CASeries #1: KNIGHT
Chapter Seventeen: Power Control
Chavi and Valeriana strolled past the towering shelves. The musky smell of aged paper was heavy and thick while the aisles were brightly lit wiValeriana decided to take advantage of the situation and picked up a single book that caught her interest. Chavi was merrily scanning the shelves containing a wide variety of available selections.
“Chavi, what’s a summoning?” Valeriana asked, rubbing her chin while examining a thick black book that was kept on a shelf in the History Section. She remembered what Chavi told her about Lady Seraphina being involved in a summoning a while ago.
“There are two kinds of summoning. This kind is like a tasking. It’s a huge honor given to a Celeste—missions and all that sort,” Chavi explained, snatching a book bound in old leather and opening it to a certain part. Her eyes speedily scanned the page before turning to the next. “The other is demon-related.”
She watched Chavi slip the book back on the shelf. “I see.”
Chavi backpedaled and sighed exasperatedly. She massaged the bridge of her nose. “You seriously have a lot to learn. Otherwise, if you fail, you’ll drop out of the Celestial Twelve, maybe even the school.”
“I don’t know. Maybe I’ll really just quit the Celestial Twelve. I don’t need it, to begin with. All I’m here for is to attend the academy,” she said.
“What?!” Chavi roared. She grabbed Valeriana by the collar and began shaking her as if it would knock some sense into her. “What in the name of the king are you thinking? Don’t you know how crucial being a ranker is? You’re even ranking fifth among the Twelve, have a sense of responsibility! No quitting!”
“Sshhh!” An elder lady dressed in a frilly, purple dress put a finger to her lips after coming out from a corner. Her graying hair was tied up into the traditional updo with librarian glasses suspended on the tip of her nose. “When you speak of responsibility, please mind the rules.” She then disappeared as fast as she came.
Chavi seized her shoulders and dragged her away. Before Valeriana realized it, she was already shoved down a chair. Chavi took a black book about five inches thick, slammed it on the table before her, and opened it to the very first page.
The girl scanned the first few words and an evident look of relief crossed her face. “It’s a good thing this is written in English.” Valeriana sighed. “I won’t have to struggle too much.”
“Yes, well, it’s convenient. A much easier mode of communication than the Ancient Language.” Chavi pointed to the title of the first chapter and silently asked Valeriana to focus.
“Why does Valemnia have Earth languages?”
“Or rather, why does Earth have Valemnian languages?” Chavi pointed out.
“English came from us. It’s one of the language varieties developed in the Larkovian continent. You do speak a bit weirdly, though. It’s not same kind of English.”
Her eyes shot wide. “Mind-blogger—I mean, mind-boggler. Is that true?”
“The history of human origin has a lot of complications. Never mind,” she dismissively said.
Chavi discussed with her the lessons they covered about Valemnia’s history. Since remembering historical events wasn’t a very good point of hers, she had trouble familiarizing herself with everything written down.
“The first king of Valemnia who sealed the Demon Lord to sleep?” Chavi asked.
Valeriana paused and pondered for a moment. “Uh . . . King Fried . . . erly von Sign-mond de la Rosellevine.”
“It’s King Friedel von Seigmond de la Rosellevienne!”
“Why the hell does he have to have . . . one, two . . . seven names!” Valeriana smacked her face in frustration and rested her head on the table, groaning.
Chavi looked disappointed when the bell rang. The girl explained it was time for their second class and dragged the helpless girl out of the library.
“What’s PC? Is it a computer class or something?”
“PC stands for Power Control.”
“Oh,” she said, feeling dense.
“What’s a computer?” Chavi asked, cocking a brow while looking at Valeriana with a question-filled gaze.
“Oh, that,” she said, laughing humorlessly, while goofily scratching the back of her neck. “It’s a kind of technology humans use to either communicate or entertain themselves.”
“That’s kind of weird,” she commented, rubbing her chin thoughtfully. “Our advancement concerns our magical capabilities. With means to technology, our lives depend highly on our power—which is why it’s important to have PC.”
Valeriana nodded in understanding, brushing past another student who seemed to be in a hurry. “I see that,” she answered.
Valeriana suddenly felt nostalgic.
Being away from home made her miss the old days. Reminiscing made the thought even more painful. Even so, succeeding the whole year and seeing them once more made her suffering somewhat bittersweet. This was only the first day—the beginning. The sun had yet many times to rise and set.
“You said your next class is Power Control?”
“Its main point is to hone your power in controlling your ability. It lets you discover more about it as well. But you probably won’t be doing any of that.” Chavi paused, tapping her chin.
The warning bell rang, lighting flames on the soles of Valeriana and Chavi’s feet. Valeriana was elated to know that she would be going with a new-made friend, who was obviously very reliable and informative.
“Let’s hurry up!” Chavi beamed at Valeriana, flashing a bright smile.
Both girls dashed into the classroom while panting and made themselves comfortable just as the final bell rang. They were breathing rapidly when their instructor finally stepped into the room, wearing a sharp glare and glasses.
Everyone stood from their seats and enthusiastically greeted their instructor. This time, Valeriana was able to catch up with the rest, unlike the first time.
“Good morning, Lady Agatha!”
Lady Agatha eyed her students while gingerly placing her books down the desk in front of the class. When she saw Valeriana, she adjusted her glasses and frowned. “There’s a new face, I see,” she said, making her gulp at the scrutiny. “Care to introduce yourself, young lady?”
Valeriana stood and bowed her head respectfully as she saw the other students do. “My name is Valeriana Kerrigan.”
“Hm. I wasn’t there during your duel. Well, since you’re a newcomer, I should give you a briefing about my class.” Lady Agatha said with glaring eyes. “I honestly do not care whether you’re human or Valemnian. I expect nothing but you giving your best. Is that clear?”
This was what every teacher seemed to be telling their students. Seraphina said it before as well.
“Very good, and since you do not have any special skills, I want you to evaluate your classmate’s performances and study all their capabilities.”
“You mean . . . everyone’s performances?” she replied, dumbfounded.
“I’ll leave that method to you. Make sure to include their improvement and the common mistakes they commit often—that sort of work.”
She hesitantly nodded. “Okay.”
The teacher then turned and began writing on the board. “We’ll start the lesson today with a recall of your past studies. Sit down, Miss Kerrigan. Unless you want to stand the entire hour.”
She did—with a big, loud sigh.