Chapter 6: A Magical Map

The next morning, Kason awoke to sunlight streaming through the window beside his bed. He groggily lifted his right hand, squinting at the ring on his index finger and fumbling around with it trying to find out what time it was. After messing around for a moment, he found that it was just before half past seven in the morning. He slipped out of his bed and realised that he hadn’t closed his curtains the previous night. He looked at the weak sunlight coming in through the glass and thought to himself that he was lucky that the sun still rose late otherwise he might have woken up much earlier than he wanted to.

He tottered around his room still half asleep, feeling that he was forgetting something but unable to figure out what. After having changed his clothes, he decided to sort out the rest of the stuff in his bags onto the shelves around the room. After having done this he stood and looked out of the window, which he almost couldn’t do due to his height. The sun was still rising meaning that the barely visible horizon was dyed with a warm orange colour and the tops of the trees in the endless forest appeared to be crowned in flames. He was not sure how the same forest could be seen from both his window and the windows on the corridor but he figured that some magic was happening somewhere and it wasn’t anything bad so he wasn’t going to worry about it.

His stomach rumbled as he stood there and he remembered that there was a time limit for having breakfast. He checked the ring on his finger again and his eyes widened as he realised that he was almost out of time. He jumped away from the window and ran towards his door, the time was ten minutes to eight which meant he only had ten minutes to get to the dining hall and eat!

He bolted out of his room and down the corridor towards the infinity door leading to the nexus, cursing himself in his mind for not going to breakfast as soon as he woke up. He raced down the corridor and up to the door, but before he could open it, it opened by itself and a girl came through. She was the brown-haired of the two girls who they’d seen yesterday. Due to the close proximity between them, Kason barely managed to avoid fully crashing into her and, even as he dodged to the side, his arm knocked into her, causing her to stagger backwards.

Kason stopped his dash to the dining hall and turned to see if he had hurt her. Luckily the girl did not seem to be hurt, just surprised. He hurried over to her, “A- Are you alright?” He asked nervously “I- I’m sorry for knocking into you.”

The girl looked up at him and gave a slight smile, “I’m fine don’t worry.”

“Ah okay…” Kason said smiling awkwardly, “Well I, umm, I’ve got to go and get breakfast so…” He gave her a wave and escaped through the doorway. When he was through he stopped in place for a moment and buried his face in his hands to hide his embarrassment, ‘I should have been more careful!’ He scolded himself silently, ‘Now I’ve gone and hurt someone!’ He waited a few moments to regain his composure and then resumed his journey to the dining hall, this time at a more subdued pace.

He reached the dining hall a short while later and hastily found himself a place to sit. The menu appeared the same as it had the night before and he decided that, to save time, he would just order the first item on the list. He was just finishing his breakfast, which had been a plate of toast covered with a peculiar but pleasant tasting jam when he heard a surprised exclamation behind him. He looked over his shoulder and saw that Harper was walking towards him.

“I didn’t think there would be anyone later than me!” He said as he sat down opposite Kason.

“I woke up late.” Kason explained, slightly abashed.

“Oh well, I’ll probably miss breakfast completely sometime anyway.” Harper laughed amicably.

He waited for Kason to finish eating and then they walked out of the dining hall together.

“Alright, let’s start our exploration of the college!” Harper announced excitedly, “Shall we start with the common room on our floor?”

Kason, who was also eager to begin, nodded enthusiastically. They walked through the door to the seventeenth floor and along the corridor to the other end where the door to the common room stood. Harper, who was leading the way pushed at the door, and when it didn’t open, he tried pulling instead. Kason was standing behind him and noticed a groove in the door like the ones that appeared on the doors to their rooms, he pointed it out to Harper.

“I wonder why they lock all the doors, I mean, it’s our floor’s common room! Even if they’re trying to keep others out, surely we’re the only ones who would want to get in in the first place?” Harper said, sounding slightly annoyed as he bent down and inserted his pendant into the groove.

The door swung open immediately revealing a circular room with another smaller room of similar shape set into the wall to the side of the door. The main room had a normal looking wooden table surrounded by ten straight-backed chairs as well as a fireplace in which a fire blazed happily, little flames dancing around on the charred logs. Around the fireplace, there were several armchairs and on the floor, there was a thick rug made of a material that looked like fur. The smaller room did not have the same luxuries however, it had a stone floor and several bookshelves lining its walls; each was laden with books of all sizes.

Kason and Harper walked into the room, looking around them as they did. They reached the centre of the room and split up, Harper moving over to the table and Kason walking towards the other room which he assumed was the small library that Brent had mentioned. He was stopped before he could reach it, however, because Harper let out an amazed cry and called him over,

“Kason, Kason! Look at this!” Harper was looking up from the table which he had been examining and waving for Kason to come over. Kason hurried over to him and he pointed at the surface of the table. “Look! It must be a map of the college, the whole thing not just the however much is shown by the ring’s map!”

It certainly looked like that to Kason, he looked over the whole map and realised that the college was much, much bigger than he had thought. There was complex where they were now, with the junior dorms and the building in which was the Registry Office and then to the north-west was another complex of buildings with names like the ‘Centre for Spacial Phenomena’ and ‘SC Research Lab’. He spotted a spire-like building on the map, under which words spelt out ‘Spacial Monument’.

“That must be the place where we entered here with Ashton.” He said, pointing it out to Harper who nodded in agreement. They followed a path drawn on the map which they thought must be the one they had used to get to the main buildings and sure enough, after following it down for a moment, they found the main building which the registration office had been in.

“Here’s the junior dorms.” Harper pointed to another building behind the main one, “But what’s that over there?” He leaned over the table to get a closer look at a diagram in the top right-hand corner of the map. As he did, his pendant which was hanging around his neck on its silver chain, fell from where it had been hastily tucked under his shirt and onto the table with a tinkling clatter. As soon as it touched the table, the lines of the map disappeared and the words ‘Harper Garent’ appeared in large letters in the centre of the table. Harper straightened up with a jerk, surprised by the sudden occurrence.

After a moment, the writing on the table disappeared and the map reappeared in its place, looking exactly the same as it had been before. The same, except for now there was a small image of a person on the junior dorm building with the initials ‘H.G’ underneath it.

“Woah, that’s cool!” Harper said looking at the newly appeared icon on the map, he turned his shining blue eyes upon Kason, “You give it a go Kason!”

Kason brought his pendant out from under his tunic and leant over the table to touch the pendant to its surface. When he did so, the map disappeared again and the name ‘Kason Vale’ appeared on the surface of the table for a couple of seconds before fading away and revealing the map again. This time there was no extra icon on the map, but under the image of the person there was now another set of initials, ‘K.V’.

“Do you think the icons move around the map if we move around the college?” Kason asked curiously.

“Probably, they wouldn’t be very useful if they didn’t, would they?” Harper replied. He then reached down with his pendant clasped in his hands and touched it to the table again.

This time the map did not disappear but the initials ‘H.G’ below the human-shaped image faded away slowly until only ‘K.V’ remained. Seeing this, Kason also touched his pendant to the table again and watched as his initials also faded away.

“Shall we check out the library then?” Kason asked once the map had returned to normal.

“It’s just books isn’t it?” Harper replied sounding slightly derisive, “We’ll check them out later.” He made his way towards a different door to the one they entered by, this one emblazoned with the word ‘Nexus’.

They walked through it and ended up in the nexus area with its many doors and exited through the one leading outside.

The courtyard outside the dorms was brightly lit by the sun which had risen just high enough in the sky to shine over the roofs of the buildings. Shadows were still cast, like long thin fingers, by the stone spires and towers rising out of some of the buildings and a few people could be seen walking across the courtyard to reach whatever building was their destination.

“Well, shall we go?” said Harper.

“Go where?” Kason asked confusedly.

“Around…” Harper replied vaguely, “That Brent guy just said to get used to the college so I suppose we just walk around anywhere we can.”

They set off, beginning by exploring the building to the left of the dorms. It wasn’t very interesting and they weren’t allowed to go to very many places inside, it was all teacher’s offices as far as they could tell. After exiting the building feeling slightly disappointed, they entered the building to the right of the dorms, which had the most towers rising from its roof.

This one had three main floors with a massive gap rising up through the very centre of all three in which floated a massive spherical object with numerous smaller spheres circling it slowly. Each floor had a corridor running around the interior edge of the gap with one side open to it and many balconies were placed at regular intervals on each floor, obviously used to observe to spheres. Although they might not have understood it, it made a very majestic sight as they walked underneath it on the polished stone-paved floor, looking up at the gargantuan structure with awestruck expressions on their upturned faces.

They continued to tour around the other buildings but found that none were as magnificent or awe-inspiring. There were several interesting places, like a room that seemed to be filled with an inky darkness so complete that nothing could be seen past the doorway, but none on the same scale or with the same grandeur. Eventually, they finished exploring all the buildings in close proximity to the dorms where they lived and found that it was time for their lunch.

They returned to the dorm and made their way to the dining hall where they ate lunch. This time, Kason chose a strange looking fish with five tails that tasted surprisingly good.

After the meal they sat and discussed where they would go next, finally deciding that they would try to visit as many of the distant buildings spread out throughout the vast land covered by the school as possible before dinner. They left the dining hall and began to make their way to the senior’s coliseum that Ashton had pointed out when they first arrived because both of them were eager to see more magic, the Coliseum seemed like the best place to start.

Kason and Harper took the path which they had taken from the monument the evening before, this time away from the main building, through the forests and past the seniors’ dorms. Birds sang their songs as they flew through the sky and they saw several different creatures scampering around as they walked. Altogether, it was a very peaceful scene and Kason and Harper chatted idly as they walked, discussing enthusiastically what different kinds of magic they would see on display in the coliseum.

This is the sixth chapter up and running for all da peeps to read. If you enjoyed it feel free to follow or leave a comment 😉



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