“Ah! Hey, wait up!” Lakshman called to them as they kept walking ahead.
“What?” Marcia asked without glancing around at him.
“Y-You’re walking too fast!” Lakshman told her while trying to walk at the same pace.
“If you have a problem keeping up, then walk faster!” Mercia said coldly.
“Ah!” Lakshman said and he looked a bit hurt.
Venezuela looked at him and smiled which caused his heart to flutter. Looking up close, had to admit she was the most beautiful girl he had ever seen. If her beauty was compared with Ondine’s, he would have trouble giving a strong verdict.
Venezuela suddenly leaned closer to him and he flinched reflexively. Then he heard her whisper “Please don’t mind her. Mercia is my guard and is always on high alert.”
“Oh, I see. Now it makes sense,” Lakshman said and he nodded in understanding.
He remembered back to yesterday when she was trying to defend the princess. Despite having trouble holding her towel right, she still persevered to protect the princess. He admired her courageous actions, but disliked her unwomanly behaviour.
“I have a feeling she’s more like a man than a woman…” he said in a low voice.
Mercia suddenly came to a full stop and turned to glare at him.
“What did you say?!” she demanded menacingly.
Lakshman quickly brought his hands up in front of him and quickly said “I didn’t say anything! I didn’t say anything at all! You heard nothing!”
She glared at him for a moment before making an “Hmph!” sound and continuing to walk on.
Lakshman breathed out in relief and walked after her.
“I think it’s best if I be quiet from here on,” Lakshman muttered and it caused Venezuela to chuckle.
Lakshman followed them down the stairs and walk along the first floor. As they passed, he saw rooms that looked empty which were full of chairs, tables and other instruments he had never seen before.
“We’re here,” Venezuela said as they came to stop outside a door.
Mercia slid the door open and entered. She was followed in by Venezuela and Lakshman. When he entered, he immediately turned and saw around sixteen students sitting behind desks. They were all girls and they were talking to each other with happy expressions on their faces.
At that moment, the girls noticed them enter. In an instant, there was a cry of “Princess!”
The girls began squealing in their girlish manner that it made Lakshman’s head hurt. Then the teacher, who was also a woman, loudly said “Quiet!”
Venezuela bid him goodbye and walked to her desk, Mercia walked to her desk without saying anything to him. He nodded his thanks and walked over to the teacher’s desk and felt all eyes on him. With the deepened concentration, he could hear them whispering behind his back
“But didn’t he save the princess?”
“Yeah. The princess was very worried.”
“Oh yeah. She was when they took him away.”
“Does that mean he’s not a pervert?”
Hearing all that, Lakshman thought “Ugh…”
“What is it?” the teacher asked him when she noticed him standing in front of her desk.
“Um… I don’t know where to sit,” he asked nervously.
“Just go sit at the back, why don’t you?” the teacher suggested.
Lakshman straightened up and looked around. He looked around the room for an empty seat, but all he could see were curious looks directed at him. Then he saw an empty desk at the back and picked it the spot to sit at.
“So many girls…” Lakshman thought in awe as he passed girl after girl when he walked up to the back of the room and sat down.
The room were full of girls. There were girls on his left, there were girls on his right and there were girls in front of him. Fortunately, there’s nothing behind him because there was a wall there.
In his short life, Lakshman only had to content with four girls which increased by two with the birth of his sisters. He had never had the chance to mix with too many girls and it made him feel a bit nervous.
Lakshman could see the girls glancing back at him curiously. He tried his best to avoid their gazes by staring at the desk. It was a solid metallic desk with nothing interesting about it and he quickly got bored staring at it.
Just then, their teacher said “Now I’m going to call out your name. Either say ‘here’ or ‘present’ and be polite about it!”
She looked around at them and silence fell quickly. Then she nodded in satisfaction and, looking down at the sheet with the list of their names, she began calling out their names.
One by one, the teacher called out the student’s names and the students replied with a loud “Here” or “Present.” Finally, as if he was dead last, Lakshman’s name finally got called with difficulty.
“Lak… Las… Uh… How do you pronounce your name, boy at the back?”
“Eh?” Lakshman said and he stood up much to the surprise of everyone.
As the girls giggled, the teacher asked “How do you pronounce your name?”
“Oh. It’s Lakshman. Lakshman Chand, miss,” he told her clearly.
She nodded and said “I see. Laxman Ready then.”
Lakshman looked surprised by her pronunciation of his name and he muttered “Its Lakshman Chand…”
He sat back down unhappily, not understanding why the teacher pronounced his name like that. A name is something that identified who they are and he did not like the way she changed how it is pronounced.
Once she was done with the paper, she rose to her feet and silence fell again. Then she began to talk to them about her lesson.
“This is the Magic Theory and, although it is primarily learning about how it works, I expect you all to understand full well how the Magic Force works. By now you all should have witnessed it in action when your parents or relatives or guardians or people nearby used it.”
A few heads nodded at her words and she continued speaking.
“But is that it? From what we know, is Magic Force simply executing magic spells and such?”
At that moment, someone raised their hand and the teacher pointed at her.
“The Magic Force is the release of power in a way that affects the natural substance. It can be physical substance or non-physical substance that could be seen, felt, touched and heard.”
“That’s exactly right! It affects anything and everything around you, but if that’s the case, why do you need to use chants? Magic words? Why couldn’t we just use Voiceless Incantations?”
Another student, sitting near Lakshman, said “It’s because it requires a wild concentrated mind and a strong visualisation of what you what the magic to do and how it will perform.”
“That’s exactly right! Yes… Most magicians below the rank of Sage often find it very difficult to focus their minds. So they often rely on long winded Magic Words to execute their Magic Spells. Although it strengthens the spell, it can be slow and often easily countered.”
Like that, the lesson went on for another one hour. The students just sat there and listened while occasionally answering her questions. It looked like the teacher was testing the knowledge his students already know or that was how Lakshman thought her manner of lesson was.
Then the bell rang which indicated the end of lesson.
“Is it that time already? Well…! I expect all of you to bring in your books from tomorrow if you haven’t today! Class dismissed!” the teacher said and the girls cheered.
The teacher left after closing her folder and slinging a carrying bag over her shoulders. Lifting their bags from under their chairs, the students followed her out of the door. Lakshman was surprised to see the bags and suddenly realised he does not have any books or writing utensils with him. That also reminded him to go and see Ondine, Tetra, Emilia and Cantia.
Deciding to go see them, he rose to his feet and headed for the door.
“Lakshman. I would like to have a word with you please,” Venezuela suddenly told him.
“Oh… What is it, princess?” Lakshman asked when he stopped and turned to look at her.
“Um… I deeply apologise for the treatment our fellow classmates and our teacher showed you today. I will do my utmost to tell them about the misunderstanding,” she told him earnestly.
Lakshman looked flustered and said “Ah. No. It’s okay. I’m sure it’ll die down soon enough. You don’t have to waste your time going around to convince people.”
“No! I’m the Student Council President and it’s my duty to correct the mistakes of the students! Now please excuse me as I have work to be done,” she said and then she bowed before leaving through the door.
Lakshman watched her go with a surprised expression on his face. Then he jumped when he suddenly felt the presence of someone behind him. Turning around, he was startled to see Mercia standing there.
“W-What do you want with me, Mercia?” he asked instantly in a nervous voice.
She looked at him seriously and said “Please don’t cause trouble for the princess, alright? She is the one who will take over the throne of Floria Kingdom in the future! The princess doesn’t need a lousy fool like you causing trouble for her!”
“U-Um…? I really wouldn’t do anything to harm her…” Lakshman said nervously.
“Seriously! If something happens, I will skin you alive, I will skin you alive! You got that?!” she said and she glared menacingly at him.
“Nope! I won’t do anything! I sweat I won’t!” Lakshman said with his hands raised in surrender.
She nodded at him and left through the open door. Lakshman stared after her and breathed out in relief. He suddenly realised he felt really tired even though he did not do much that day. Then he shook his head to clear away recent encounter and decided to go look for Ondine, Tetra, Emilia and Camila.
Lakshman left the room and, a few minutes later, exited the building. He looked into the distance and saw the boy’s dormitory, but was not where he wants to go. Then he started looked around for a sign of where he could find the girl’s dormitory.
Just then, he noticed a guard walking by. Thinking he might know where it is, he ran up to speak with him.
“Sir. Do you know where the girl’s dormitory is?” Lakshman asked the guard.
The guard instantly became suspicious and asked him “Why do you want to go there?”
Lakshman suddenly realised his actions might seem suspicious and he hoped the guard will believe him.
“I want to see four girls, but I don’t know where they are right now.”
“Then why don’t you just use the Telepathically Communication System?”
“Are you aware of the Connect and Disconnect?”
“Well… Just use ‘Connect to’ and then whoever you wish to speak to, but make sure to say their name right. Otherwise, you might end up connecting to the wrong person,” the guard warned him.
“Ah! Alright then. I guess I’ll just contact them and get in touch with them like that. Thanks, mister!” Lakshman said brightly. Then he said “Warp” before disappearing in a whirl of colours.
The guard saw him disappear and shook his head in wonder.
“Kids these days sure are energetic,” he muttered before continuing his walk.