The caravan cars were stopped shortly after they entered the city walls. Cars carrying the passengers continued slowly for a bit until it reached a loading ledge. With a soft hiss the cars settled into the ports and opened the doors. Lydis slid the door to her room open and was engulfed by the crowd of people getting off. Valfafer tried to follow Lydis but he was confused by the maze of feet and the constant shuffling of the crowd.
Sensing that Valfafer had left her side Lydis looked back and saw glimpses of his fur in between people. She turned around and pushed against the current of people to get closer towards Valfafer. A few angry grunts followed with people clicking their tongues, Lydis paid them no mind. When she was within arms reached Lydis grabbed the scruff of his fur and pulled Valfafer into her arms.
At first Valfafer was unsure of who grabbed him but Lydis's familiar scent calmed him. He nestled in her arms and waited to be let down when they left the crowd.
On the platform people were lining up at check-ins before entering the city. She found the slightly shorter line and waited. With more than ten people in the line it took about twenty minutes before it was Lydis's turn. The worker behind the counter was fast and efficient. Although he looked young the dark bags under his eyes made him look older. Without even looking at Lydis he started to register her.
"Gender?" Lydis found this question skeptical but answered anyways.
"Female." The worker nodded and continued to type the information into the screen, one hand rested on an orb while the other flew across the keyboard, punching in the characters.
"Your pet also needs to be registered in the system." Lydis looked down at Valfafer in her arms and nodded. The worker pulled out a small syringe and poked Valfafer's but with it. Valfafer would've jumped from Lydis's arms except her grip held him in place. The worker drew a bit of blood and squeezed the blood onto a small white pad. After waiting for a moment the machine beeped, it's robotic voice relaying the results.
[Recognizing species: Canis Lupus Familiaris Mixed Breed, a Mutt of Unidentifiable Origins
Age: Two years old
Slyphir level: none]
"Alright. Now I just need his name."
"Valfafer." The worker typed it in and a small metal plate popped out from the white pad.
"Put this on him somehow. If he's lost without it the guards will just throw him outside the city walls." Lydis took the small plate and read Valfafer's name carved in it. On the back a dog's paw was designed. The worker moved back to Lydis.
"Reason for visit?"
"I'm going to the academy here." The worker nodded and held out his hand towards her. "Do you have a confirmation letter signed by a guardian?" Lydis shuffled through her bag and pulled out a silver envelope. Valeri had given it to her the night before she left the camp and made it clear that it wasn't something she could open nor lose. Lydis handed it over and the worker used a pair of silver scissors to cut open the top. He pulled out a few papers and looked over them, his eyebrows raising every now and then. Finally satisfied with the contents he slid the papers back into the envelope and handed it back to Lydis.
"Looks like you're all registered. Give me a moment while I print your city ID. This serves as proof that you're here legally so don't lose it. If you do you'll have to pay a heavy fine."
"Thank you for your consideration." She took the envelope back and placed it into her bag. The worker used both hands and typed the rest of Lydis's information into the machine. After pulling a small lever on the right the machine hissed and whirred slightly. A small door opened next to Lydis and out slid a card. On it was a picture of her face and her basic information. The back was riddled with complex barcodes and different engravings. She took it and made her way through the check in point.
Having accomplished the first step to living in the city she followed Zai's orders. She headed straight for the academy. Using the crudely drawn map on the back of his letter and a few directions from other people she made sure to stay on crowded streets and with a lot of people. Lydis had heard stories about illegal slave trafficking happening in cities from the other merchants and how to avoid catching the attention of kidnappers.
After two hours of complicated navigating, walking, and resting Lydis arrived at the gates of the academy. Massive black bars bordered the academy grounds which stood about three meters tall, cameras stationed at the entrance and so forth. A guard on duty stopped Lydis.
"Little girl! Where're your parents?" He walked over to her, one hand over his cap. The academy crest was stitched onto his coat's shoulder, four shields branded together by a pricked vine, at the bottom a little seed sprout with the academy's name under it. Lydis found the silver envelope and handed it to the guard.
"I'm here to register. Is there anyone by the name of 'Haven' here?" The guard took the letter and skimmed it quickly before bringing Lydis to the guardhouse. Inside he made Lydis show her city ID and messaged 'Haven' from his computer. After about two minutes of waiting a weird black mass was sprinting across the academy grounds. Ignoring the paved paths it just came straight for the guardhouse.
Lydis watched as the black mass came into view to reveal a tall woman with short black hair. She wore the same academy crest on her shoulders and uniform colors as the guard except the design was different. Unlike the guard's standard white-grey-black two piece the woman had on black pants with a white and grey strip down each leg, her grey overcoat reaching just above the ankles lined with white cuffs and black buttons.
"Is she here?" The woman had leaped over the black fence and was now inside the guardhouse, oblivious to Lydis who was sitting by the door.
"She's right there." The guard pointed to Lydis behind the tall woman. She spun around and engulfed Lydis in a tight hug.
"Oh how I've been waiting to meet you!" Standing up Lydis felt herself getting lifted off the ground, her feet now a foot off the ground. The tall woman squeezed a bit and Lydis could feel the air leaving her body. Alarmed by the color of Lydis's face the guard sprang up and tried to pry off the woman's grip.
"Haven, you're going to suffocate her at this rate!" Realizing her actions the woman loosed her hug and set Lydis back into her seat.
"I-I'm sorry. I was just too excited and forgot myself for a moment."
"It's fine, really. I was just a bit surprised." Haven looked relieved, she didn't want Lydis hating her from the beginning. Touched, Haven looked as if she wanted to hug Lydis again but the guard cleared his throat before she could mess up again.
*ahem* "I should introduce myself first. My name is Henny Bellor, though most people know me as 'Haven'. I work as a teacher in the academy for the kids in class three and up. I also serve as a counselor regarding Slyphir to students." Haven offered Lydis a handshake she shook it firmly.
"I'm Lydis Fawn. Though I'm still inadept in many ways I'll be in your care during my stay here." Lydis gave Haven her best smile. Resisting the urge to sweep Lydis into another hug Haven nodded and turned to face the guard.
"Is everything ready for her?" The guard checked his computer again and handed Lydis her school ID.
"Little miss, don't lose this otherwise you won't be able to attend school. The principle here is very strict on students carrying their ID at all times." Lydis took it gratefully. As soon as her hands closed around the ID card Haven had already swept Lydis over her shoulder, carrying her like a bag, confusion on Lydis's face.
"Wh-!" Before she could say anything Haven had already left the guardhouse, Valfafer under her other arm. Lydis raised her head and the guard gave her a pitiful look before she found herself raising off from the ground.
Haven had leaped the fence and was now sprinting across the academy grounds. Lydis watched as the guardhouse became smaller, her body bouncing on Haven's shoulder.
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