Echoes of Magic
Revekkeh waited breathlessly with a hundred other students of the academy. The spacious room was lined with old wooden benches that wound around and around in a spiral, so that every student could see over the heads of the ones sitting in front of them. The room was dimly lit with candles on stands around the walls. The smoke slowly drifted up to the ceiling, making the room look slightly colorless. On the floor was a small dais with an ornate table. On top was a chest made out of wood so darkened with age it was almost black. It was covered in strange symbols that no one could read. Revvekek felt a shiver go up her spine. She had worked for five years just to be able to sit in this room. Would she be among the lucky to see inside the box? She looked around, observing the other students around her. Some were fidgety. Some were wide eyed. Some looked ready to pass out. All were nervous.
The giant double doors opened up, startling most everyone. The elders of the academy filed in, with their robes trailing behind them. Revekkeh held her breath as they formed a circle on the dais. The Duke of Renshone, head master, unrolled a scroll and began to read the list of names of those who would get to see the contents of the chest. His voice was rough and gravely, but it had a kind of musical ring to it. Every name sounding in Revekkeh's ears like a death sentence. Only twenty students were on that list, and only two or three were every chosen. As every name was read, the student would jump up with zeal, and rush down to the dais.
“Edmund Rayek” Revekkeh shivered. The house of Rayek was known for being cold hearted and very proud. True to this reputation, Edmund stood up calmly and walked down the isle with perfect disdain for everyone he passed. Revekkeh glared, although she knew he could not see her. Edmund and her were on opposite sides of the social scale, and it was no secret she disliked him. She shook her head and focused on counting names..
“Samuel Richards” A smile split her face. She searched for her friend in the crowd, and found him just in time to see Peter poke a dazed Sam in the ribs. She stifled a laugh and watched him take his turn in rushing down to the floor.
“Darius Tristan.” Revekkeh bit her lip, concerned. That was the fifteenth name.
“Revekkeh Ceriss” Her jaw dropped open and she starred, believing it to be a dream, yet hoping desperately it wasn't. She got up and rushed down the stairs and then took her place among the circle surrounding the dais. After a few more names were read. Then it was time to start the test.
Each student took a turn going up to the chest and trying to open it. If it didn't open, they took their seat. after five students went dejectedly back to their seats, the elders nodded at her. she could hear her heart pounding in her ears as she slowly walked forward. she climbed the steps slowly and deliberately. she had waited and wanted this for so long. Revekkeh gently put her hand on the table and let it slide as she walked forward. 'what if i don't make it? i'd have to do the training all over to get another chance. the country needs solders, they can't afford for everyone to go back and try again.' she thought to herself. she took a breath to steady her nerves and laid her hands on the chest. she started, with drawing her touch. it had, almost stung. but not physically, something else. she glanced back at the elders. her arms teacher raised his eye brow at her. she shook her head and tried again. it felt normal now. for all her attempts at calming herself, at this moment she closed her eyes and gave the lid a sudden tug. it opened quite easily. she heard gasps from the elders and the students who were close enough to see. she slowly opened her eyes. the chest was empty. the dragon egg was gone. revekkeh teetered as if she were going to fall. sam rushed on to the dais and caught her arm, though he felt no calmer. the Duke rushed forward, followed by the others. they all started whispering and discussing all at once. Edmund glared at her, as if it had been her fault. she stood up straight, and glared back. Samuel let go of her arm, knowing that if nothing else would steady her nerves, it would to avoid looking weak in front of Edmund. after a few minutes of confusion, the Duke turned to the students in the audience and said
"may i have everyone's attention! there is a slight problem. the egg is missing. there will be much further investigation, and the Choosing will be rescheduled. Revekkeh looked at him in bewilderment. he made it sound like an every day announcement about the new horses or some such. as the student body began to file out, he turned back to the elders.
"It has to be the Nennimars. No one in Aridon would dream of it." he said
"How would they have gotten past the guards? you yourself inspected the box when it arrived. it was the same, as all ways?" the arms teacher, Sir Theodore, questioned skeptically.
"i don't know. the guards who handled it and transported it were the elite guards, and sworn under oath to report anything in the slightest degree that seemed out of the ordinary." the Duke responded.
"then maybe it happened after it arrived."
"how could the Nennimars possibly get to it then?"
"they could have someone on the inside," Revekkeh said quite a bit louder than she intended. they all stopped and stared at her. she turned quite red.
"one of the studdents?" the riding instructor asked incredulously
"it could be the answer, however unlikely. we will investigate more. don't shoot ideas down because they come from one of your students, George." after that they scooted away, and talked low enough that the students who still surrounded the dais could not hear. Edmund looked at her with conceited pity.
"do you really think the elders would listen to you? even if you were the one to discover the egg was gone? if anything, i would be more suspicious. what better way to throw off suspicion than to be the one to shout the alarm?" Revekkeh responded without any false civility,
"Edmund, you would suspect a cow of taking it if that is what the rest of your level of 'civilized' acquaintances would look on as in the slightest bit likely. you're opinion is based on previous prejudices, and therefore is useless." Edmund turned purple with rage
"how dare you say something like that?" then, regaining some composer he said, as if to dare her to action.
"then again, what more could be suspected of a commoner?" unfortunately for edmund, Revekkeh had seen this tactic too many times before. she smiled sweetly and replied in a stickily sarcastic voice as she walked away
"you are TOO kind, my dearest edmund. i must be going, though i can hardly bare to be out of your company." Edmund fumed as she walked away.
"He makes me so mad! how can he think himself that above other people? i just don't get it! how can one human being be so conceited?" Revekkeh ranted to Sam. sam just smiled good natured and said,
"i don't know revekkeh, any more than the last time you got in a tizzy about it." Revekkeh rolled her eyes.
"sorry, you know it bugs me."
"you bet i know. how could i forget" Revekkeh glared and threw a roll at him.
"ahh, sorry! i take it back. no, no more!" after she thoroughly pelted him with rolls and other things from her lunch, she said,
"what do you thing happened to the egg? it sound like it just disappeared." sam thought for a little and then replied,
"I don't know, it does seem rather impossible. but do you really think someone from the school could've done it?"
"if you can think of another possibility, i'll listen. but you heard the elders just as well as i did. there seems to be no holes in the security. they egg farriers are the most trusted, cunning scouts we have." samuel sighed and said,
"i don't know Revekkeh, i really don't. and if i were you, i would leave it to the elders. they know what they're doing. i have to go. Sir Theodore wants me to get some extra fencing in."
"fine, i'll see you later." after sam left, Revekkeh sat deep in thought. after she could think of nothing else on how the egg could've disappeared, her mind wandered back to the chest itself. how could it have stung her? it seemed utterly impossible. yet, she knew that what she had felt was real. she shook her head, and went off to do some fencing of her own.
"Revekkeh! stop!" Revekkeh stopped, startled. Sam lay on his back desperately trying to fend her off as she swung quickly and powerfully. she shook her head.
"sorry, i was distracted" she replied embarrassed.
"you have a gift for the blade my friend. no matter how i practise, Sir Theodore always shakes his head and mutters something about why couldn't i be more like you," Sam replied, laughing. Revekkeh smiled and was about to change the subject when Sir Theodore walked toward them.
"Hey, i'm glad to see you practicing Samuel. maybe you can pick up some things from Revekkeh." she and Sam looked at each other with amused expressions.
"Anyway, you two are to report to the Duke's office. we think there might be a clue to the egg's disappearance." Sam and Revekkeh looked at each other with wide eyes and rushed off to the Duke.
so there it is. and if any of you were wondering about the country's names mentioned right after the egg was discovered to be missing, let me just say that i love random name generators.