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Chapter 057: Magic Lunch…
As Mark sits down behind his desk he looks and sees that everyone in the room other than Kathy is looking at him.
“Hello… I really do just want to get the class started, so if we may…” (Mark)
Mark motions to the teacher, and thankfully he throws Mark a life preserver.
“Alright class, as he said, let us get back to our lessons. Yesterday we talked about some intermediate mathematics. Today we’ll talk about some advanced level concepts.” (Teacher)
(Ohh good, I’m curious to see what they consider advanced level math here. None of my books talked about anything other than mana, so I’m a little lost on what they consider ‘normal’ around here in other subjects. It should be interesting to see how far they…) (Mark)
“are you fucking kidding me…” (Mark)
Mark actually voiced that out loud and most of the class turned around and looked at him, and the teacher stopped filling in the -multiplication table-.
“Excuse me Mark, is there a problem?” (Teacher)
“I’m sorry. I didn’t mean to say that out loud… I really didn’t mean to insult the class like that… but I was wondering if there was a nurses office. My headache is getting worse now and I don’t want to interrupt class again by accident.” (Mark)
“Lu-Chu, please take Mark to the nurse’s office.” (Teacher)
A green haired girl stands up from the far front left seat and comes back to Mark. She is short and petite, but she looks confidently at Mark. She motions for him to stand up and follow her, remaining silent as she does so. Mark stands up and follows her out of the building.
“I’m sorry, but you really don’t have to take me to the nurses office. I just needed to come up with something to say that would make it seem like I’m not insulting that level of ‘math'” (Mark)
“Why, is this math too hard for you? I can help you if you need.” (Lu-Chu)
Mark starts coughing because he almost snorts laughing and then stops himself, but in doing so it causes him to tickle his throat in a way that irritate it.
Mark smiles at the girl.
(She seems very nice, and I really should thank her for her offer) (Mark)
“Haha… Thank you very much for your kind offer. But I am what you would consider a scholar of that subject back home. I was surprised that they were still teaching this material to adults your age. This is something they should have covered in 3rd or 4th grade.” (Mark)
“Mark, what do you mean, this is only the first year class. By your statements it shouldn’t be covered for another few years.” (Lu-Chu)
Mark just stares at her blankly for a minute and then realizes the disconnect…
(Of Course… if you live to be hundreds of years old… why bother going to school when you are 6 years old… why not wait until you are 20 or so… same ratio…) (Mark)
Mark shakes his head and then rubs his forehead.
“You know… I just realized something… you’re telling me that this is the first year of school for you all?” (Mark)
“Yes, why?” (Lu-Chu)
“Nothing. I just had a misunderstanding. But you know you don’t need to take me to nurse’s office. I would hate to interrupt their real work with just my headache that will go away with time… Oh yeah, by the way if you ever have any questions about math. Let me know. I can help tutor you. I’ve already mastered all the math material he’s likely to cover this year. But alright… I’m going to go lay down in the shade of the tree and nap for a bit. Thanks” (Mark)
Lu-Chu is surprised by what all Mark said. That he had already ‘mastered’ the material for this year. Even she wouldn’t go so far as to say that, and she is the best student in class so far.
(Could he really already knows all this material? Are the schools on his side of the bridge that far ahead of ours?) (Lu-Chu)
(Or is he just that over-confident? Hmm… Either way, an interesting person.) (Lu-Chu)
She walks back to the classroom and resumes her lessons. Mark moves to fall asleep on the bench below the tree. The bench reminds Mark of a concrete workout bench. Just at the right height for him to lay on his back and have his feet hang off the end and be flat on the ground comfortably.
Mark lays on the bench in the shade and quickly falls back asleep.
“So should we wake him up?” (Female Voice)
“I don’t know… He seemed polite enough and even the little smartie-pants said he was nice and polite to her” (Male Voice)
“Perhaps Katherine just doesn’t like him for… obvious… reasons.” (Female Voice)
“Yeah, but she seems to hate him more than most people that bother her. So who knows… perhaps he did more to her in private than she is admitting.” (Male Voice)
“Nah, she was perfectly dressed when they came in and found her. Plus even he said that he put her to bed and left her there and had just woken up. No one would have claimed that if it wasn’t true. Even she admitted that he was nice to her before and after the spankings… hehe” (Female Voice)
“But didn’t you see how he openly teased her not once, but twice in public like that? He just doesn’t care what she thinks about him. Perhaps he doesn’t like her either” (2nd Female Voice)
“Or perhaps I am already awake and just enjoy teasing people? I don’t know… what do you think?” (Mark)
Mark then opens his eyes and shocks the small group of students who were standing nearby talking louder than they should have if they didn’t want to actually wake him up. The group consisted of 1 male and 3 females.
Mark vaguely recognized one of the females because of her fiery red hair. She was in his class, so he assumed they all were.
Mark sits up and looks towards them. His headache and hangover finally having disappeared.
“Hi, I’m Mark, and you are?” (Mark)
The three look at each other and then the the redhead speaks up and Mark associates her with voice number one.
“Hi we are in class 1 with you and we were just curious about you… we came out here to see if you were coming to class in the 2nd half after lunch. Lu-Chu said you were just going to sleep off your headache and not bother the nurse.” (Red Headed Female)
“Ohh and I’m Ifritania from the Elementalist clan and this is Jacob and Sarah from the Garud clan.” (Ifritania)
“Nice to meet you.” (Sarah)
“The same also” (Jacob)
“Hello, Nice to meet you. Ifritania is it? So I’m guessing Fire Elementalist with that kind of name and hair?” (Mark)
“Haha, not entirely, but close. I’m an earth and fire elemental, but much more control over Earth. Got most of my looks from my mom and my powers from my dad.” (Ifritania)
“Are you familiar with my namesake?” (Ifritania)
“You might laugh, but the only reason I could even guess that much is because Ifrit is a character in a lot of games back home. Otherwise I hate to admit I’m not too familiar with him/it.” (Mark)
She doesn’t laugh, but her two friends bust out laughing heartily.
“hahaha… Sorry Tani-baby, but not everyone loves your precious Ifrit as much as you do.” (Sarah)
“Yeah… its not like Ifrit is well known compared to our Garuda. hahaha” (Jacob)
Mark realizes he has upset her… So he decides to go ‘all in’ with his next statement.
“I’m sorry for not being that familiar with Ifrit, but don’t worry. Garuda is the same, the only reason I know about it is from games too.” (Mark)
“HAAAA SEE… don’t be so mean to me when you are just about to get smacked down too… haha” (Ifritania)
The two Garud stop laughing and are shocked at what Mark has said.
“Look, I’m sorry, but most of these figures who are historic and important to you… are just figures out of history or mythology from us. We don’t have mana back home so most people don’t pay a lot of attention to old stories like that. We really don’t eve -know- that this side of the bridge exists. So I’m sorry for not knowing about your history.” (Mark)
Ifritania is the first to reply with a chuckle.
“It’s alright. That was more of an inside debate between me and these two than it was any huge inter-clan discussion. So don’t worry about it that much.” (Ifritania)
“Yeah, I guess we deserved that after teasing Tani-baby here like that.” (Sarah)
“So Mark, I assume you haven’t eaten, are you hungry? we were about to head to get lunch and thought we’d see if you wanted to join us.” (Jacob)
“You my friend are a hero among men.” (Mark)
“I’ll take that as a yes.” (Jacob)
“Lead on, but first a quick question. do I have to pay here? I still don’t have any money of my own yet. I have just been staying inside the castle pretty much 100% of my time.” (Mark)
“Ha, No, the food court here is free to students. Well, one meal per meal time is free at least… if you are someone who wants to eat more than you have to pay, or have a plan setup to allow you to eat more meals.” (Sarah)
“Alright then, Let’s go.” (Mark)
Mark and the three others walked towards the food court and chat idly about nothing in particular. Mark mostly remains quiet while the other three talk amongst themselves. They arrive at a bigger building than the classroom and enter what Mark would have thought a side door to it.
Inside the building is short hallway that looks more modern than most things Mark has seen. It has tiled floors and walls. It looks like an old school building built during the WPA era of construction during the Great Depression. The only difference is that there was no electricity.
Then they reached another set of doors and they opened into a food court that could have been from almost any mall back home. There were tables and chairs in the middle and different food venders circling around the outside of the giant room. The thing that amazed Mark was actually the intricate roof. The roof had a stainglass window look to it, but the glass was all an opaque. The effect was quite impressive it created a nice 5500~5700 degree colored light, that was soft light in the entire room. Mark thought about how lighting techs back home would cry seeing the beauty in this simplicity.
Mark can tell that the volume of chatter in the food court starts to die off when he walks in. People are starting to look over at him, and overall he is becoming the center of attention.
Between gritted slightly grinning teeth…
“Hope you wanted to be the center of attention…” (Mark)
“Um… Not really…” (Sarah)
“Well, we got it now… don’t we… “ (Jacob)
“Well now what…” (Ifritania)
“Now I suggest we get some food, and sit down like normal students and then hope that this all blows over” (Mark)
“I like the part about getting food” (Sarah)
“As you would” (Ifritania)
“Hey, just because -some- of us actually have to eat -food- to live, doesn’t mean you should complain about it.” (Sarah)
“Oh, you didn’t know? Tani-baby here doesn’t -have- to eat food like us, she only does it for fun and to fit in. She has to eat some rocks every day though…. haha… Which I guess is easier to digest than her Mom who has to eat actual fire…haha” (Sarah)
“Oh shush you. You Just because some of us have to actually watch what we eat, and can’t just transform the weight off… doesn’t mean you should be telling others about my dietary needs.” (Ifritania)
“Ifritania, I really don’t see any problem with your diet, so don’t count me among those who would say something bad about it. If anyone would do that in the first place.” (Mark)
As she looks at Jacob with a peculiar look…
“Ha… He’s more of a gentleman than Jacob that’s for damn sure…” (Ifritania)
(Hmm… I wonder what -that- is all about…) (Mark)
Mark sees the tension between her and Jacob and wonders which side likes which side, and what that means. Because if -Mark- can tell there is something going on, then it is pretty obvious and out in the open.
“How about we get some stew or soup if one of these stalls has that?” (Mark)
“Sure, that stall has potato soup and that stall has clam chowder.” (Sarah)
“Well obviously we’ll go with the potato soup, since clam chowder is just potato soup with clams added in anyways.” (Mark)
“See, I told you I wasn’t the only one who thought that” (Jacob)
“Hmph”x2 (Sarah & Ifritania)
With that Jacob starts to lead the way and then Mark and the girls follow.
They all get a bowl of soup, some bread and something to drink. Mark wisely gets water instead of that ‘ale’ nonsense they love to serve with meals.
Mark follows the 3 to sit down at an empty table and they proceed to eat their meals. About halfway through eating Sarah finally asks the question she’s been dying to ask. Which almost silences the food court because apparently she was the sacrificial lamb to ask this question that -everyone- wanted to hear.
“So… Mark… What is the story with the punishment that you gave to Princess Katherine?” (Sarah)
Mark continues to eat his soup seeing how long he can draw out the awkward silence in the room.
“Nothing really to say. I really have no animosity towards Katherine. I’m actually friends with one of her closest friends. I did a pretty good act up on that stage, but in reality I didn’t want to hurt her, but if I didn’t -strike- her with my full force than we would have both been punished. So I found a loophole in the law. I -struck- her with my hand instead of any instrument. And I spread it out over the full hour to give her skin time to absorb the strikes. It isn’t that she didn’t feel the full force of the strikes, but by spreading them out like that it gave her time to handle the pain. That is why I covered her face, because I didn’t want anyone to watch her be in pain and trying to handle it.” (Mark)
“The thing about Coyote was just me getting back at him for some stuff he did back home. Before and after the punishment I didn’t force a thing upon Katherine and was a perfect gentleman. I really don’t agree with this form of law. But I couldn’t go against it since I am in this nation. This entire situation was my fault by calling her an inappropriate name without realizing the implications. Honestly, I would have been happy if we could have just both apologized in private and been done with it. I hope that at some time in the future she can forgive me for what I had to do, and we can be friends… ” (Mark)
“But, I know that will take a long time… and until then I don’t want anyone to be upset at her. This is a private matter between us. It isn’t something that others have to worry about, and I’d actually be upset at others if they interfered in it. I don’t think either of us is quite ready to be ‘friends’ quite yet… so I don’t want anyone to force it… Enough ‘forced’ actions have already been injected into this whole mess…” (Mark)
(Hopefully this will cut off others from trying to use our ‘history’ against either one of us. Plus it will give her the space to hopefully get over all this nonsense and stop hating me so much…) (Mark)
The room stays quiet after Mark finishes for a few breaths and then starts to slowly crescendo back up to the appropriate levels for a cafeteria/food court.
Mark smiles to Sarah and then whispers…
“Thanks by the way… I had meant to try and publicly state that somehow, and that question being asked then, gave me golden opportunity.” (Mark)
Sarah glares at Mark for a few seconds in bafflement until she suddenly realizes what all he said and the implications.
“You’re good at this… you know that…” (Sarah)
“I try, I -am- suppose to be an ambassador you know” (Mark)
“So are you trained as an ambassador then?” (Ifritania)
“Nah, I’m more of a scholar of a subset of math. It’s a little hard to explain since you guys don’t have computers here… but basically think of it as super advanced math.” (Mark)
“Ohh so you know how to do the multiplication tables out to 25×25?” (Jacob)
Mark twitches when he hears this question. He tries to not show the horror on his face. But he fails slightly.
“Ohh sorry, I didn’t realize you meant you weren’t that far.” (Jacob)
(Jesus Christ… I feel like my headache is going to be coming back soon) (Mark)
“Jacob… I’m sorry I twitched at you saying that… but please understand… Back home we have mandatory schooling for everyone starting at age 6 to 18, and after that I went to a specialized school for 4 years and then a second specialized school after that, one of the best in the world… to study for several more years… and I’m almost close to being one of the world experts with my PhD in computer science… So I knew my 10 by 10 multiplication tables when I was 10, by 12 I knew the 25×25 tables… So the math you guys are being taught I learned almost 20 years ago… “ (Mark)
The three along with a couple of neighbors at other tables all turn to look at Mark in disbelief.
“Mark… How old are you? We were all taught that humans grow at a certain rate… You only look to be 16 or 17…” (Sarah)
“I’m 27. My body had to undergo some changes when I crossed over the bridge. The only reason I’m at your school is to learn mana and magic related stuff… which I have a lacking in my understanding of… but I’m hoping all my years in school will help me learn it fast.”(Mark)
The people who reacted to what Mark had said all now seem to grasp that he is some kind of scholar. They don’t really understand what all he was talking about, but they all understand to differing degrees that he is very smart.
“So how old are you all then?” (Mark)
“Me and Jacob are both 23 and Tani-baby here is 22. We all kinda grew up together. So we’ve known each other since we were young.” (Sarah)
“Oh, are you are Jacob related?” (Mark)
“Yeah, we are” (Jacob)
“Yeah, but only distantly. It is something like 5th cousins or something. Most Garud are related distantly like that.” (Sarah)
“That’s cool. I mean… nevermind, I mean that is interesting. I keep forgetting my local terms don’t always translate well over here…” (Mark)
“Yeah, not really it’s no big deal. Like I said most of us from the Garud clan are distant relatives to one degree or another. Me and Jacob just happened to have mothers that lived near each other who had us around the same time. And Tani’s mom is friends with Jacob’s Dad. So… we all grew up together.” (Sarah)
(Okay….. that was an odd statement… these three have a more complex relationship than me and fucking Kathy right now… ) (Mark)
“Jacob sometime I’ll have to have you have you show me around town while we let the girls shop or …something girly… hehe” (Mark)
“Hey… not all girls like to shop…” (Sarah)
“But -you both- love it… so Mark was right in his guess…” (Jacob)
“I promise you… I would take you both out shopping… If I had a dime to my name.” (Mark)
“A dime?” (Ifritania)
“Ahh… yeah… a unit of currency, similar to a sub fraction of a gold coin… “ (Mark)
“It means he is broke, otherwise he’d treat us, remember he couldn’t even afford to buy lunch.” (Ifritania)
“Ohh, so we just have to wait until he has money. I can do that.” (Sarah)
Mark looks back and forth between Ifritania and Jacob and then sighs.
“Yeah, sure… that isn’t what I meant… but I can do that… Just have to wait a while” (Mark)
Ifritania smiles and beams that smile directly at Mark…
“Does our ambassador have a line of women he has take shopping first? hehe. I heard you had a couple nurses who good ‘friends’ of yours…” (Ifritania)
“Ohh does he now?” (Sarah)
“Not just one but ‘a couple’ nurses… that’s pretty impressive man…” (Jacob)
“Haha… Nah… they are just friends. I owe one of them a lot for being so kind when I woke up and helping me when I couldn’t move and some other stuff. However, they both had to go to the plague lands for work. So I’m just going to try and wait until they are back to surprise them with some gifts for taking so much time to help me when I first got here.” (Mark)
(They look unconvinced… ) (Mark)
“Besides, I have a Fi… umm… let’s just call it something close to a pre-mate back home. Someone I’m sworn to. ” (Mark)
“Ohh, Mark has a nice human girl back home. That’s sweet. So she doesn’t mind you having ‘friends’ while you are here? Hehe” (Sarah)
“I can have an unlimited number of friends, and I’m not looking for a -friend- like you are thinking right now anyways. So it doesn’t matter. But either way… she doesn’t mind if I would have a -friend- or -friends- if I wanted.” (Mark)
“Aww Mark is no fun… we can’t even tease him…” (Sarah)
“Sorry… I just want to focus on my mana and magic now. Plus I don’t want anyone approaching me for the wrong reasons. So I’m fine with friends, but I need to focus on my mana… and learn how to use these damn elements that I have. Because right now all I can do is shape mana into some basic shapes.” (Mark)
“Ohh so you have two Elements? That’s quite good. which two?” (Jacob)
“Is it a secret that I shouldn’t be admitting to in public like right now?” (Mark)
“Haha, No. Nothing like that. It becomes public knowledge after you are seen practicing them anyways. So it doesn’t matter. Like I’m Wind and Gravity, as is Sarah, but she also has fire. Let alone our little Earth Fire Elemental friend here… So, what are you?” (Jacob)
“You made an assumption. I have three elements, Earth, Fire, and Wind… Though not that I could -really- tell you what that meant exactly” (Mark)
“That means you are really lucky. Three base elements like that is really strong together and quite hard to get.” (Ifritania)
“I guess, I really don’t know much about it Elder Healer said it had good synergy, but honestly other than just random guesses I couldn’t tell you exactly what that means.” (Mark)
“Well, I can tell you that since I have both earth and fire, that earth works well for defense and fire is good for offense. These two can tell you about wind, and Sarah about wind and fire…. Actually… we may be able to help each other… we can help you with your elements if you help us with our math… hehe” (Ifritania)
“Hmm… I don’t know… how much does a magic tutor make… because I’d get paid several gold coins an hour for tutoring math back home… “ (Mark)
Mark replies with a grin and a tone that lets them know he is kidding.
“Ha… me and Jacob are good when it comes to wind magic, but almost no one can even come close to an elemental when it comes to their main element. So I think Tani-Baby here should count enough with her earth magic for us too. hehe” (Sarah)
“Sure, that sounds fair enough. Just don’t expect me to show up to class when math is being taught. Or expect me to sleep during it. One of the two. Speaking of… please tell me we don’t have math after this…” (Mark)
“Nah we always have mana and magic in the afternoons and in the mornings we have math every other day, opposite of writing and reading. So later we have mana” (Sarah)
(Jacob doesn’t say much… Wonder if it is because these two usually speak up first… or if he’s actually just quiet) (Mark)
“Ohh that’s good. I would have just gone home if there was more intro math like that.” (Mark)
“Let’s get out of here then if you all are done too.” (Mark)
“Why not, let’s head back early to class so we don’t have to rush, that’s all.” (Mark)
“Why would we head back now? We still have plenty of time before class starts.” (Jacob)
“Well it’s not like it matters where we wait, plus I’d rather not have to rush right before class.” (Mark)
Mark takes his trash and throws it away and then waits for the other three to follow him. They soon follow and the group leaves to go back to the classroom.
Author note: For those that aren’t aware: light is measured in ‘kevlin degrees’ when talking about the color of the light… 5700 is ‘daylight’ lamps The light produced by them is ‘white’ vs the ‘yellow’ light of normal bulbs. Normal bulbs are called “warm” because they produce yellow light ‘like’ a ‘warm and inviting fire’, “warm” light is actually white light… And they call “daylight” as “cool” light… despite it being higher temp to create light that color…. (It can be confusing until you understand it, took myself a few dozen minutes in a store looking at light bulbs to realize the marketing term they use… are basicall backwards) http://www.3drender.com/glossary/colortemp.htm