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Prologue

Mage Knights of Aeterra
Ongoing 1320 Words

Prologue

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"You can't possibly mean to allow this!" shouted a well-dressed man to the woman calmly seated behind a thick oak desk. "One of their kind has not been allowed to the academy in decades. They aren't suited to mingle with us."

"Mr. Perrin, I have no intention of allowing you or your faction to dictate what goes on within my school," the woman leaned forward with her arms on the desk. "Furthermore, the Queen's Law dictates that any must be given a chance to attend this school. Though they must still pass the challenges to prove they are a fit match. If you wish to dispute this or try to deny this applicant further I will report you to one of her majesty's judges. Do. I. Make. Myself. Clear?"

Perrin blanched at the icy tone and laden threat. "But.." He started to reply. "Perrin!" she snapped, "This matter is closed. All I want to hear from you is that you understand me." A look of hatred and disgust briefly raged with the obvious fear within Perrin, before the fear succeeded. "Understood, Principal Ediva." Perrin turned and stalked from the room. Once the door closed and the sounds of his footsteps receded Ediva let out a long sigh. 

"Same as always, eh Eda?" a deep baritone spoke up from the corner of the room. "That pig and his filth cause me no end of grief," Ediva massaged her temples. "I am sure this isn't the last I will hear of this. What do you think though Jekcht? I am sure they will try to pull something." 

The man called Jekcht stepped forward into the light. In contrast to the academic dress of Ediva he wore a heavy leather jacket with a large two-handed sword over his shoulder. His mangy black hair unevenly trimmed was tied back in a tight knot. His brown eyes met the green of Ediva's and he gave a shrug. "That sort isn't the kind to willingly give up. Though I feel confident my student can take it." 

Ediva gave a small smile seeing the smile touch Jekcht's face when talking about his pupil. The man did not smile much and she had never seen him so happy for or proud of someone. "Well, as someone who will be having to oversee him carefully. Is there anything I should know about officially or not? I know you raised the boy for Iva, but beyond that, I don't know much."

At the mention of Iva, Jekcht's smile sobered. "Aye, truth be told I don't know much either on the record. Off the record though..." His eyes glance to the room and back to Ediva hinting to his unspoken question. Is it safe to talk here?

Ediva gave a slight tilt of her head towards the door. "Not much to say either, other than the kid really loves the ladies," again a small fond smile was upon Jekcht's lips. "If that concludes our business, what say we get some drinks together and catch up on old times?" Ediva gave a nod, put away the papers on her desk, and locked it. She took Jekcht's proffered arm and they left without much more said.

 

Sometime after they left the shadows seemed to take on a life of their own. Wriggling, and writhing until someone stood forth from within in them. It was hard to tell from his appearance if had always been in the room or not. His face was masked with shadow, save for his clear blue eyes. 

He strode calmly over to the desk and checked that it was locked. Unperturbed he held his hand before the keyhole and spoke is a soft silken tone. "Malech." A pool of shadow formed on his hand and a thin tendril slid into the lock. After a brief moment the audible click of a lock could be heard and the unknown figure opened the desk and took out the last folder in it.

He traced his finger across the name atop a student file. Ehlorence Wynter. His eyes scanned over the pages quickly as he flipped through. The scanning paused as he heard the sounds of someone approaching. Unhurried he placed the document back and relocked the desk using the same shadowy tendril. As he slowly melted below the desk into a pool of shadow a maid opened the door for cleaning. Oblivious and unaware that anyone had been in the room. 


Perrin Harcourt was rather annoyed as he stared blankly at the document handed to him by his manservant who stood cooly in front of his desk with an impassive face. He had already read it, and there wasn't much to it. He was working through the information in a solid, thoughtful manner. 

"This was all the information you could find?" Perrin said in a tone that expected confirmation as he arched an eyebrow at his manservant. The manservant bowed slightly and said in an emotionless response, "Yes, sir." Perrin chewed on his lip for a moment. "I notice there is nothing but a short footnote regarding their later meeting, did nothing truly arise during that conversation?"

The manservant bowed slightly and said. "I can only confirm that nothing of note arose during the time I was able to overhear them. I took time to briefly gather the information from the office as you instructed before tailing them for the evening. It is possible whatever was discussed was a small matter or quickly covered. Or perhaps they were utilizing some method of communicating I was unable to deduce."

"It is unusual, for you to let me down in such a manner," Perrin replied with obvious frustration. "However, I suppose I can't be too unreasonable I did insist that you handle the entire matter alone. I can trust that you were discrete?" "Perfectly so, sir," the manservant bowed again. 

"You are dismissed then Xaje, I must determine my next actions," Perrin replied with a dismissive wave. "Ah, but do send me that new maid on your way out, I need to relieve myself." Perrin was too self-absorbed to notice the flicker of distaste that vanished off the face of Xaje before it could even have been said to be there. 

"Of course, should I make an arrangement with the usual healer?" came the cool response from the slightly bowed manservant. "Eh, I doubt this one will be worth it," a malicious grin crossed Perrin's face as he indulged in fantasies to come. "Very well then my lord," Xaje bowed again before leaving the room. 

 

Perrin waited until the footsteps of his manservant could no longer be heard, before placing a small clear crystal on his desk and murmuring an activation sequence. "Report," came a harsh, rasping voice. Perrin quickly recounted the information he received. "I have some thoughts on how to intervene if it pleases..." Perrin started to say as he finished his report. "Silence." came the command from the crystal and Perrin immediately cutoff and went still.

After a long heavily pregnant pause, the harsh rasp continued. "You will interfere with the exam as we had previously discussed, and just in case you will prepare someone to defeat this interloper via a combat trial. If you fail me, Perrin, there will be consequences." 

Perrin place a clasped fist over his heart before replying. "I hear and I obey." The crystal dimmed and Perrin placed it away. Slightly nervous that the voice believed there was a possibility of failure and that he would be punished in the event of an unwanted outcome. He hated this feeling of fear, just as it was beginning to overwhelm him he heard a timid knock on the door. 

He grinned maliciously, twisting that fear into hate and anger that he would take out on the unsuspecting maid. "Come in my dear," he leered as he opened a hidden compartment and began taking out implements. 

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