Chapter 4: Colour Changing Rings

After walking through the magical doors, Kason with Harper at his side, entered a red-carpeted foyer area. It was circular in shape and had many doors leading off from it, each with a sign above it. Many spherical shaped moon crystals, emitting golden light hung from the stone ceiling, maybe three meters up, on golden threads. Kason wondered whether or not he should be calling the golden moon crystals ‘sun crystals’. He had had never come across them before coming to the college, though, and so was unsure. The guide walked to the centre of the room where a statue of a man wearing tight-fitting robes and a monocle was placed, he looked back at the children and saw them all inspecting the many doors packed onto the walls.

“These are all weak infinity doors.” He gestured to the many doors leading off from the room and spoke in his slow voice, “Meaning that when you step into them, they will immediately take you to the room which they are connected to. These ones are not very powerful and can only be connected to one room, so they cannot really be called true infinity doors. Each door has a sign above it signifying where it will take you, we will be going through that one.” He pointed to one of the doors on the left-hand wall, above which a sign read ‘Registry Office’.

The guide then set off towards the door and stepped inside, the children all following behind him. Kason stepped through the door, expecting to experience something similar to his trip through the black hole. However, all he felt was a slight tugging at his clothes like a light breeze had brushed past him, and then he was in another room.

This room also had a red carpet and inside were several wooden desks, behind which several men and women sat, talking to each other. There were windows set high on the back wall and a silver chandelier set with golden moon crystals hung from the ceiling. When the guide entered the room, children in tow, they finished up their conversation and one called out to the guide.

“Are these new students Brian?” The man asked. He seemed quite young and had a face creased with a smile.

“Yeah,” Brian drawled, “I picked up two extra on the way here, they say they lost their guide.”

“That’s fine, they must be Ashton’s pair. He sent word over that his two had disappeared.”

Kason inwardly felt indignant at being accused of disappearing, given that Ashton had run away from them first. Outwardly, however, he showed nothing, merely looking around the room that they were in.

“Well, I’ll leave them all to you then.” The guide called Brian said and, giving a lazy wave of his hand, he walked back through the infinity door. After he had, the man who had come forward to greet him turned to the children,

“The two who were with Ashton come with me, the other three, go to one of the people over there and they’ll get you sorted.”

Kason and Harper went over to the man and he looked down at them, smiling slightly. “My name’s Brent, I received a message from Ashton saying that you two suddenly disappeared on him. New students aren’t usually the type to run away from their guides, and I doubt that you could’ve lost Ashton if you tried. How did it actually go?”

Kason and Harper told their story and Brent listened, nodding.

“That sounds about right. Ashton did say that he’d gone to sort out something and then when he got back you two were gone.” He indicated that they should follow him as he began to walk over to a desk, “You two shouldn’t really have wandered off but then again, Ashton shouldn’t have run off either, so I suppose you’re even.” He sighed and sat behind a desk and indicated two chairs for Kason and Harper to sit on that Kason would swear hadn’t been there when they entered the room.

“It doesn’t really matter, you’re here now anyway. So you both need your rings and pendants don’t you.” Brent put on an ordinary looking brown leather glove and gave a wave of his hand which fluidly transformed into a grasping motion, which ended up looking like a bizarre kind of wave directed at Harper. Harper looked a little bit confused but almost immediately after the wave, the surface of the desk rippled and two rings and sky blue kite shaped pendants on silver chains rose up from within the desk. Kason and Harper gasped at the sight and Brent chuckled, “This whole desk actually doubles as a storage device,” he explained, “these things are yours.” He pointed at the items on the desk, “Each of you needs a pendant and ring. The pendants are your identification for moving throughout the college. To activate them, just touch them to the green tokens you should have and they will transfer the information to the pendant. The tokens will then be useless so if you do it now, I’ll take your tokens off you after you’ve finished.”

Kason picked up both pendants from the desk and passed one to Harper. They then fished their tokens out from their pockets and touched them to the kite-shaped jewel on the pendant. They both glowed momentarily and then the green tokens began to turn grey, they both then passed their grey tokens to Brent.

“What information is on these pendants?” Harper asked, bringing his to eye level and looking at it intently.

“They have your name, year and hometown as well as any other info the college may add on if you take on special tasks, although you won’t really be doing that for a while. They also have other purposes but you don’t really need to know them just now.” Brent replied, leaning back in his chair. He made a gesture with his gloved hand again and the rings on the table floated over to hover in front of Kason and Harper, who each reached out and took hold of one. “These rings have a long technical name that no one really remembers apart from the people who make them, the rest of us just call them utility rings. They start being really useful once you’re able to control ether, however right now they will still be useful to you. For example, they can tell you the date and time, just look at the inscriptions around the edge.”

Kason looked down at his ring and saw that metal was flowing as if it were liquid, indicating that it was just before eight in the evening. Further round the ring’s circumference, another set of numbers indicated the date, that being the seventh day of the first month.

“The ring can also be used once to save you from most dangers if you ever get into any life-threatening situations, although it will break once that has been done.” Brent continued, “It can also act as a light, and can be changed to any colour you like.” He promptly turned his own ring, which he wore on his left hand, a bright shade of pink and made it light up, sending rays of pink light shining out from around his finger.

“To make it light up, rub clockwise once around the ring’s circumference, and to change the colour, well,” He frowned slightly, “you can’t actually do that until you can control ether.” He seemed genuinely saddened that they wouldn’t be able to appreciate the joys of the colour changing rings.

Kason, who was secretly similarly disappointed at being deprived of an interesting new toy, felt that although he understood how Brent felt, he would appreciate it more if he could get a meal and a place to sleep, preferably as soon as possible. He raised his voice to break Brent out of his despondent reverie, “So, can it do anything else? Also, where will we stay tonight?”

Brent shook himself and, still looking slightly mournful, began to answer, “The ring has one last function and that is the map. If you rub counter-clockwise like so…” He rubbed around the circumference of his still pink ring, “A map will appear on the palm of the hand you’re wearing the ring on.” He turned his own ringed hand towards them, showing them that, shockingly, the lines on the surface of his palm had begun to dance around like they had developed minds of their own. They writhed about, contorting into the shapes of various buildings and other landforms, smaller lines swirled into a curly, cursive script to label each of the shapes that appeared.

“This map only shows the area roughly half a kilometre around your position and so is relatively useless if you ask me, but it’s better than nothing. There’re signs all over the place so by combining the two you can probably find your way around.”

“Why isn’t it bigger?” Harper asked

“Well the guys who designed these rings were having a hard time fitting all the necessary stuff onto the rings, I mean they had a lot of stuff to engrave. So I think it came down to either one big stationary map that would’ve been bigger but still not able to show the whole place or a smaller map, but one that could move with you. They settled on this type obviously, not just because it can move, but also because this map can also be used anywhere as long as there’s nothing disrupting the flow of ether around it.”

Kason, who had been listening to the explanation, looked in surprise at the ring held in his palm, he would never have guessed the ordinary looking silver ring could do so much, and it seemed like there was still more that they couldn’t use yet!

“Well that’s all the stuff you need to pick up here,” Brent said and stood up, “make sure you wear your pendant around the college. Otherwise, you won’t be able to go anywhere and someone will be notified that there’s an intruder lurking around to eliminate.” He said the last word in a rather sinister way, and Kason shivered, not wanting to experience whatever means the college used to ‘exterminate’ intruders. Brent walked around his desk and towards the door that led back to the foyer area, “I’ll take you to the place you two will be staying in for the next four years, follow me.”

Once they were back in the foyer, they followed Brent through a set of double doors labelled ‘Courtyard’ at the opposite end from where they had entered. Through the door, and they were standing outside another set of double doors, facing a large rectangular flagstone courtyard, with various patterns and images inlaid into the floor. The courtyard was surrounded on all sides by large buildings in the same style, some having thin spires and others solid looking towers rising out of the top. They walked across the courtyard towards the building directly opposite.

“Unlike the senior dorms, the junior dorms are located next to the faculty, mainly because the juniors use the faculty buildings a lot more than the seniors do.” Brent motioned towards the building they were walking towards as he said this, indicating that it was the junior dorms. When they reached the door, they noticed that there were grooves in the doors similar to those on the doors to the main building. “Hold your pendants in or near the grooves and the door will open,” Brent instructed Kason and Harper.

After doing as he said, the doors opened to reveal a room similar to the foyer of the main building, except this one was carpeted with a rug of royal blue. There were infinity doors around the room, although not as many as in the main building, and above each one was a number instead of words.

“The numbers are floor numbers, for lack of a better description.” Brent said, “Although with an infinite number of floors is it even worth numbering them?”

Kason and Harper remained silent, unsure of what to say, but it seemed that Brent didn’t expect them to say anything anyway.

“You guys will be living on…” He paused for a second as if listening to something and then continued, “Floor seventeen.” He pointed to a door on the left.

They walked towards it and Harper, who was frowning slightly, asked “How can there be infinite floors? I mean, if you kept on adding more then you’d eventually run out of space right?”

“Well that would make sense if this were a normal building,” said Brent turning round to look at Harper, “but, you see, this whole building is actually one big infinity room.”

Kason was the next to raise a question, “What’s an infinity room?”

“I was going to explain that next,” said Brent, “an infinity room is a room that can, hypothetically, go on forever. It just sort of, gets bigger when it needs to be. That means that whenever we need a new floor, we can build a new one without worrying about space. In fact, with this particular building, it will automatically make a new floor when all the rooms are full.”

Kason felt amazed yet again by the endless possibilities of magic, and also more impatient to begin learning himself. They then walked through the door labelled seventeen and, accompanied by the slight breeze, they ended up in a blue carpeted corridor with doors set at regular intervals in the right and windows lining the wall to the left.

Another chapter is here, this one is chapter 4. If you enjoyed, feel free to follow the site and leave a comment if you feel like it as well.



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