181 The Top Graduates of the Magician“s Academy*
Jane had been thoroughly surprised when Falla had flat-out refused to utter a word about Moonshadow or her dealings with them. The remainder of their dinner after her insistence had been in a word, awkward.
Falla had never hidden anything from Jane. At least as far as Jane was aware. It was hard to hide secrets from her considering that the wind liked to carry whispers to her ears. Any gossip that she'd heard at the Academy regarding her or her friends had been dealt with quickly, and the same had been done outside of the Academy walls as well...though with far less influencing of the Mist and far more from Rizan's mouth. The Water Magician could talk his way out of anything. In fact, most of the time he didn't have to talk, he just gave that charming, warm smile of his and the gossips quickly turned to praise him and his untouchable aura.
Jane had disliked it at first and thought him to be conceited. In reality, Rizan really was one of the kindest people she'd ever met, and the only one who'd ever been able to calm down his cousin, Fire Magician Seti.
Rizan and Seti had been bitter rivals since their youth, at least in Seti's mind. When they'd become Magicians, the rivalry had only increased, until they'd met Jane. They were from a middle class family, so while they had no last name they were generally well-off. Seti in particular had looked down on the commoner students, whilst Rizan, who was nearly always quiet towards strangers, had just stood by and watched. Seti had stepped over the line when he'd started teasing Jane's roommate, Laura. Laura was a Hybrid Magician of earth and water. As such, she'd been teased as a 'Mud Witch'. Most of the time she didn't let it get to her, but Jane wouldn't stand for the bullying regardless.
Jane and Laura, much to everyone's shock, had challenged won against Seti and Rizan in the battle arena. The boys attitude had significantly improved in the following weeks and months. Eventually, they'd become friends, and then a Magician Team.
Magician Teams were mainly used in Battle, but when there was no war to fight they typically undertook smaller missions assigned by their superiors. There were typically 5 members, and Jane's Team was no exception.
Their fifth member was an oddity, even more so than her roommate, a half-elf named Leiv.
Leiv had awakened late to his earth magic, and thanks to his halfling state, the elves, who were quite isolationist in their society, refused to let him into their cities with his mother. His father, being only low ranking himself, had no way to sway the elven elders. Leiv hadn't really been close with his father anyway.
So, instead of being trained by the elves, Leiv was enrolled into the Magician's Academy. Though, as a half-elf he had often been bullied, and had in fact been isolated from the other students for almost eight years before he'd run into Jane and her team while they'd snuck out one night. Jane, having witnessed what being caged and mistreated had done to Rassa, immediately petitioned to have Leiv released to mingle with the other students. It had been another upset, but by then, Jane was practically known for such things in the Academy.
Now, finally, Jane and her Magician Team had been sent out into the world on their first official mission. They'd been given missions already as students as part of their graduation requirements and advancements to Master Magicians. The lot of them were considered prodigies for having become Master Magicians so young. Especially Leiv, who was only fifteen, though he was technically a Magician to begin with.
Jane had investigated around Port Cresh for a fortnight and found nothing of note after her awkward dinner with Falla. Now that Leiv and Laura were here, she was hoping to get a different perspective. After all, with their earth affinities they could perform certain degrees of tracking. Leiv in particular was quite efficient at it.
Jane had heard from the wind early in the morning that the rest of her team was finally on their final approach to Port Cresh. So, after washing up and retrieving a quick breakfast, she made her way down to the docks to await their arrival.
She was not to be disappointed.
They were on a ship that looked to be of the Saah Trading Company from the sandy yellow palm tree on the sails. They hadn't made specific arrangements, just booked passage with a ship that was making its way to Rouke Island. Luckily, Saah earned about half its income from passenger transport, so there was no lack of amenities on board and they weren't required to work with the crew for their passage.
Though, from the look on Laura's face as she disembarked, Jane was positive that her friend would have preferred the work to having to deal with the three other team members.
Rizan wasn't so bad thanks to his silent and cold nature, which he displayed as he stiffly descended onto the dock. Seti and Leiv on the other hand…Seti was a hot head that was always up for a challenge, whether that be a fight or a competition. No thanks to his fire element it had only made his personality worse. Leiv had been quite reserved at first, but once he'd begun opening up to the others, they discovered he was quite the trickster when he felt the need to be.
Judging by the look on both Laura and the Captain's faces, Leiv had felt that need more than once during their four day journey.
"Jane!" Leiv grinned as he happily made his way over to Jane hugging her with a childish charm that the group both loved and hated, "Have you been well?"
Jane nodded, "I see you are fine after your journey".
"Of course," Leiv gave an impish grin.
Laura sneered, "No thanks to the-"
Seti, who looked a cross between mortified and angry, placed a hand on Laura's shoulder to silence her, "We promised to never speak of it".
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Laura sighed, then turned back to Jane, "We survived. That is all I am honour bound to disclose".
Jane knew better than to pursue such a sensitive topic. She then turned to the silent Rizan. He gave a small, almost imperceptible smile and a nod.
"Alright, let's head to the hotel so I can catch you up on the investigation," Jane said.
"How is it going to far?" asked Laura, skipping forward to walk alongside Jane.
Jane sighed, "Not as well as I'd hoped".
"The Great Spirit of the Wind and Skies is stuck?" asked Seti, "Didn't expect that line after you've been here a fortnight ahead of us and have a friend on the Island".
"The friend is sort of the problem," asked Jane, "I had all the information at my fingertips on the first afternoon…but after she mentioned that she was the only one who'd managed to come to a business agreement with Moonshadow, she clammed up about everything to do with it. I've already tried to talk her down a dozen times to no avail, and not other leads seem willing to present themselves".
Leiv grinned over at Seti, "Sounds fun".
"You're not terrorising my friend, even if it is inconvenient," Jane said, "No, this time we'll have to solve this problem in a more…diplomatic way".
Leiv raised a hand, "Then I vote we send Rizan in, his poker face should be intimidating enough".
"If we're talking about the same friend, then it's the woman who managed to con the Luthen Family out of their precious Star Pavilion. I don't think even Rizan's intimidation will be enough," Laura concluded.