepared by the head chef Esmeralda, famed for making the juiciest, lip-moistening, spine-tingling meaty meal this side of Mineta. Best of all, her rolls stuffed with mixed veggies and together with her famed secret mushroom sauce can make the most devout of meat-lovers cry for more. It was going to be a great dinner tonight though Aron kept looking at Mina, feeling a bit of guilt rising in him.


While everyone was stuffing their faces with mashed potato, Mina observed the place. No signs of Kong and his kronies, but no sign of her little brother either. This was weird considering his friends were at one of the tables getting sauce all over their faces and generally enjoying themselves. Looks like Ana is getting on well with some of the girls. Oh boy, a Durand girl just poured something down the Water Boy's drink. Eew … what is that Vernin girl doing with everyone's napkins?


Aron noticed Mina's worried expression but chose not to disturb her as she darts her eyes from corner to corner while drinking out of her cup. And then she sees Kong and his kronies laughing on their way in. Kong's eyes met Mina's and they both stared each other down, causing the tension to rise and Razputin to drop a spoonful of potato onto his trouser leg.


Still, the dinner ended without a battle, although Arianna just called Razputin a baby again and they are going for each other's throats. Also it looks like a Durand first year was trying to get her friends to try some kind of bread stick dipped in chocolate and now her friend is rushing to the bathrooms. Razputin and Arianna had to go and find "Professor Juggernaut" over some "overdue" homework, leaving Mina and Aron to walk back to the library for a quick study session. The walk was uneventful for a while until Aron took a deep breath before stepping ahead and approaching Mina.


Mina held up her hands to stop him and said "I know what you're going to say but no. I want to do this by myself. You can't help."


Now Aron sighed. "But it was my fault. Kong wants to beat you because of that worthless scavenger hunt. Okay, not entirely worthless, at least it helped us find a way to control my … my ...."


Attempting to make light of the situation, Mina smiled a little and said "Your other-worldly powers. I know, I did most of the work remember? But really, nobody makes my brother cry and gets away with it. Except me of course. And I think we better stop the conversation here, you are making me remember the time your hand was on my …."


"It was accident!" "Uh huh," said Mina before continuing the walk with a look. Aron rolled his eyes, "When is she going to forgive me for that?!"


Aron wanted stop her but knew that nothing he says will, they even made a vow to not mention the adventure again because of the quite unpleasant but not evil things they had to do. So he just continued walking beside her, trying to find a way to convince Mina to let him take her place in the duel. Suddenly he stopped when he looked down a hallway."Well that's new!"


Mina turned to follow Aron's gaze and felt her heart beating a little faster. It was Cuddles.


The toy bear was all blue and translucent. It was a form Cuddles had used when Artemis first opened his luggage, which gave him quite a shock. Apparently it turned him (Cuddles, not Artemis) intangible and also allowed him to fly. Weird did not begin to describe it. Mina had instructed Artemis to instruct Cuddles to only use this form for emergencies only, lest he falls through the floors. Right now Cuddles turned back to normal (as normal as a living toy bear could be) as Mina scooped him up and questioned him. Cuddles reached out and touched Mina on the forehead, causing images to flow through her mind. Once she processed the images, Mina's eyes went wide with worry.


Aron asked Mina what happened but she began to run. Her shoes tapping on the floor, Mina raced through the hallways while slipping between people. She slipped between a small crowd of students clutching their musical instruments tightly, emanating a few musical notes. She slides under a large painting depicting a statue painting a statue that was carried by two seniors, she even ran sideways up a wall (with magic) to avoid a pile of furniture floating into a newly refurbished teacher's lounge. Aron was quite the athlete but even he found difficulty in catching up to Mina. All he could see was Cuddles getting into Mina's bag.


Mina was dashing towards the Morvidus dorm. A cool wind was blowing but she barely felt it. She veered off the middle of the path towards the Dimmae Theatre and found a boy with dirt in his hair and on his clothes. He was repeatedly walking into a tree head first and had a confused look on his face but made no effort to change course. Mina sighed and walked up to Artemis as the boy kept saying "Ow" in a dull voice.


Mina put her hands on Artemis' shoulder and was a little surprised when he said "Hello big sister Mina" in a sing-song voice.


"Artemis, are you feeling all right? Tell me what happened."


Artemis responded cheerfully. "I am happy. But I am sad. Big Kong and bullies make bag fly. I chase outside Great Gate.Touch funny moss. All slimy and cold. Walk in squares and miss bag. Feeling sad but feeling happy!" Then he gave Mina a big grin. Mina raised her eyebrows in surprise; she got down to her knees and cleaned the dirt off Artemis' face with a handkerchief. "Why is big sister Mina raining clouds?" asked the boy with a silly grin. Mina smiled back and said "Not sad. Just worried about you."


Aron finally caught up to the two just as Mina was bringing Artemis to the infirmary. Artemis saw him, pointed and said "Scary friendly Aron is here." Aron blinked in surprise as Mina tries to cover her giggling. He gave a nod to the two and went to look for Artemis' bag with Cuddles on his head. Mina mouthed a "Thanks" as she cast a little bubble around Artemis' hands just in case she touches the moss on his hands. School legend goes that a witch was so attracted to a professor here she tried to lure him out with his interest on strange plants. He broke her heart of course and so she cursed the moss to make anyone who has even the slightest romantic interest on someone to act irrationally.


Students are now working on away to use this in their petty acts of vengeance.


The nurse on duty looked up from her Pretty Ladies magazine as Artemis was pointing out that torches flutter like butterflies. "Isn't he the same boy here this morning?" asked the nurse. Mina could only say "Bad luck" as Artemis pointed at a plain white wall and said "Ice cream!" The nurse didn't even blink and went to a cabinet to pull out a bar of green soap and a sour smelly potion that Artemis commented "Smells like smelly socks." Mina couldn't help think that her father would just throw a few ingredients into a pot and hello sweet smelling insta-cure.


The siblings thank the nurse as Mina guided a dizzy Artemis out of the room and ran into Cante, whose first thing to do was ask why Artemis missed their little meeting.


"I just thought of this recipe that should help attract all sorts of creepy crawlies, I waited for you for half an hour and Sixt actually scolded me for idling outside a empty classroom. Uh!"


Artemis mumbled an apology but Mina pointed out a little bit of gravy stain on Cante's cheek and started asking what they were planning tonight. Artemis was silent for a bit while Cante was stammering about extra potion-making class with Professor Leith and something about flies and fish scales oh would you look at the time gotta go bye!


Mina kept giving Artemis the "I know something is up" look until he fess up that he and Cante had planned to experiment with all sorts of potions in one of the lesser used classrooms. Mina gave a laugh and confessed to him that she once used an abandoned classroom to practice her spells and nearly wrecked it with a storm spell. The two were quiet after a good laugh until Artemis realized that he was starving when they reached his room. Mina gave another laugh as she handed the boy his pajamas. "Go take your bath first. I'll see what I can find for you in the kitchen."


Artemis smiled a little but it faded when he stopped in front of the bathroom door, clearly a little worried. Mina gave him an encouraging pat on the head and Artemis lets out a relieved sigh as he enters the empty bathroom. Mina also sighed a little more as she made her way to the kitchen of the academy, at this rate she would be an old woman by the age of sixteen. Maybe all he needs is a good adventure to toughen him up, thought Mina. She remembered the silly adventures she had during her first two years, it wasn't all happy memories, some were quite painful, but it was so incredible that it made her feel so alive at the time. In fact, none of the adventures she went on seem so tough now.


Mina stopped just before rounding the corner towards the kitchen. She leaned out a little to make sure there was no one close by to see her.


Here comes the hard part of her current adventure, how to sneak food out of the kitchen. The cooks don't take too kindly to any students looking for leftovers, even if that student could summon a demon to tear the cooks' limb from limb.


Stopping just in front of the door,Mina placed her left ear on the door. Low rumbling, not many people in there. Good. Since she wasn't very confident with her invisibility spells, Mina took a deep breath before opening the door slightly and slipped in quickly.




Ducking around a corner immediately after she slips past the doors, Mina spied an opening between the only five cooks preparing a late dessert for some special guests; it was a tight spot since three of them were constantly checking on each other's work. The smell of chocolate wafting pass her nose, Mina kept low, hiding behind sparkly counters while fancy cooking instruments hang above her. If anyone was paying attention, they could just catch a glimpse of her reflection on the shiny surfaces of various pans, bowls and some kind of pressing machine. Mina made a roll at the last moment towards the enchanted bread box with a second to spare.


Two slightly fresh slices of bread in hand, Mina quietly made her way over to the few leftover of tonight's meal, roast beef with gravy, mashed potatoes and a side of fresh salad. Taking one slice of beef, and topping it with random veggies from the salad, Mina salivated a bit and briefly considered making a second panino. But she decided that she was wide enough already, though in reality she was quite average. Taking the ingredients was tough and really time-consuming. She had to slip out from a counter many times to observe the leftovers and decide which ones would make a filling meal. Topping the ingredients with gravy was not easy either as she didn't want to spill any on the floor.


Once she was done making her panino seven minutes had already passed. Mina made a wrapping with a clean cloth and used a little magic to ensure it doesn't get ruined in her robes when she starts running; she took a couple of apples too because why not? The cooks were now putting the cream on top of their chocolate pudding cakes that left Mina a wide opening towards the exit and a low grumbling in her stomach.


The door was unobserved as the cookswere loudly debating with each other whether they should add three cherries or slices of oranges on top of the cakes for the most important guest. Mina stayed low and waited a second or two before crouch - sprinting towards the doors.


And then the doors began to fly open. "Oh f-f-flying dragons!" cursed Mina internally.

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Internet connection is back! Woohoo!


And CremePudding is back! Ee... Not so much yahoo.


End of first day (Part 1)


The doors were filled by the rather large frame of head chef, Esmeralda Vitto. Famed for her wonderfulrecipes and her killer vegetable rolls. She was also famed for her fiery temperand cruel and unusual punishment for the students she caught in the kitchen.


Once, Esmeralda caught a boy stealing a sweet roll as a snack and made him carry some eggs from Professor Tarvixio Sido's office to the kitchen. Students and professors were found unconscious with various bruises on them and there were no traces of the eggs.


"WHERE ARE THE CAKES?! Those guests (Hissssss!) have waited over ten minutes and are drinking away all the wine! They even skimmed on the main course waiting for dessert! The nerve of those pigs and their fat pouches!"


Mina had rolled into an open cupboard and bumped her head. She shut the door and tried to calm her beating heart. If there was anything scarier than an angry monster from another realm, it was Esmeralda. Rumour is that Esmeralda managed to threaten Professor Orsi into authorizing the purchase of expensive materials required to create many enchanted refrigerators, cupboards and containers for the kitchen. She told him she would add a little special ingredient to his meals that would allow people to track him by following a certain gaseous release from his body.


Mina could hear plenty of shouting from the hefty woman, all of it consisting of how she would filet, fried, boil, bake, roast, toast and / or steam them all if the cooks don't get those cakes up to the room right now!


Loud noises were heard, shoes were stomping around, cooking utensils clang with one another and it sounds like something squishy fell on the floor.


"You!" Mina bumped her head but managed to suppress the groan. Good thing Esmeralda didn't hear it as she was actually talking / shouting to a junior cook.


"Stay here and clean up this kitchen! I want it so spotless any thieving kids won't find a crumb to eat!" Mina glanced at the two apples and one sandwich hidden under her robes.


A cart rolled by accompanied by stamping feet and a loud voice swearing unholy things. Waiting a few minutes, Mina closed her eyes and tried to listen to any noises outside her cramp hiding place. Silence except for the humming of the refrigerator's enchantments, definitely no sound of someone washing dishes or cleaning up counters. Mina opened the cupboard door just a teeny bit and could spot the junior chef sitting on a chair reading a book. An article was titled "How to cook your way into her heart and more".


The man was sitting right in front of her hiding place and has his back turned to her but his eyes at the door. Wonderful.


Mina carefully made her way to the back door, after casting a muffle spell around her feet, and found it locked. Double wonderful.


Her heart pounced when she heard a snort and a laugh behind her. Luckily the cook was just reading something funny and Mina furrowed her brow before ducking behind a counter dripping with chocolate syrup. Mina edged a little to the right before any syrup drops into her hair. She found her hand deep in cream pudding.


Time for a more magical approach thought Mina as she drew the phemes for a spell she had used quite often for a prank. Manipulation,Voice, Burst, Echo and a little bit of something for effects, Mina casted the spell at her throat.


Popping her head above the counter a little, Mina took a deep breath and let out a booming "Get up you lazy pig!" in Esmeralda's voice.


The junior cook was stumbling and turning around as he dropped his book. "Don't even bother to look for me! I know you are not cleaning up! You disgrace me with your laziness! I give you ONE simple task and you just sit around reading a book on how to get girls?!" "No madam! I was just about to clean the counters" said the cook towards the door in a feeble attempt to defend himself.


"No! You will do your duties right now! Yes, duties! Go and unclog the sinks first!" "B...b...but!" "No buts! Do it now!"


Mina did not feel bad for the young man; the book he was reading was quite dirty. How dirty? There appears to be drool on a few of the pages. Mina couldn't hold back a snigger as the junior cook tried to unclog a sink that was clearly not clogged. "And when you are done unclogging the drains go and throw out the garbage before cleaning the counters!" In a panicky voice, the cook replied "Yes madam!" Mina looked at the cook with her hands on her hips and snorted. "That'll teach him!" thought Mina as she snagged a few chocolate fruits from a dirty counter and walked right out the door.


Raiding a kitchen was hungry work as Mina ate a chocolate fruit and lean on the wall for a minute. By the stars and gods, these are delicious!


Mina was snapped out of her stupor when she heard a punching sound. Finishing off the fruit, Mina got off the floor and peeked out of a nearby corridor just in time to see Gart Jerret, a third year, delivering another punch to Iustus' stomach, causing the boy to double over. Over Gart's shoulder was Artemis Vollo, also a third year and one of the Queens of Hearts. The Queens of Hearts being a nickname to girls that have enthralled many boys with their beauty, either on purpose or innocently. She looked so smug with her other friends just standing around as Gart was about to deliver another punch.


But he stopped when he felt the tip of a wand under his throat. "Move or prepare to lose your head," said a calm but intimidating voice. Gart moved slowly back to Ms. Vollo's side along with the other few girls and boys.


Keeping her wand pointed at the group, Mina helped Iustus to his feet. "Are you alright?" asked Mina with a sincere smile. Iustus nodded at Mina weakly, barely containing his tears as she put an arm around his shoulder. Mina pulled him closer just as she would to Artemis (Toran) when he had a particularly bad day. Just as Mina was bringing Iustus away, she heard someone snorting and the sounds of people mumbling and walking away.


"And where do you think you are taking him?" demanded Vollo. The group stopped as Vollo walked right up to Mina and glared at Iustus. "This boy handed me a drink containing a flatulence potion during lunch time!" said Vollo with a voice as sweet as honey but a personality as vain as a peacock. "Do you have any idea how embarrassing it is for a person of my stature getting caught with such childish behaviour?"


Iustus tried to defend himself, "I'm sorry. But I didn't know what was in the drink. Another girl told me to …" "Shut up!" hissed Vollo. Mina tried to calm Vollo but she decided to insult both Iustus and Mina. "Ha! Of course she would defend this him, considering her boyish behaviour." All of Vollo's friends let out haughty laughs while pilling on the insults. One boy even joked about how Mina would find the love of her life … when she's 40! Hawhaw!


Vollo also called Iustus some very nasty things and also suggested that Mina doesn't have any sense of fashion and had only stopped when Mina gave her a slap in the face that was strong enough to knock her to the ground. It wasn't the comments about her fashion senses; it was hearing one of Vollo's friends suggesting something lewd about her brother. Vollo was just in the way.


So shocked was everyone that as Mina was leading Iustus away, one of Vollo's friends said "Wow" and "You gonna let her do that to you?" In a fit of rage, Vollo drew her wand and fired a bolt of polymorph at Mina. Iustus only had time to widen his eyes when Mina whirled around and used a spell to absorb the bolt and send a blue wave shimmering right back at the gang.


The entire corridor felt cold as snow suddenly formed. Vollo's gang were covered in snow and parts of their bodies were sealed in ice as the floor beneath their feet became slick and wet. The surrounding walls had a reflective layer to it and the windows had a frosty sheen. There were even icicles forming and hanging from the ceiling.


The kids were shivering and sneezing when Mina gave them a curt warning. "Try again and I'll use fire."


Iustus was still looking at Mina like she was some kind of goddess as they step out of the building. There was a cool breeze but Iustus was feeling a little warm in the face as Mina gave him a pat on the back. "You're one of Artemis' friends right?" Iustus nodded while still utterly transfixed by Mina's smile. Mina tussle his hair and asked if he needed Mina to accompany him back to his room. He quickly declined Mina's offer but he was still standing at the door, clutching in his hands a chocolate fruit, as Mina wished him a good night and left. He suddenly felt a little funny in his tummy.


Mina sighed again on her way back to Artemis (Toran).The girl (Artemis) was just as snobbish as many students here but did that justify Mina slapping her like a crazed five-handed tree holding onto a foam mallet? Not really. But maybe a slap in the face is enough to tell her that no one likes a snob, no matter how pretty you are. Plus, Artemis (Vollo) called Iustus a few very insulting things and it was obvious the poor boy was defenceless against her (Artemis). "Wonderful, more enemies before half the term is gone, you must proud."


"Shut up, Nexus" said Mina. The other-worldly cat-thing, Nexus, suddenly appeared beside Mina's feet in the form of a typical black cat. Mina didn't know where it was before but pretended to anyway. The cat, if you could call him / her / it that, loves to appear when you least expect it. One time, Nexus even appeared right in Mina's face when she was brushing her hair. It was painful when she had pulled out the comb, along with a few strands of black hair.


"Just looking out for you. Also, it would be wise to prepare for the coming battles." Nexus looked at Mina with shining green eyes now, its legs a blur under Mina's shadow as mist formed from its feet. "Coming battles? What? You think I'm going to fight an army of half-goblins wielding silver bows and rubber swords? Again?" said Mina without even bothering to look down. In an easygoing voice, Nexus replied "That's not what I meant but if you want I could arrange it."


"So what did you mean by coming battles then?" Nexus just looked at her and Mina answered herself for Nexus "I cannot reveal the future to mere mortals. And other assorted spooky stuff for fear of unbalancing the natural order." Nexus was looking at the general direction of the animal pens when it said "If you already knew the answers." "Then what do you want Nexus?" It looked back at Mina, "I am only here to warn you, some old enemies are about to appear. And though they are not as strong as me, I think they are still sufficiently skilled to overpower you."


Mina took a breath and let it out with a long sigh. "It's always the bad news with you isn't it?" Nexus snorted, "It wasn't my decision to bond with you and it certainly wasn't my decision to attract so many dangers to you." "Then why don't you help me fight these enemies? Like you said, they are not as powerful as you which would mean you can beat them." Nexus looked at Mina, surprise hidden well, "Asking for my help. That's a first." Mina, somewhat annoyed, "Well I don't often ask for help."


A long pause and then Nexus, after watching a particularly plump squirrel, said "Very well then, I'll see what I can do" and disappeared into the shadows. Mina called after it. A short while later, the plump squirrel was devoured by a blue portal with barely a sound.


"And will it kill you to finish the bowl of cat food I prepared for you? People are going to get suspicious when they notice that my cat doesn't need to eat anything ever since the start of the first year." Nexus popped back into view in an instant "If a powerful mage like your professors cannot detect my presence, nothing will." Then playfully Mina said "I don't know. I'm sure Art ..."


"The boy is different!" snarled Nexus, it then snorted lightly as it gave a glance at a couple of fourth years making-out behind a tree, and also Aymeri Couer hidden in a bush. "I'm going now. But remember to prepare yourself for what comes after tonight" and with that Nexus walks right into a little purple portal and disappeared.


Popping into the dorm, Mina rubbed her hands as the warming spell timed out. She met Arianna at the foot of the stairs. "So what did the Juggernaut want you and Raz to do now?" Arianna "Urgh!" greatly, "he wants me and that empty-headed mannequin to plot our star-charts again! We spent two weeks doing the last one and every night there's always pesky mosquitoes biting me!" Mina tossed Arianna a chocolate fruit before she goes on about how dumb Razputin is, though secretly Mina felt that Arianna and Razputin were perfect as a couple of problem solvers. They always fight with each other but most of the time they could bounce ideas off each other and come up with a practical solution to their challenges.


Mina climbed the stairs and was amused to find Eliana Carosi and Uliva Valaresso around a corner trying to hide the "Insect Attracting Pheromone Sprayer" behind their backs that they were going to install on Vettor's door. Mina just continued on until she meets Vettor Conta trying to hide his "Exploding Ink Bottles" behind his back that he was going to use on the first year girls. This rivalry made Mina remember how Razputin and Arianna had acted towards each other for the first six months here.


Mina could remember the first time she met both Arianna and Razputin at the same time, both preparing to duel the other over a spilled cup of apple juice. It started with Philippe Marchant entering the bathroom. Wait.


Looks like the little bully hasn't gotten rid of his horrible stomach-aches yet, light farting noises could be heard as Philippe tried to act natural, wincing every time the noise is heard. And though he was clutching his stomach with a slightly anxious look on his face, he was still trying to walk tough in his pyjamas and bathrobe. When Mina hesitantly walked past the bathroom door she could hear the boy grunt and groan and even moan in both pain and relieve. She decided to quicken her pace and get to Artemis' room as fast as possible.


Some things are just too disgusting to describe.





I hope Artemis Vollo and Gart Jerret are actually fictional people and not a reference to anyone.tongue.gif

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  • 2 weeks later...

Continuing on until Year 2 is released! Enjoy reading.



Mina's steps faltered when she saw the Artemis' room door slightly ajar. She pulled out her wand and prepared an Ice Statue spell and slowly peeked into the room. The candle by the bed is not lit but it appears that the closet is opened. The door was moving slightly and Mina could hear something scraping against it. She entered and turned towards the door. Unsurprisingly, she found Artemis, embarrassed and hanging on the door by his underwear. Mina breathed a sigh of relief and put away the wand before reaching out and helping Artemis off the door.


Artemis was smiling a little as she helped him down, a change from his early days. Mina sat with him on the bed and wouldn't stop cuddling him. "Sis! Please…" Mischievously, Mina ignored his plea, "Not until you tell me why you were hanging on the door." "I don't know. I just came into my room and suddenly Philippe jumped me. He looked like he wanted to ask me something but he looked really sick when he ran out." "So why did he hang you on the door? Ah! He must have been waiting for you for quite some time." Artemis thought about it but Mina just laughed.


Mina handed Artemis her wand and he slowly and cautiously conjured a pale orange ball of light. Artemis looked relieved as he touched his silver bracelet. Mina put an hand on his shoulder until she noticed something as Artemis was adjusting his undergarments.


She pulled Artemis close and said "Now what did Mommy said about wearing clean underwear?" causing the boy to ashamedly rub his arm. Mina playfully dug her knuckles into his head and pulled Artemis to his closet. Mina playfully ignored Artemis' pleas for her to turn around until she felt something coming from the window. Mina acted calmly.


Something called to her but strangely Artemis didn't notice it. Seems it was directed towards her only. "Mmmiiinnnaaa…" Mina glared outside the window, is it a trick from Kong? "Mwuhahahahaha…"


Mina heard a yelp and was startled when Artemis bumped into her. She turned around, Artemis desperately clinging to hide under her cloak, and saw to her amusement Aron coming through the door. "Found the bag," and then he saw Artemis' anxious face peeking out from Mina's back, "Is this a bad time?" Mina could see that Artemis was still half-dressed and laughed. "Just put it next the bed. Artemis, say thank you." A squeaky "Thank you" later, Cuddles and Tina phase right through the door, Tina was laughing but creepily no sound came out and Cuddles was having fun with her, judging by his excited body language. "So this is Cuddles?" said Aron as he looked at the bear. "And I thought Walking Talking Sneezing Bear was one of a kind."


Artemis squeaked from behind Mina's back, "Walking Talking Sneezing Bear?" Mina just patted Artemis.


Aron excuses himself and left with Tina, leaving Artemis to finish dressing and happily tearing up his sandwich while Mina was playing a card game with Cuddles. She told Artemis about the clockmaker's daughter, Pelia. She told him how lonely Pelia was in that little shop of hers. How she was trying to undo a disaster to change her life. How Mina eventually convinced her to join the academy. Artemis chewed a little slower. "In the end," Mina leaned over to Artemis, "She's happy here. And I'm also happy for her because she has friends now instead of being alone forever." Artemis looked up at his sister as she lightly pinched his cheeks.


Artemis chewed his food a little longer than necessary before asking "So … what's Walking Talking Sneezing Bear like?" Mina shook her head a little, "A real annoying toy bear. No offense meant Cuddles." Cuddles looked up from his hand of cards, looking confused.


"The only difference between him and Cuddles here? WaTS bear can talk but I don't think I've seen him use magic before." Artemis stopped eating his apple for a minute "But Cuddles can talk if he used magic." Cuddles looked up from his hand again, confusion obvious from his body language.


"Cuddles and WaTS Bear have a big personality difference though. But enough from me, anything interesting happened to you? Besides getting knocked out by a giant plant?" Artemis considered what to tell Mina. Should he mention his little promise to Ana to help her break her curse? Should he tell her of Professor Briardi asking him to save Vettor from a bunch of angry girls? Or should he mention blasting a giant hole in the wall of a practice room? Or maybe he should just say "Nothing special" as he usually does.


"Oh! And I saw Vettor, Eliana and …I think Uliva preparing traps for each other in the corridors." Artemis looked up at Mina. "He's still pranking girls after I told him not to?" blurted Artemis. Mina said "What?" and Artemis was stammering trying to change the subject. Mina just pulled him closer, causing him to spill the beans on the Water boy vs. Angry Girls situation, conveniently leaving out the part where Artemis got tied up by girls that led to this quest.


While Mina considered what to say, Artemis realised that Professor Briardi knew about Artemis getting captured by the girls but didn't rescue him? Now that's just not nice.


"Well good luck convincing Vettor to stop pranking girls" said Mina eventually and continued the card game. Artemis had a frown on his face after coming back from the bathroom, Philippe was gone and the stink repelling charms did their work. Mina was just about to leave after losing to Cuddles five times in a row. "Cheat!" said Mina cheerily as she wished the boy and Cuddles a goodnight and told Artemis to try his best to help Vettor. Artemis gave her a good-night hug before she left.


In the hallway, Mina sighed one last time and went to take a nap.


Artemis sighed a little though he didn't know why. Cuddles however was checking himself in the mirror, patting down loose threads and checking for rips and tears. "What are you doing?" asked Artemis incredulously. Cuddles sat on Artemis' shoulder and touched his forehead. Images of Ardica Lake flashed by and one image of Tina the ghost girl was the clearest. Clearly, Cuddles was going on a date with Tina.


Artemis said good-night to Cuddles as the toy bear gave him a hug and leap out the window.


For the next two hours, Artemis spend his time writing the Zoology essay, thinking up ways to stop Vettor from getting himself kill (figuratively but maybe also literally) and of course how to help Ana. On top of that, he really needs to do some studying or risk failing the coming exams. Half-way through the essay Artemis realised something. "Why are we writing an essay when the exams are two days away?" Artemis responded with a sensible "Maybe its practice before the exams." And then a negative "Or maybe Professor Pachait was just acting crazy."


Taking out his textbook on winged creatures, Artemis thought about visiting the forbidden (for first years anyway) section of the library to help Ana. Books there usually have descriptions of more powerful curses. A muffled "POW" followed by angry girls cussing their heads off at Vettor made Artemis focus on the essay and Ana first instead of thinking upways to cripple Vettor's pranks.


Artemis needed to get out the invisible ink to clean away the line "…and the swelling of the belly is a sign of Ana forbidden section scary librarian."


Two hours later with the essay done and still nowhere close to a breakthrough on both Ana and Vettor's problems, Artemis decided to reach under the bed and take out his unfinished Combat Puppets TM Model NO.101, the pyjama-clad hero, Pyjama Boy. In truth the toy looked nothing more than a doll wearing green long-sleeved shirt and trousers and also a long hat with a ball at the end. The sword it was supposed to wield was also made of wood. But even though any amateur toy maker can make a replica of the puppet, they won't be able to replicate the complex arrangement of gears, cylinders and many mechanical bits and pieces inside the body that truly makes them special . Not only is the construction process hard, learning to control the thing was also tough.


Artemis' model is the dullest model available. That doesn't mean it was easy to find though, his father had to buy it through a friend. Other more exotic models like a troll-size spider-man thing, a troll-size six armed puppet armed with real scimitars and even a troll-size troll in armour with hammer-fist are very popular with the rich. Though usually the rich would pay for another person (a puppet master) to assemble and then fight with another puppet master, either under the same employer or another, as entertainment.


There are also collectors that paid for their puppets to be shrunken and kept in glass containers. Though these collectors are usually seen as weirdos.


Artemis had spent two years to finish the limbs, but that did not diminish his determination to finish the puppet and learn how to work it. One night, he overheard his parents mention the price of the thing and since then never gave up on finishing the puppet. Artemis touched his bracelet, lost in his memories. Then with determination, Artemis pulled the entire luggage containing the puppet out and began reading the thick doorstopper / manual from page 98 while setting up his tools.


Mina was smiling as she was observing (NOT SPYING) Artemis in his room through the use of a Spy Orb. "Ah well, whatever makes him happy" thought Mina as she switched to spying on Professor Storey downstairs in the study. Mina needed to concentrate on around the professor and not directly at him or risk alerting the professor. At least that was what Papa said as he gave her the orb while making her swear to not tell her mother. It would risk having Mommy attack Papa with a halberd.


Mina could see that the professor left the little book of names and species of the student familiar's in the Morvidus College open. Hmm… Nexus is listed as a black cat with emerald green eyes, adopted from the city of Mineta and just underneath the words, the professor scribbled "Strange feelings when looking into its eyes."


Mina jumped off her bed when she noticed Nexus' disembodied head floating on her shoulder. "Now that's just insulting. I wasn't going for strange feelings, I was going for fearful" said the talking head. Mina picked herself off the floor, "Would you stop that?! It's freaky!"


Nexus was grinning, though it was hard to tell when only its were visible. "Shouldn't you be going to the lake soon?"


Mina brushed herself, "When he finishes his tea. Then I'll go out the window."


The rest of Nexus' body appeared as it curled on the pillow, making itself comfy. "And no, I haven't forgotten about your reinforcements. They will aid you when the time comes." Mina "Hmph!" and sat at the foot of the bed spying on everyone else in the dorm.


Mina's face turned crimson as she accidentally sees a few boys in the bathroom. Bathing.


"Stop it Nexus!" The cat thing in question just yawns.


Midnight came and Mina used the orb to check on Artemis one more time. The boy was yawning heavily and had just begun to clean up his desk. A quick check on Professor Storey reveals that his teacup is empty and someone is in the (Professor's only!) bathroom. Mina took off her bathrobe, revealing her long sleeved dark shirt and trousers. She tugged on her boots, enchanted to keep her stuck to the ground, and enchanted gloves of fire-resistance with 5% Chance to Reflect Attack. Whatever that meant.


Locking away the orb in a small box in her closet, Mina pulled out her practice wand and a cloak. She smiled fondly at the cloak. It was made when Mina was trying to save Artemis, who had somehow gotten himself stuck in a tall tree. Without thinking, she enchanted her cloak to float them down safely; instead it made them fly circles around the tree until the siblings had to empty their stomachs.


With Nexus still napping on the pillow, Mina opened the window and jumped from the third floor of the dorm.


Artemis came back from the bathroom once more and saw a figure walking under the trees outside the window. He looked at the figure until he heard the squeak of the door opening. Artemis turned around; the door is slightly open and letting in some cool air from the hallway. The cool air caused by some jerk trying to prank his / her sleeping roommates. Shrugging, Artemis closed the door and went to the window. He could still hear the crunching of the leaves under the stranger's boots, going further and further away.


Whhaaarrrkk… went the closet door, frightening the boy. Artemis whirled around and saw the closet door slowly opening. Artemis walked over and closed it, feeling a bit nervous and went to the window once more. The stranger had conjured a tiny globe of light to illuminate the path. Artemis heard a hiss and quickly turned around to find nothing in his lightly lit room. He turned to the window again and this time he felt a shiver going down his collar and his pyjama bottoms falling to the ground.


With his breathing a little heavy now, Artemis recalled tales of the dorms being haunted by something called a 'Bogeyman'. But then he quickly remembered his sister cheerily saying "There's no such thing as a bogeyman. Well at least not at the academy. Now go to bed you big baby!" the week before his first year at the Academagia.


Artemis shook his head. "Still a baby. Still thinking of the bogeyman. Grow up already!"


Artemis opened his desk drawer to pull out the spyglass he brought from home. Just as he touched the spyglass, he noticed something odd about the contents of the drawer. Specifically the arrangement of the contents. Why is the small stack of paper over there? Should his bag of sweets be opened over here? How come his extra quills are scattered around? And where is his little notebook on potions / poisons and ingredients?


He heard a snapping of twigs outside. Artemis ran to the window and saw that the stranger had already gone, the ball of light hidden by the trees. Not in the least disappointed, Artemis decided to turn in for the night.


Then he came face-to-face with Philippe Marchant.



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  • 4 weeks later...

Alright here is the next. Sorry for the delays but work and work can be a time sink. Enjoy till Year 2 comes out.tongue.gif



Before Artemis had a second to react, Philippe grabbed him and wrestled him to the ground.


Philippe leaned in close to Artemis' ear. Menacingly and just slightly creepily, he said "Hello Arty."


The little / big bully let Artemis struggle for a while until he just bounced on Artemis' back. "Listening now?" Defeated, Artemis nodded.


A note book fell in front of Artemis' face. Philippe opened it, revealing the ways to make various potions / poisons and the properties of many ingredients uncommonly used in potion making. Hey! These are in Artemis' handwriting! In a language he decided to write everything in that no common person could understand without referring to a linguist and / or cryptologist! And Philippe got ink blobs on it!


"Translate it," said Philippe. Artemis moaned slightly and said it's late already but Philippe interjected. "Not all of it dimwit. I only want some of what's in here. Kind of dumb of you to leave a page listing the names in Elumian." While Philippe was chuckling, Artemis scolded himself for practising Elumian like this.


Artemis begged. There are a LOT of things Artemis had listed over the years and most of those circled on the listing page require long and detailed instructions. Philippe just repeated Artemis' words in a condescending manner, "Just do it or you'll be getting a swirlie." Artemis was puzzled for a minute then took a chance "What's a swirlie?" Philippe told him, Artemis did not like it.

"Can I ask what you want with the potions?" Philippe responded by bouncing once again on Artemis and then he said "Revenge."


A spider came down from Philippe's finger. It landed just a few inches from Artemis' face. He could see that it was a vicious thing. With fangs so sharp they could pierce metal and the way the spider scuttles about is making Artemis shiver. Or that could be from the wind since window is still left open.


"A little spider told me some vermin from Vernin were responsible for my … condition this morning. They were quite happy about it." Then he press down on Artemis. "And I intend to teach them a lesson about messing with the dominant bully on campus" With his tone a little happier now, "And with your potions in this notebook here, I can do so with interest."


Then Artemis came to realization. So this is why Cante asked him, theoretically, on how he would make a harmless Bog Clogger! Just in case he was facing a hungry troll indeed! If Philippe finds out, he is going to target Artemis for the rest of the year. And Cante but that's not important right now.


The spider made a most sickly noise and Philippe dragged Artemis by his pyjama bottoms to his dorm room where Dexter Marchant was snoring like a hog. Stirring from his sleep the much older Marchant growled, "Shut the door Flippy!" Philippe responded but he looked a little sickly, "Shut up Dex. Watch him for me; I need another trip to the bathroom." Then to a shivering Artemis, "Run and your face will meet my friend Mr. Fist."


As soon as Flippy was gone Artemis tried to reach for the door. He found Philippe's Yellow Spitting Spider sitting on the handle, watching him closely and clicking her mandibles. Artemis moaned silently, it was going to be a long night.




Mina had just reached the wall surrounding the Academy. So far, she had evaded 1) three student patrol groups, 2) three separate groups of pranksters from Aranaz, Durand and strangely Avila, 3) a pack of howler monkeys carrying off a crate of fruit, and 4) two professors discussing the human anatomy.


Jumping over the wall is easy, avoid triggering an alarm harder. Security was beefed up pending the investigation of the killer plants. No matter, Mina conjured an illusion of a group of howler monkeys making mating calls. Once the guards and professors come close to the illusions, they will run towards the actual group of howler monkeys stealing fruit, luring them all away and giving the professors a chance to capture the real monkeys while Mina got out.


The air was chilly as Mina reached the meeting place. Kong wasn't here yet so Mina took a seat on a rock, watching the reflection of the moon in waters of the Ardica. It was funny how the moon could make Mina homesick, as she remembers how the nights were spent watching the sky on the roof of the house. And then she thought about the nights she used to cuddle a five-year old Artemis to help him sleep better until the year she left for the Academy. A fact that Artemis wishes Mina would never tell to her friends.


Mina instinctively ducked behind the rock as a bolt of light nearly hits her in the head. The bolt made contact with the running surface of the water and remained in place, illuminating the area enough for Mina to see a smirking Kong. They stepped forward to meet each other and glared for a moment. Kong was also dressed in dark colours; his gloves appeared to have undergone some major enchantment as it was practically a beacon of light with the glowing runes on it.


And then without warning, Kong looses a bolt of lightning at Mina. "What? No arrangement first? No protocol?" said Mina as she deflected the lightning, nearly hitting an owl out hunting. Snorting, Kong responded "This is an unofficial duel right? There are no rules!" and then he sent a wave of fire at Mina.

<Begin your favourite combat music now. Recommended: Heroes of Might & Magic 3 Combat Theme>

Mina sliced the fire down the middle and sent a column of air at Kong. He fell on his back as Mina said that if he loses this fight he will stop bullying Artemis. "Only if you win," Kong said as he stuck his wand into the ground and Mina found herself getting swallowed by the earth. Mina unleashes a spell at a tree and vines started to tussle up Kong, and then she tried negating whatever was causing the ground to eat her before Kong could get loose. They both managed to escape their respective traps and continued to blast spells at each other.


A yellow fog of choking, a red rain of firebolts, and a glowing stream of white lightning from Kong. Mina countered with a whirling tornado of water, a chilling black blizzard and staggered Kong with a mini earthquake. Kong's eyes were shaking like dices in a cup but he still managed to concentrate on Mina and loose three bolts of blinding light. One missed entirely and sped towards the night sky, another hit an unfortunate devourer squirrel that was looking to snack on the loser of this duel.


Blinking away the blurry images from her eyes, Mina tried to locate Kong but couldn't find him. Invisibility.


Thinking quickly, Mina turned and ran towards Lake Ardica. She could hear another set of boots chasing her but didn't turned back. A few bolts of lightning narrowly missed her but Mina just kept running, concentrating on not tripping on something. Kong even attempted the Right Hand of Destruction spell but Mina froze the giant hand very quickly.The lake was in sight, dimly lit by the moon. Mina could see the light coming from St. Huld Hostel, where filthy rich merchants selling some new inventions to the school were staying. Mina kept running to the northern edges of the lake, far away from possible eyes in the building. Mina finally turned and threw up a huge gust of wind. She heard someone smack against a tree.


Mina concentrated on the general direction of the smack but heard a dog snarl and bark behind her. She turned but felt a bite on her left arm. No blood.


Mina scowled. She fell for a very simple Bark and Bite spell.


Mina heard crunching grass and followed the sound. She saw an almost unnoticeable blur, roughly the shape and size of Kong. Mina used the Cone of Ice spell. Kong flinched as a blast of ice flies towards his face, his left arm caught in the blast as he tried to shield himself. Immediately the arm became encased in ice, making it easy enough to detect him. But then Kong chose to throw a smoke bomb.


Kong was too slow as Mina blasted another spell at him. Finding his right leg paralyzed, Kong used the unique Flaming Fox Familiar Forming spell.


The runes on his gloves were glowing red. The air crackled and sparked. And from these sparks, a small flame was born. And from these flames, ghostly and flaming foxes appeared. Dozens of them, all burning with an orange glow and growing larger by the minute. Mina was forced to turn tail and run towards the lake. She could have knocked out Kong but she was too distracted by the spell. Flaming foxes is something you don't get to see every day.


Kong pointed his wand and sent a few of the foxes to get Mina from behind. She had to dash left and right to avoid their burning fangs. With another wave of his wand, Kong moved a couple of foxes ahead of Mina and double back. Mina grabbed one that had lunged at her, thankful for the enchanted gloves, and delivered a punch to the nose of the other. It was an incredible experience, were it not for the fact that she was burning up. Actually starting to combust. The fox in her gloved hand was getting hotter. Mina looked towards Kong and saw him weaving more phemes and directed them to the other foxes.


Mina had to let go of the fox but found that the others had already surrounded her. A ring of flaming foxes was a terrifying thing, but Mina forced herself to calm down. Kong was trying to simultaneously melt off the ice on his arm and direct the foxes.


They pounced as one but end up knocking into each other as Mina sent herself up into the air just in time. She used her enchanted cloak to glide towards the lake, with a huge angry and most importantly flaming fox chasing beneath. Mina froze a part of the lake and her enchanted boots suckered her to the ice. The huge fox split into a dozen again. One of the foxes stupidly tried to jump towards her. It fell short and fizzled out in a spark of embers. Mina grinned.


The grin disappeared when Mina noticed a few of the foxes taking a running start. Mina quickly conjured a wall of ice. Some of the foxes fell into the lake as they smack into the wall but one of them managed to burn right through and came snapping at Mina. She would have fought it but the ice under her boots had melted too quickly.



Back in the Marchant Den of Doom


Artemis massaged his hand as it cramped for the thirteenth time. Philippe was behind him, looking through the pages. A smug smile appeared on his face.


Artemis yawned for about five seconds and found a lollipop stuffed into his mouth. Artemis turned and saw Philippe with a handful of lollipops he had taken from Artemis' secret stash. In the desk drawer.


Artemis put the palm of his hands on his forehead. And then he sucked on the orange-flavoured lollipop in defeat.


Under Lake Ardica


All right, nothing to fear. They are just a bunch of foxes on fire, nothing to worry about. Kong probably couldn't summon anymore of them.


Mina, underwater and with the Gills spell cast, was watching the shores. It seems Mina underestimated Kong. Previously there were less than six blurry fires on the shore, now there were about a dozen of them. And they were moving around, waiting for her to surface.


"I just hope no one looks out their window and see these walking fireballs," thought Mina as she pulled out her second wand. "And I just hope that you would concentrate on beating the boy instead of enjoying a midnight dip," came another voice from nowhere. "Shut up Nexus!" thought Mina.


Kong was standing by the water's edge, trying to catch a glimpse of Mina. Surely she would be smart enough to cast a Gills spell? She couldn't be so stupid as to hold her breath forever? Kong unsummoned a few of the foxes, since it was getting a little hot and obvious that there was a duel going on. Five minutes and Kong was seriously considering diving in and rescuing Mina until he saw a vortex forming quite a distance away.


The vortex grew wider and wider until it revealed Mina. She was carried into the air by a spiral column of water, looking quite imposing even without the glowing tip of her wand. Kong attempted a shielding spell but felt his movements slowed.


Kong still managed to point his wand at Mina, directing the foxes to spew fire from their mouths. A flick of her wand, Mina sent huge waves crashing down on the foxes. Those that managed to avoid the waves were instantly swept away by two large water tentacles forming out of the lake. Kong's foxes were wiped out by the water in a storm of bright orange embers and sparks. Mina didn't stop there. She used her other wand and created a large squid out of the water and directed it to throw its tentacles at Kong. Kong's eyes were wide as the icy tentacles wrapped themselves around his limbs. It was impossible for Kong's eyes to become bigger but it happened as the squid came at Kong with its beak opened wide.


Mina winced as she heard something crash into a tree.


Artemis in Misery

It was half pass one.


Philippe's eyelids were like anvils. Artemis could have tried to run but was too tired to stop writing and thought that.


In the end, Artemis fell asleep five minutes after Philippe started snoring. Quite fortunate for Artemis since his bracelet was starting to emit an amber hue.


Lake Ardica


Mina was drying off as Kong tried to get free. He was trapped in some kind of bubble; he could breathe in it but felt like he was underwater, his movements sluggish and his hair made blond by a little ball of light.


Mina let him poke and prod the bubble with his wand for five minutes before casually popping the bubble with a snap of her fingers. Kong fell to the ground with a THUMP.


He was dripping wet when Mina offered him an apple. Kong "Humph" and crossed his arms as he turned away, not even bothering to dry himself. Mina shook her head and took a bite out of the apple. "Such a child."


They both sat in silence with a ball of soft yellow light above their head. Kong was waiting for Mina to do something to him but Mina was casually eating the apple and watching the moon. Suddenly she spoke. "Tell me something Kong. Where did you learn that flaming fox spell? I only heard of it but never seen it until you actually cast it."


Kong continued to cross his arms and "Humph" again. Mina continued "I read that there are a lot of arguments on whether it's a Gates or Incantation spell. Personally it looked like a Gates spell but since you still need to control them directly I'm having second thoughts." Kong was feeling annoyed. Why is she even talking to him? She should be humiliating him, making him cry for mercy, not chatting away like two friends. Finally he said something.


"What are you doing?!"


Mina paused. "Pardon?" Kong stood up, "What are you doing? We duelled, you beat me and now you're being friendly to me?" Mina was puzzled, "What's wrong with that?"


"What's wrong with that? What's wrong with that?! I … You … Ah!" cried Kong as he sat on the soggy ground, exasperated.


He was quite surprised when Mina started laughing at him. Kong just fumed even more until Mina finally stopped. Mina was still feeling ticklish as she said "So what's wrong with making a friend?"


Kong glared. "A friend? I bullied your little brother!" Mina shrugged "And?"


"I insulted you!" "And?"


"I insulted your friends." "And?"


Kong was stuttering, "I … I … I … I…" Mina offered Kong another apple. Kong just looked at it and sighed.


Mina smiled as he grudgingly took a bite.



Oh and I shall challenge Adrian to see who can procrastinate the longest.tongue.gif

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  • 3 weeks later...

Since the Year 2 joke is getting old, here is a new one.


Greetings children, this is Three Wolfs Leoshi reporting to you live from atop the Academagia Bell Tower.


Before we return to our scheduled program, here is public service announcement: Surrender all your pies to Professor Sixt for inspection. That is all.


Enjoy the next read.



"Can you believe this?" whispered Raz. Arianna just grumbled.


Kong was sitting in their little hideout, hidden under an unremarkable tree, somewhere in the middle of Chorda heath. Mina bought Kong here when a guard who was chasing a howler monkey saw one of Kong's Flaming Fox.


When Kong had first came (fell) down the shaft and landed on the pillows, Raz sat on the couch dumbfounded while Arianna grabbed her trusty hammer and tried to whack Kong right between the legs. Mina had only managed to calm Arianna down before telling her friends that Kong was no longer the enemy and he was a new friend. Then Arianna tried to use her hammer and tongs on Kong while Raz attempted to cure Mina of whatever spell Kong used on her.


But now Raz was serving the hot cocoa to everyone, including Kong, and Arianna was lighting up the fire salts while Mina was listening to Kong's tale on how he was "The Man". The weather was horrible as a strong wind howled. The wooden walls of the circular underground hideout were creaking and sounded as if they were threatening to break. If you were to look out the spy holes, you could see the trees shaking and the leaves fluttering about.


And then you can see the fluttering of leathery wings.


Mina laughed, "So you impressed your grandfather enough to teach you the Flaming Fox spell by wrestling with a monkey while naked?"


"It was a young gorilla. And I wasn't naked; I still had my undershorts on! Stupid Dragon's Milk."


Raz whispered to Arianna again. "I'll bet you 20 pims those undershorts were gold-lined and made from silk considering how rich his grandfather is." Kong was telling the gang about his (extremely) rich and powerful grandfather and his (extremely) expensive mansion somewhere on an island close to Mineta. Arianna, in a rare moment, responded quite positively to Raz. "I bet 30 pims the gorilla was living in a space bigger than our dorm-rooms."


<Ten minutes of fuming at Kong later and the story of how his grandfather loves to challenge his grandchildren>


"Alright levity over. You promise to tell me why you wanted to win that scavenger hunt for Aron so badly. So tell me. And it better not be because you two are love-birds."


Mina gave the boy a slap on the head, denying Raz and Arianna the pleasure. Especially when Kong thought Raz and Arianna were doing something inappropriate before Kong came into the hideout. "Just because I landed on him face-to-face when that griffin knocked me down, doesn't mean we're love-birds!" Mina was all flustered and fuming for a while. Kong just did his 'Whatever you say' look.


Meanwhile, on the ground above small furry humanoid creatures with impish faces appeared around the tree. Their bat-like wings flapping against the wind.


Mina told Kong of "the Quest to Find a Cure."



It happened during their first year here. Mina had made friends with a quiet boy from Godina, Aron. Kids called him "Aron the ghost whisperer" since he usually spends time alone with his ghost familiar, Tinarrakril / Tina. Theboy had little social skills but he was an excellent athlete. He was so good that when the Cheimare exams came Aron beat all others (including Mina but only because she was feeling nauseas that day) in all the categories.


But then a week after the exams, Aron started to become aggressive, assertive and mean. (Mina: "Kinda like how you are to my little brother." Kong: "Hey, he needs to learn to toughen up and quit being a baby." Mina: <Whack!>)


From pouring milk down someone's back to pulling a boy's trousers and underwear down (Kong: "Classic."), rumours about why Aron was acting this way began to surface. A spell got to him, someone mixed up a potion of reverse personality, or he had a case of "The Runs." Tina the ghost couldn't understand his sudden transformation either, and she was with him nearly every day.


Eventually, Mina decided to just spy on him and see what she could learn. Arianna and Raz joined her for a several nights and it was on the sixth stakeout during a very chilly night that they saw someone jumping out of Aron's room from the window. The gang tried to give chase and nearly got caught by a professor. The next night, after a whole glass of energy brew and Deep Breaths spells at the ready, the gang were able to chase the mysterious person all the way to Chorda heath.


The stranger was fast but became faster when he reverted to all four. His breathing was heavy and he sounded gruff, like a bear. He was big too, about two times Aron's size.


Finally the gang chased the creature to the very tree they were sitting under. The stranger kept moaning in a most disconcerting voice but the gang pointed their wands at the stranger, demanding him to turn around and face them. The stranger growled and moaned again. A quick flash of light from Mina and everyone let out a gasp. It was Aron, his face distorted with pain. His brown hair was starting to spread down his neck, around his limbs and poking from under his torn pyjamas. His limbs were enlarged and his began to resemble an animal instead of a boy.



Outside the hideout, a monkey with wings appeared. He was about the same size as the others around him. But he was wearing a fez.


A sweet voice sounded. "Find the boy, Mr. Oz. I want to deal with his sister personally."


The creature said "Yes Mistress" and gathers the other strange creatures as they flew towards the Morvidus dorm.


Mina continued her story after clarifying a few things with Arianna and Raz, namely whether or not Raz did broke the canteen.



Aron kept howling as he attacked his friends. The battle was rather one-sided as no one wanted to harm Aron but eventually Arianna froze Aron in a block of ice as Raz tripped him with a cloak. He broke out of it just as daylight was poking through the clouds. Aron howled with pain as the first rays of sunlight hit him. In a puff of smoke, Aron turned back into a boy in torn pyjamas.


After finding out the truth, Aron started to have a breakdown. He worried so much about hurting people he tried to keep himself awake forever by drinking energy brews. A solution came a week later when he received a mysterious letter inviting him to join a secret scavenger hunt that promises the winner anything his / her heart desires. Even though it was suspicious, Aron managed to convince Mina to join him. (Kong: "You must have had a crush on him." Mina and Arianna: "<Whack!>")


The hunt was definitely a dangerous ordeal. Menacing individuals and groups had joined. Each one looking as mean and dangerous as their name. Kong was there too (Kong: "Humph!").


After a series of incredibly dangerous obstacles situated right here on school grounds that tested they physically and mentally, Aron and Mina got the last item they needed at the same time Kong found his final item. (Kong: "What was your item again?" Mina: "I … er … I don't want to talk about … You two shush!"


<Kong gave Mina the evil eye as she swiftly goes over the part where Mina and Kong had a duel to determine the winner.>


But after the duel, the organizer (Kong: "Mr. Sept, I think.") offered Mina a choice. She could choose to have a cure for Aron right there and then or she could choose knowledge of the most powerful magics in existence. Thinking this was a secret test of character Mina just chose the cure without a second thought. Mr Sept kept trying to convince Mina to choose knowledge until Mr. Sept revealed that he could help with a certain problem with a family member of hers. Aron did not know who he was talking about at the time.


Mina did hesitate but still asked for the cure (Kong:"Wow are you dumb."). Mr. Sept just snapped. He pulled out his wand and demanded Mina to "Hand over the dog-boy now!"



"Dog-boy? Is he calling Aron a weredog? 'cause that is just stupid." Mina, exasperated "Would you stop interrupting? Anyway Mr. Sept kept demanding I hand over Aron." Now Raz piped in, "Oh! Oh! Tell him about how he nearly shot you in the chest with a bolt of lightning but you deflected it with a huge Pim!" Mina and Arianna gave him the look and Raz shrank into his seat.


"Anyways. Mr. Sept revealed that he was the one turning Aron permanently into some werewolf-like monster." "Why did he do that?" "He said something about creating pets and finding minions for his sister. I think it was his sister, or could have been a cousin. He said Aron was a perfect subject as a pet and I was perfect as butt-kicking minion."


Rather annoyed, Kong said "This is the silliest thing I have ever heard of. So you could have become a really powerful mage and you gave that up for Aron?" Patiently Mina replied: "Kong? I could have been someone's pet servant. Would you have liked to become a servant?"


Rather submissively now Kong answered back. "No. So in other words you saved against a life of servitude and I have wasted two years hating you?" "Three years I think. And yeah, basically."


Kong sighed, "So what happened next?"


"Well basically we fought and nearly lost when Aron started to transform again."


Mr. Sept performed a complicated series of phemes. From the floor, several creatures which looked almost like Aron's were-dog form appeared. Their fur was sticky and black but gave way to a dull grey colour. Their fangs were glistering and their eyes were bloodshot. Mina and Aron fought for more than twenty minutes until the last of the creatures fell. Mr. Sept gave a chuckle and performed another complicated series of phemes.


Aron started to groan and Mina lost her concentration for a second. Mr. Sept blasted her with a scattering of rocks, each one bone-crushingly painful. Falling to the ground, Mina could hear her heartbeat in her ears and her vision was getting blurry. Mina could only manage weak blasts of fire at Mr. Sept until he gripped her by the throat and lifted her to her feet. His other hand was stroking her face, "Such a pitiful waste. Maybe she will give you to me as a bonus. Then we can have some … fun."


Desperation welling up in her, Mina whispered "Help."


A purple portal opened from the ceiling and a man dropped and crouched on the ground. He was clad in black. His boots and gloves, tunic and trousers, his sash, cloak, hood and mask. He could have blended into the shadows if it wasn't for the white glow of the glyphs / runes / tattoos on him. Mr. Sept took one look at him and started to quiver. He ordered the stranger to stay back as he pointed his wand at Mina. The stranger took only one look at a shivering half-transformed Aron on the ground and a panicky Mr. Sept.


Mina blinked just once and the stranger was gone. And just as sudden, she felt Mr. Sept's jerked and gasped. Ashes flew pass Mina, causing her to choke as she fell to the ground. The stranger politely helped her to her feet. Mina felt the pain from her body disappearing until the stranger took his hand off her. He then removes his hood and mask to reveal a cheerful grin.


(Kong: "What did he look like?" Mina: "Imagine Professor Orsi, now imagine him to be in his late-twenties and five times as handsome with a smaller face profile. And slimmer too." Arianna:<Blush>)


The stranger spoke in Oncestrian, which luckily Mina's parents had taught her.


He introduced himself as "Guardian". Mina was going to thank him until Weredog Aron pounced from nowhere, nearly puncturing the man with his sharp claws. The Guardian spun and choke slammed the Not-werewolf Aron to the ground. Mina shouted "Don't hurt him!" and explained the events leading up to this point. Even though Aron roared and struggled, the Guardian just casually held onto Aron while listening to Mina's tale. Eventually she finished and the man made a simple deal with her.


"I can't cure your friend of his condition. Now hold on, I'm not finish yet. I can give him something to turn this curse into an … advantage." He took from deep within the ground a simple gold thread and tied it around Aron's neck with one hand. Quick as lightning, Aron shrank from his massive form back to a gangly boy. "Your part of this little deal is to help him learn how to control the transformation. Don't give me that look little girl. You both should have told a teacher instead taking on such a dangerous de- … man."


Mina apologized and started sobbing even though she didn't know why. Except for the fact that she nearly got both her and one of her best friends killed, she could have also have made Artemis miserable for the rest of his life. Eventually the Guardian patted her on the head, "At least you tried. And don't worry, one day he will be free. I can promise you that." He then wrapped Aron in his cloak and led the kids out of the now ruined room.


"Well that's it. So … what do you think about me now?" Kong looked at Mina blankly; on the one hand he spent a good part of his time plotting revenge on someone who had saved him from evil beings. On the other hand, no wait, he also got stronger. Then what about …nope, his own fault. But what about … nope. His fault too.


Finally he answered. "Well, I have learnt two things. One, I am really stupid for trying to get back at you for ruining my chances for ultimate power." (Raz: "Fool"; Arianna: "Meathead") Mina smiled at this, "Great. So what's the other?" A little smugly now, "Now I know why you are so attracted to Aron. Are you hoping to see his you know what again?"


Raz had to cup his hands over his lower extremities as Mina chased Kong around the room with a pair of red hot tongs (as hot as her face) while screaming "Shut up! Shut up!" Arianna just laughed her guts out.





Back in Mina's room, Nexus woke up from its nap suddenly. "Here she comes," said the black cat as it grinned.

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Reporting to you live from the rafters of the Morvidus dorm.


Here comes the end of Day 1. Crazy right?


Morvidus dorm


The dozens of impish creatures, led by the fez wearing flying monkey called Mr. Oz are on the roof. Slowly he directed the imps to the window into Artemis' room. The window was still open after Philippe had dragged Artemis over to his room. But the imps did not know that. All they know was the boy was valuable to the mistress and they had to capture him at any cost.


Very swiftly, they got to work. Searching under the covers, scanning the contents of the drawers and the wardrobe, tapping the floorboards and ceiling for hollow spaces. They are simple creatures as they haven't realized that the boy was anywhere but his room.


Someone was opening the door. The imps quickly flew out of the room and back onto the roof. After hearing the door squeak shut, they descended once more but this time bringing the net they had forgotten.


A figure was sleeping in the bed. He was buried under the thick blanket and snoring lightly. The imps pulled off the blanket and tossed the net.


There was no one under the net.


The imps were confused until they heard the door of the wardrobe squeaking. They grinned as two of the imps flew to the wardrobe and pulled back the door. They more or less got their faces slammed by the door instead. A stuffed bear then jumped out and he was wielding Artemis' wand. The other imps laughed at their comrades who were laying the ground, oblivious to the toy bear pointing a wand at them.


Cuddles let loose a mini-hurricane in the room. The imps were making guttural voices as they slammed into the ceiling, floors and anything in between. Writing instruments flew and clothes from the open wardrobe spread across the floor. One of the imps tried to grab the wand from Cuddles but felt his body stiffen and then moved against his will. The imp panicked as he repeatedly slammed himself against a door handle until he fainted. Tina the ghost girl gave a ghostly giggle then moved on to the next victim.


Cuddles himself was digging his fuzzy paws into the eyes of a particularly stocky imp. The imp cried out in pain and kept bumping into his comrades until Cuddles led him crashing into the desk, giving him one heck of a headache.


Throughout the chaos below, Mr. Oz was wondering why it was so quiet and why the imps have not caught the human yet. One of the imps tapped him on the shoulder and directed his attention to the crow in the sky. The crow had glowing red eyes and spoke in a deep voice, "The master Nexus warns your mistress. The prey does not belong to her."


Mr. Oz sneered. "The Fallen One dares to challenge the mistress? Tell your master, go back to the shadows or the mistress shall humiliate the little one again." The imps laughed together with Mr. Oz as they recalled the beating the mistress had dealt to the Fallen One.


Nexus, the not-a-cat black cat in Mina's room, roared (meowed actually) as its blood-red eyes glowed in the darkness. The crow cawed once and swarms of bats and mice sprang from nowhere. They were as black as tar and their eyes glowed fiery red. The imps were drowned under the swarm as Mr. Oz tried to hurry back and warn the mistress. Nexus growled once and a spell was cast over the dorm.


Mr. Oz bumped into a force field and felt his body going limp. Not only that, the spell ensured that anyone in the dorm who was awake would hear the sound of a cat and dog fighting instead of dozens of screeching imps.


Vettor Conta, who was still awake trying to perfect his timed water balloons, heard the cat and dog version of the battle above and decided to toss one balloon as an experiment. Nexus redirected the balloon and the imps, after numerous scratching and bites, screeched harder as the balloon popped and unleash its icy cold contents on them.


Eventually, Mr. Oz managed to gather the imps and retreated back to the mistress. None of the imps left the dorm without at least a bite or a scratch on them.






Mina & Co.


Mina was enjoying a nice cup of cocoa after nearly knocking the daylights out of Kong. Kong himself was exploring the cosy hideout, noting everything the gang had managed to smuggle down here.


"Touch my tools or I'll hammer your fingers," warned Arianna. Kong then blatantly picked up a worn out brush and examined it. Arianna kept glaring at him as Kong leaned in close to examine most of Arianna's well worn out tools. "You know you really should buy new tools if you want to make some high quality stuff. Compared to a regular Vernin workbench, your things look like mud tools."


"I'm saving up to buy the new Ironfist set! Not all of us are rich like you understand? And don't touch that mini crossbow."


Kong touched the mini crossbow and accidentally launched a bolt at the space in between Razputin's legs, who was lying on a mattress reading a book on (magical) creatures that seduce males before eating them.


After a shrill scream, Raz shouted "Are you trying to kill me?! Mina, he was trying to kill me!" Mina chuckled, "Oh let the little one play first Raz and we will discipline him later."


With the winds still howling above ground, the gang was falling asleep one by one. First Raz on the mattress, then Arianna on the couch. Kong was starting to doze off on the armchair while Mina took out some more blankets.


"She's here!"


Mina was startled, "What?" Kong snorted a little, "Huh? What?" "Kong, did you say something?" "*Yawn* No. Why?"


Mina shrugged and picked up the blankets. As she reached for the cloth, a grey serpent grew from the blanket and snapped at her. Mina gasped and the serpent disappears just as suddenly as it appeared. Kong was jolted from his sleep; he saw Mina's expression and got up. Just as he did, a shadow wrapped itself around Kong, Arianna and Razputin. Kong tried to call out to Mina but she was suddenly attacked by a large grey serpent. It tied up Mina and suspended her on the ceiling.


A lady appeared. She was dressed in a very elegant outfit. Long silver flowing dress, sparkly jewellery hanging from her neck, wrists and fingers, her long flowing silver hair reached the floor and still moved like it was alive. Her face, more beautiful than Neta Xemute could ever hope to be, wore an expression of satisfaction. She looked at Raz with her greyish eyes and licked her lips.


The lady walked over to Mina, stroked her face and said "Hello, little girl."


The mysterious lady twisted Mina so that she faced her captured friends. "I see that you have made some rather delicious looking friends, especially the small one." Raz (the small one) and Arianna were trapped in their sleep, a spell weaved into the shadow binding them. "Oh where are my manners. I forgot to introduce myself. You may refer to me as the Mistress of the Grey. I love all manners of toothy creatures, especially the were-creatures. And you little one, owe me one boy."


Mina was confused for a moment. Boy? And then realization, Aron! This Mistress was the client for Mr. Sept, the one turning Aron into a were-creature.


The Mistress gave a short laugh as she saw Mina's expression, "I am sorry this conversation couldn't be longer but put simply, as compensation for my loss, I shall take your friends. They will make a lovely snack on the journey back to my realm." Kong panicked and tried to escape his bonds as the Mistress approached him. She held his head in her soft hands and looked at him from top to bottom. She clicked her fingers and Kong felt all his clothes fall to the ground. With panic and a strange feeling of arousal welling up in him, Kong tried to cry for help but was wrapped up tight like a mummy instead.


Mina watched in horror as the Mistress wave her hand and started roasting Kong over a big fire in the center of the room. The Mistress left Kong cooking over the fire and returned her attention to Mina. "And one more thing. In order to teach you a lesson about stealing from, well, people I will be taking a precious little boy dear to your heart. Once my servants bring him to me, we will see how you feel about someone taking something so valuable to you."


Mina, enraged, tried swinging from side to side. The Mistress clicked her fingers just once and Mina felt lightning coursing through her again and again. With blurring vision, Mina desperately looked for something to help her escape but nothing could be done. She couldn't reach her wand, her friends would be eaten, Kong (also her friend) would be cooked to a crisp and Artemis would be taken by this … this hag!


Then a flying monkey with a fez came into the hideout. He looked terribly beaten up.


"Mistress! Mistress!" The strange lady turned and her satisfied expression turned to annoyance. The monkey bowed before her and said "There were complications." The mistress glared at the monkey, he gulped and continued. "Two of those that attacked us were a ghost girl and a … a … toy. But the last one! The last one is the hated Fallen One! Now named Nexus!"


The hideout grew cold as the fire died out. Mina could hear Kong sighing in relieve. The Fallen One? Nexus? This ugly hag of a woman?


Speak of the evil one; the Mistress directed her attention to Mina. "So, not only have you taken one of my pets and denied me one of my most valuable agents, you have made an alliance with a very naughty pet of mine." Mina felt her head being squeezed like a coconut between a rock and Philippe Marchant's head. Her head would have popped had not a werewolf came and attacked the Mistress. A swarm of locust joined the attack and brought Mina out of the hideout.


"My friends!" thought Mina. One of the locusts landed on Mina's shoulder as the others torn apart the faux-serpent. "The master Nexus commanded us to rescue only you." Mina hacked and coughed, "Well he is my familiar and I ask you to rescue my friends!" A moment and the locust swarm flew back into the hideout. A vicious howl sounded and suffice to say, the entire tree was blown up by a column of fire with Mina's friends (wrapped up like grey mummies) carried by the locust swarm.


Then the "Mistress of the Grey" came out. Her outfit still looked as clean and shiny as Amada Kiffer's hair. The werewolf was covered in blood-matted brown fur and its claws were broken. The werewolf was beaten up quite badly but The Mistress on the other hand was laughing and her hair was a wild mess as it spread like a spider's web and attack the werewolf. Instinctively Mina called out "Aron!"


The Not-a-werewolf Aron came to her side, bleeding all over but maintained a fierce glare at the Mistress. The hag came down to the ground laughing, her pet monkey descending rather gingerly. "So this is what he intends to use against me? Very well Nexus. Let us see how things will turn out by the end of the year." Nexus appeared before Mina, "You will not beat me again!"


The hag laughed once more. "And you little girl. By the end of the year I will have you, Nexus, my long-awaited pet and your brother as my trophy. Do try to fatten up until then won't you? Or I shall have to mount your head on my walls like those who have failed me." The Mistress glanced at the nervous Mr. Oz before ending the conversation. She burst and unleashed a strong gust of wind that sent everyone flying, except Nexus who was already struggling against the force.


"It seems my estimates were wrong" said the black cat after the hag was gone. "I'll need to train you harder than ever." Having finished coughing out her lungs, Mina responded rather irately, "Train me? First tell me who that witch was! Then maybe I will consider your offer." Nexus felt angry but relented and explained, "All you need to know is that I have escaped the Mistress' clutches for centuries now until you bind me to you. And I do not intend to lose any more of my freedom. Let me train you and you might stand a chance against her."


Mina was thinking one thing. "Here we go again. Getting rounded into somebody else' war. First for the Guardian and now for Nexus." Nexus sensed her frustration, "I know girl, but this time you are prepared." Nexus nodded towards Aron, still in his were form, lumbering towards Mina. Mina shook her head, "Reminds me of the first time I fought you with the Guardian at my side." Nexus felt a pain growing in its guts, if it had guts. The only reason it had became Mina's familiar was due to the Guardian's meddling.


Nexus started to walk into the shadows, "Free your friends and rest. We will start soon."


Mina kept her eyes closed as Aron turned back into a boy, all wounds healed. But he was completely unclothed. "Thanks for your help," said Mina, still with her eyes shut as she blindly handed Aron a torn blanket. Ashamedly, Aron answered "Thank your cat. Somehow it made contact with me and then forced me into my were-form. So, another adventure?" Mina replied with a quick "Yup" as she ripped the grey mummy-shaped cocoon around one of her friends.


Kong gasped for air "You people are crazy! Mysterious ladies! Shadowy talking cat! Werewolf! No wonder people call you the Odd Gang!" Aron threw Kong a cloak to cover himself, considering his clothes were burned up along with the rest of the hideout. Raz eyed his surroundings groggily, "Tell me Kong set off my supply of fireworks please." Mina patted Raz on the back, "Wasn't him Raz. Time for training again." Arianna scowled, "Do we have to that every year?" Mina laughed, "Sorry Ari. Looks like it's becoming a tradition."


"What?! You mean you've done this before?!" shouted Kong. Mina laughed again, "Twice. Once versus my cat and once versus Aron's hormonal raging." Aron rubbed his arm; he wished Mina would say it in another manner. What Mina meant was Aron transforming whenever his hormones raged.


"By Octavius! That is it! You better leave me out of your war or I'm telling the professors!" Aron answered this time, "We can't Kong. Once you're in, you're in." Kong scowled, "What makes you think you can force me to help you?"


Mina stepped right up to Kong. "Because the Mistress wanted to eat you. And you don't look too eaten. At least not yet." Kong groaned as he realised that Mina was right. Then cheerily Mina said "And also this" and pulled away the garment Kong had wrapped around his waist. Arianna casted a quick one and caught the image of an undressed Kong before he could cover up. Mina shielded her eyes though and said "And think of this as insurance. Join us and don't expose us and Arianna will destroy the image, don't then we will expose you. Besides that, I can use it anytime you threaten my brother."


Shamefully, Kong replied "Okay okay! Just gimme the blanket!" Mina's gang laughed their hearts out, although Aron was turning red as he noticed his make-shift towel was slipping. Raz leaned into Arianna's ear and said "You're not really going to destroy the image are you?"


Arianna replied "Of course I will!" though she was starting to blush as red as the coal's in the Academagia's Grand Forge.

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Last entry for Day 1. Which means now I have to change the title. Darn it...


A wasteland. Buildings destroyed and plant life gone. Ashes fly through the air along with a legion of winged beast. The fires on the trees long dead.


On the ground, crowds of people on their knees. Their clothes torn and ragged, their wounds closed only recently. Some were common people, some were once extravagant aristocrats. Some wore the tattered robes of a student or of a professor. But all of them had the same expression, defeat.


On a platform in front of the crowd, a man and a woman. She was in a silvery flowing dress and he was in gleaming silver plate mail. Both had hairs of silver, though the man looked greyer like the ashes. Both look so happy even from behind. The man turned to his back, his obsidian eyes gleaming, his mouth a grin, and said "Freedom." He held in his hand a broken bracelet, its surface tarnished and bloodstained.


The man stomped his feet and a smaller platform raised from the ground. A girl was on her knees, her hands and feet bounded. Her black hair messy and wild, her black eyes sorrowful. The robes she wore, of Morvidus, were ripped and dirty.


She looked at direction the man had faced, and smiled that cheery and goofy smile anyone would associate with her. The man pulled out a gleaming silver axe, as long as his forearm and as impressive as it was intimidating. With the girl still smiling, the man brought the axe high above his head to the cheer of thousands of creatures around the humans. Then he swung it downwards.


Marchant Den of Doom


Artemis opened his eyes. He gulped down breaths of air before sitting up straight.


Artemis put his face into his hand and breathed deeply, missing the fading of the amber glow from his silver bracelet. He was sobbing lightly.


The nightmares were common but happening more often now, probably due to him being in school with a high concentration of magic. Artemis waited for his brain to tell him what to do next, the sound of snoring eventually overwhelming his train of thought. Adjacent to him, Dexter sounded like a broken furnace and Philippe was drooling off the corner of his mouth.


Artemis felt that he was sitting on the floor, but sleep-walking was common enough with his nightmare. Standing up and seeing the piles of paper next to the notebook on the desk, Artemis remembered that he was forcefully persuaded to write down potion recipes for Philippe to use for revenge. Destroying them now may cause additional grief for Artemis but seeing as Philippe isn't the brightest candle in any room, leaving them alone might be the right thing to do. Maybe.


Artemis sighed and grabbed his thick black notebook off the table and went for the door. He did so very quietly though, since a grumpy Marchant is not something to be trifled with. Closing the door behind him, Artemis leaned on the walls and yawned heavily. He looked down at the notebook in his hand and wondered if Mina could teach him a locking spell. If anybody else had read the contents, they might use it for much more maligned purposes. Artemis then also noticed something else. He was in the nudey.


He stood there, wide-eyed for maybe a minute while waiting for his brain to process this information and produce a logical answer. Well not really.


Artemis tried and used his notebook as cover. He nearly screamed too but it might alert a floor master. Up in the rafters, a few birds were sharing a cracker with an owl and a cup of tea they stole from Professor Badcrumble. They looked at the heavily-breathing and feather-less boy with barely an interest. "Children these days," chirped a bird. The owl hooted while shaking its head disappointingly.


Artemis remembered the few times he had that dream and ended up in a different place every morning other than his bed. And he woke up clothed too.


This time, reasonably panicking, Artemis opened the door a crack and nearly ran when he heard something streaking across the hallway. It was just a cat. From the flame of the dying candle still on the desk, Artemis saw his pyjamas lying on the chair. Sneaking over, Artemis wondered if one of the brothers did this to him. Dexter's heavy snoring answered "No."


Tippy-toeing to his clothes, grabbing his clothes, tippy-toe halfway out the room, notice undergarment still on chair, slap forehead, tippy-toe back to chair, tippy-toe out of the door. It was quite a challenge as the Marchant room was very untidy. One false move and a mini avalanche of clothes and/or books might occur. Artemis had to stop a few times when Dexter or Philippe mumbled or snorted. He even had to pinch himself when Philippe mumbled "Not the striped one! I look fat in them!"


Having exited the room, Artemis took a deep breath. The stink in there was amazing, it was a wonder he could sleep through the stench. Artemis slapped his forehead again as he asked himself why he didn't put his clothes on in there and not out here.


After putting on his pyjamas, Artemis glanced nervously at the various birds in the support beam still watching him with their beady little eyes. Artemis made his way back to his room trying to forget the experience by pondering (again) on a few things. But most importantly, he pondered on dropping out of the Academy. He could always join his parents now with his silver bracelet holding his (bad) luck in, adventuring in exotic locations, trying new things and meet strange people. His mother is a graduate of the Academy after all and his father is a … well his father has had a life-time of unofficial training. They could teach him magic and anything they missed, Mina could teach him during the holidays.


On the other hand, it would mean Artemis won't have any friends.


Artemis stopped in his tracks and sighed longingly. In Mina's own words, "You are one depressing little kid at night." Then she would tickle him pink.


Artemis giggled and continued his walk. Mina was the only one (excluding his parents) who could simultaneously make him blush and laugh at the same time. One time during his eighth birthday… Birthday! Artemis stopped suddenly for two reasons. One, a large snake was slithering pass. Two, Mina's birthday is in two days. And he forgot to get her a gift!


Looking at a typical Langsey Tabby appeared around the corner, Artemis considered getting Mina that pendent she was looking at the last time they were in the city. A dumb idea, thought Artemis. It was too expensive and Mommy would scold him for wasting good money. Artemis then considered getting Mina a normal cat since Nexus doesn't really act like one. Artemis offered his hand to the cat and said "Kitty."


The cat let out a reassuring "Moooooooo …"


Artemis decided to get the heck out of there.


Minutes earlier, Artemis' room


The imps screeched and squealed as Tina and Cuddles continued to cause them grief. The imps collided with each other as lightning bolts streak pass them or heavy objects were on a collision course to their heads. Tina possessed any imps close to attacking Cuddles while Cuddles the harmless toy bear was riding an imp like a wild horse.


Cuddles relented a little on the hurricanes, allowing some of the imps to escape. The others saw this and followed suit.


The two unlikely heroes cheered. Although it was a quiet one as Cuddles jumped up and down on an unconscious imp and Tina only letting out ghostly sounds.


They had finish throwing out the last of the unconscious imps as the swarm flew off into the night, escaping the hordes of bats and rats under Nexus' commands. Tina waved Cuddles good night and flew back to Aron's room at the Godina dorm.


Cuddles went up to the rooftop. The rats and bats were gone, leaving Nexus looking rather hungrily at an imp begging for mercy. Cuddles formed a small blue ball of ice on his paw.


"I warned you. Provoke me in any way and I will make him suffer."


Cuddles reluctantly turned away from the cat, as the imp screeched its last.


Minutes later, Artemis' room



Artemis came back to his room and dropped his notebook in shock. Not because the door was unlocked.


Papers and writing instruments were all over the floor, clothes were dumped everywhere, his books opened and the pages folded awkwardly and his near-non existent supply of sweets scattered on the bed. Worse still, the pillows were also on the ground, ripped and with feathers spilling out. The sheets and cover were draped over the desk and chair, tiny claw-like tears all over. The wardrobe has fallen on top of the bed too. Worse of all, his canteen was opened and water spilled all over the carpet.


The place looked like a war zone. Like the Campanile Walk after the invasion of the Killer Plants. But worse.


Accessing the damage with a candle, Artemis found that no ink was spilled, his Combat PuppetTM was still safely in its case, his potions (and candy making) kit was not broken and the room doesn't stink of cheese. Unlike Girars' room yesterday as Hector had proclaimed.


Artemis let out his longest whine ever and started clean up by first attempting to get the wardrobe off the bed. The wardrobe resisted Artemis' best effort and utterly refused to budge. Since he didn't have the ingredients for a potion of Strength, Artemis was crawling on the floor, picking up everything that shouldn't be on the floor. Having finally arranged his books under the bed and his clothes at one corner, Artemis collected the sheets, cover and pillows and put them at another. A little bit of magic should fix them. Hopefully.


Turning around Artemis suddenly realized that he doesn't know where his wand is. He looked under the bed, he crawled under the wardrobe and nearly got buried under the clothes that were still in there and he checked the desk drawer. He even looked under the floorboards where Cuddles usually waits before attacking Artemis in the morning. No wand. Artemis turned to the open window and started pleading "Don't be out there. Oh please don't be out there."


As Artemis reached the window, a very surprised Cuddles came flying into the equally surprised boy.The two crashed to the floor before Artemis happily hugged Cuddles and when he noticed the wand strapped to Cuddles' back, Artemis gingerly took it back. Cuddles saw and quickly braced for disaster. Tapping his bracelet for luck, Artemis traced out the phemes Pattern and Wet Clay. With the Wizard's Tailor spell, a silver thread appeared and sewn the tiny rips and tears from his pillows, sheets and covers.


A silver thread. The couple from the dream had hair like that too.


Shaking himself, Artemis turned to the wardrobe still on the bed and breathed deeply. A simple airlift spell should work. Cuddles decided to take cover under the newly repaired pillows. The last time Artemis tried that spell, all the furniture in the room stayed up in the air for half a day.


A twirl of the wand and surprisingly, a mini-hurricane formed at the tip of the wand. The hurricane slipped underneath the wardrobe and carried it over to the wall; it even cleaned up the dust on the carpet. Artemis gave a chuckle but Cuddles was piling everything on top of himself as Artemis suddenly realized that he doesn't remember how to stop the hurricane. It moved on to the clothes Artemis put at the corner and tossed them about. Artemis tried dispelling it but it didn't work. The hurricane moved on to the corner where Cuddles was buried deep under the covers, everything (including Cuddles) flew onto the bed messily.


The hurricane came for Artemis next. He ran for the door but was too slow and found himself tossed onto the bed and on top of Cuddles. The hurricane died out suddenly.


Cuddles managed to push Artemis off himself and the bed. Noticing a small fire was burning on the desk (with the candle still lit) Cuddles shook his head and belly-flopped onto the fire, extinguishing it effectively. Artemis surveyed the damage his hurricane caused and whined again. He was feeling drowsy as sleep deprivation settled in. His back was also starting to hurt as he picked himself off the floor.


Still, the clean-up was faster with Cuddles helping him. When Artemis finally got onto his bed, with Cuddles in his arms and a comfy pillow under his head, Artemis suddenly felt the need to ask Cuddles whether he should stop his education right now before someone else gets hurt. Cuddles react pretty mildly. He first got out of Artemis' arms and pulled the pillow from under his head. Cuddles proceeded to wallop Artemis repeatedly with the pillow even when the boy was begging for him to stop. Cuddles then kicked Artemis off the bed.


If Cuddles had continued, Artemis would be sleeping with a sore bottom. Or without blankets or pillows. Or maybe both might happen.


After apologizing to Cuddles and solemnly promising that he would stop thinking of quitting, Cuddles let Artemis back on the bed. Artemis jumped back onto the bed happily and immediately cried out. He irritably removed the silver bracelet off his wrist and put it under the pillow and laid his head on it. The soft bed, warm blanket and comfy pillow felt just right. The room was just the right temperature with the slightly opened window. Yes his back was hurting slightly but Cuddles in his arms comforted him with happy memories. Everything was just right for a good night's sleep.


Mina came through the door and rather loudly said, "Morning Arty!"


Artemis let out the longest whine in his lifetime.




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  • 2 weeks later...

To Adrian, From Mina;


Ha ha. Usually I put a locking spell as a distraction to the sleeping spell underneath. That or a Set-Your-Clothes-On-Fire spell.


To Mina, From Artemis;


Can't I just get a lock?


From Leoshi to Adrian;


Having a bit of trouble finishing the next part. Trying to think of a way to feature your socks.tongue.gif

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