Multifold Manus Chapter 12

	A devilish grin spread across the purple imp's face. A sigil had been drawn on an isolated path on the south part of campus. Rita McKenzie grinned from ear to ear as she excitedly waited for a new victim for her little prank. She sat on a thick tree branch a few yards up from the path, hidden from view as she stared down at her trap. The look on the face of the unlucky soul to come down this path would be priceless, her tail flicking back and forth in anticipation. Within a few moments the imp found herself bored, waiting and waiting until finally someone turned the corner. She eyed them for a moment before a sudden realization hit her. It was Galahad and that gnomish woman. They were headed right for her trap! It would be exciting, but the duelist's arm– but what if the gnome sprung the trap instead, no no, too risky! Rita came to a quick decision and leapt down from her hiding spot, avoiding her trap as she sauntered over to the two.
"Mister Galahad Loxley, to what do I owe this pleasure?" She said with feigned seriousness accompanied by her grin. The duelist smiled back but the gnome frowned, her eyes staring daggers at the imp. 
"Hello, Rita. I was actually looking for you," Said Galahad, "Your housemates told me I'd find you somewhere around here."
The imp sneakily used her foot to dispel her trap, "And you have! So what's up?"
	“Well,” Galahad adjusted his arm and glanced down at the gnome, “I was talking to my house, now that I’m on the council, I was asked to talk to you.”
	“And you are! Is that all?” She cheekily asked.
	“This isn’t gonna work,” The gnome grumbled. 
	The duelist rolled his eyes, “Look. We can't have you pranking our students, Rita. It's getting in the way of their studies as well as damaging their property.”
	“I am just adding some much needed excitement to the lives of a bunch of eggheads. Honestly, Galahad, did you have to join such a boring house? Oh, if you’re on the council, maybe you can breathe some life into those nerds!”
	“Boring!?” The gnome was taken aback, “We are focused on our schooling unlike you!”
Galahad put a hand on the gnome's shoulder, "Relax, Suzie. Let’s not get off topic. Why don't we make a deal? I owe you my thanks for your help with the duels, so what can I offer you in return?"
Rita thought it over for a moment, her wings fluttering at the thought. What could he offer her? She looked over his bandaged and slung arm, the first obstacle for any reasonable or unreasonable demands she might have had. Pranking him now with anything like her last trap might hurt him further and on top of that get her expelled. She looked at the gnome who scowled back, she would miss pranking that little sack of potatoes and others like her, so whatever she asked for had better be worth it.
"Come on, Galahad, this is a waste of time," Suzie hissed under her breath. 
Galahad gently pat his good hand on her shoulder, "I can handle this if you have things to do," He replied. His stubbornness in his condition only made the gnome feel guilty. She sighed and resolved herself to stay, watching the wheels turn in Rita's head with a grimace.
"I got it!" Rita exclaimed, pounding her fist into her open hand. "I'll stop messing with your underclassmen on one condition, Mister Loxley," She gave a wicked smile, pausing to wait for his reaction. She could see the gnome squirming behind him, but Suzie held her tongue. Galahad smiled back, which only mystified Rita.
"Name your price, Miss McKenzie," he matched her tone in reply. 
"I will allow you to heal that arm first. Afterwards, Galahad, you will become my single most valuable target,” Her lips contorted into the most devilish of grins, “All of my pranks will be played on you and you alone. My housemates, those of whom will listen, will also focus on you if they wish to prank anyone in House Egghead,” The imp laid out her rules smugly.
Galahad nodded, "I'll agree on one condition. I’m not going to make it easy for any of you. Any spell that I can break, reverse or retaliate, I will. If I can simply avoid it, I’ll do that too."
"Ohoho–o, that just makes it more exciting," Rita snickered at the thought, not only would she get another shot at pranking Galahad, she would get to see her housemates' faces should he outplay them.
"We'll be extra sneaky, so you better be on your guard!"
"Good. The sneakier the better, I could use the practice," The duelist smirked.
"You're going to turn this campus into a warzone…" Suzie grumbled, “You better not let campus security catch you.”
"They've never caught me before!" Rita proudly proclaimed, “And they NEVER will! Be ready Galahad, for as soon as that arm is healed, you will be the target of many a nefarious prank.”
	“I’m looking forward to it, Rita. Suzie, we should probably go before she decides she doesn’t want to wait,” Galahad smirked as he led the gnome away.
	“Right… uh, bye, Rita,” The gnome offered a tiny wave to the minute imp who returned the gesture.
	Rita grinned before cloaking herself in the shroud of an invisibility spell. She had much to do. Studying Galahad’s movements was the first one. Next, new and more ingenious pranks that she would brainstorm with her house members. Then the waiting game would begin. 

	. . . . .

	“Thanks for meeting with me, Sophia.”
	The cat-witch slouched in her seat. She was a little upset that this was the only person that would listen to her, “Of course,” She mewled, her ears drooping slightly.
	The journalist across from her looked over her notes. The sounds of the busy cafeteria on a Thursday evening set the stage for their interrogation. Bright lights overhead cast shadows across the cat-woman’s face from the wide brim of her hat. Carly on the other hand was practically glowing ever since Sophia had mentioned she had a story to tell. She looked much too giddy for such a serious subject, Sophia told herself.
	“Now then,” Carly cleared her throat, “About two weeks ago you submitted a report to campus security. Correct?”
	“Yes. I did.”
	“And what was it you described?” Carly prodded, placing her recorder closer to the cat-witch while she took the pen to her notepad.
	She saw the cat’s ears twitch as she tried to recall the waking nightmare, “I had just come back from town where my House had partied late into the night– it was the night after the last duels you see. I had taken care of a few things, and I was one of the last to return to the academy grounds. It was rainy, dark, and I caught the scent and feeling of something… off. I teleported myself into the lab building to watch the path below. A… horrid shadow came from the woods. There was blood, which they washed off with a spell, a mask to cover their face, and a dark cloak hiding the rest of them. I-I teleported down to confront them and they had already vanished into the night. I feared for the worst, but I haven’t heard anything about missing persons on campus.”
	“Blood?” Carly furiously took notes, “A killer? Murderer? Hunter?” She paused as a smirk spread across her lips, “The Butcher! The Butcher of Fairgarland, on the prowl on a rainy night! Coming from the woods where–”
	“You’re not taking this seriously at all!” Sophia balked in disbelief, “There could be a killer on this campus right now, and you are GRINNING ear to ear!”
	“I AM taking this seriously," Carly protested, "But look at this from my perspective. If this is real, which I doubt,” A scoff came from the journalist’s mouth, “Then this is a wild scoop. More people will be on the lookout for the Butcher, people will be prepared for it if they're smart, and maybe someone will catch him! The campus will be that much safer with the story out."
Sophia's ears fell back at the thought of anyone confronting said Butcher, "I-I suppose, but what if people panic–"
"If it’s not real," Carly interjected, "most likely just the exhausted hallucinations of a hungover witch, it will make an interesting addition to our upcoming short fiction block. I’m leaning more towards fiction, knowing who your mother is. A wild old looney with too much money. Her daughter is much the same.”
	“How dare you. My mother–”
	“E-excuse me?” A voice interrupted the two. A meek looking, short goblin woman with a cat-like mouth nervously wrung her hands together, “The thing you’re talking about…”
	“The Fairgarland Butcher?” Carly sighed dejectedly, “No need to worry about it. It’s nothing more than the inane ramblings of–”
	“I believe her,” The goblin interrupted again, “My brother told me the same thing even before the duels. I-I didn’t believe him but…”
	Sophia looked from the goblin with her mouth slightly agape to Carly. Carly had stars in her eyes before furiously scribbling down the details, “Sit down. What’s your name?”
	“Rald.”
	“Damn goblin names,” Carly sighed, “So what did your brother tell you?”
	“Uh, it wasn’t much. The semester had just started, I found him passed out in a bush on a rainy night, he started rambling about blood and a cloaked figure. I-I shut him down and… slapped him,” She sighed, her breath filled with regret, “I should have listened to him.”
	Sophia’s tail flicked, “So, now what?”
	“Well, I could run the story, but there’s not a lot to go off of,” Carly grumbled, “I could embellish it. I need to interview your brother.”
	“We’re talking about a supposed murderer!” Rald hissed as she leaned in, “We are putting all of our lives in danger– YOU are putting all of our lives, and my brother’s, if you publish this.”
	Carly paused for a moment, it was as if the brain fog had finally lifted slightly. She was no longer only thinking about the scoop, the threat of death finally creeped into her mind as she continued thinking about it, “Right. But. Imagine the story if WE stop the Butcher!”
	“You cannot be serious,” Sophia rubbed her face.
	“Just the three of us? We should be involving the police!” Rald growled.
	“Now, now. No need to be hasty. There are three of us, plus the goblin’s brother, and one Butcher,” Carly decided, “We become heroes, we stop the Butcher, and most importantly: I publish my story. Win-win-win!”
	“Oh my lord. You are serious,” Grief was the only thing in Sophia’s voice.
	“Doesn’t your mom have connections?” Carly quickly continued, “Like, big hero connections?”
	Rald knit her brow, “You mean the ‘big eight,’ right?”
	Sophia rolled her eyes, “Yes. The ‘big eight’ group of heroes and adventurers. The ones that stopped the second Cataclysm from happening. Stopped Sol Eater and all that. My grandmother funded them and my mother learned from Arthur Maximillion. I have met them a few times at parties my grandmother has thrown.” 
	Rald’s eyes grew wide, “You know Shine Bolt-Wrench!?” She gasped, “I wanted to study technomancy because of her!”
	The cat-witch nodded slowly, “Yes. I know the mother-goblin of modern technomancy,” She sighed, “But I do not want to involve them.”
"Why not?" Carly questioned, "This is serious!"
"Because if the campus security won't take this seriously, why would they?"
"You should still try," The goblin grumbled.
"I will, but I already know their answer, 'You should be able to handle it,' or 'we have bigger problems right now, like war brewing in the east!'" Sophia put on mocking voices for conversations she had had many times before.
	“Fi–iine,” Carly scratched off a few headlines like ‘FAMOUS HEROES TAKE DOWN THE BUTCHER OF FAIRGARLAND,’ “So now what?”
“Well, we haven’t heard of any missing persons, right? We could try to investigate it, figure out what exactly is going on,” Rald suggested, “But we really should keep this under wraps. If the Butcher knows we’re onto them, they could skip town and start again somewhere else.”
Sophia took off her big hat and ran her clawed fingers through her hair, “Agreed. But if there are no missing persons at Fairgarland. Who is the Butcher, well, butchering?”
	“More field research is required,” Carly deduced as she started to write in another journal, “I need to see him, see where he’s coming from, try to figure out where he’s going, and most importantly, where is that blood coming from?” She spoke into her recorder before shutting it off and putting it away, “Give me your phone numbers.”
	“Uh, why?” Rald frowned.
	“You two are gonna be my partners for this. And we’re gonna catch the Butcher!”
	Rald and Sophia looked at one another for a moment. The goblin shrugged, “Alright. Fine. I’ll help you get your story.”
	“Yes, yes. I do not want your blood on my hands. Someone has to keep you from doing something stupid,” The cat-witch sighed, “If you are not too busy, I should like to meet with your brother and explain the situation."
Rald nodded, hopping up from her seat, "I’ll shoot him a text, he should be somewhere on campus."

    . . . . . 

"Ooh, and Grok Fork-Tusk is down for the count!" Blud felt deflated, watching as one of his favorite 'chefs' was knocked out by his opponent with a meat tenderizer. The goblin sank back into the couch and exhaled, his disappointment weighing heavily on him. It was late on a Wednesday evening and Blud was waiting for his sister to finish with her volunteering time at the infirmary. It was the necromancy house’s time block for the rec room and lab. Being in the Seeker’s house, he was able to use the lab or recreation areas whenever he wanted. He had lingered here all day, not having many classes on Wednesday. He was starting to regret being such a good big brother due to how much time he spent waiting for her. His mind wandered far as the commercial break came on alongside the fast scrolling credits of the cooking show. He thought of food, specifically of cow heart burgers and sweet breads made of breaded and fried glands.
The couch the small goblin sat on creaked and rocked backwards as someone plopped down next to him, rousing him from his thoughts. When Blud looked over, he saw their eyes just as glued to the screen as his were a moment ago. A tall woman with crimson chiton covering her legs and arms. She wore dark blue, sheer, and silken robes with white flowers embroidered on them. A horn stuck out from beneath her hood in a J shape where it forked on the end as it turned from crimson to black. Blud made a face, “Ya don’t look like one of them necromancers,” He grunted.
	The woman next to him flinched before looking at him. The face that turned over to him was jarring right away. Four eyes with black sclera and bright yellow pupils, the absence of a nose, and two crimson, chitinous mandibles that tucked neatly against her chin. But there was some kind of womanly beauty in those inhuman features. She stared the goblin down with a near blank expression. It was almost as though she was unsure if he had said anything at all. All four eyes finally blinked in unison, “I did not sees you, small one,” She put on a little smile that showed off a row of sharp teeth, “I was so–” She paused, as if thinking hard on what she would say next, “Angrassed with the show, I did not see you when I jamped over the couch.”
	“Angrassed?” Blud echoed in confusion, “Jamped? What are you talking about?”
	“I am many sorry. I am not such good at english,” She meekly bowed her head. Her accent was very thick. Blud figured it was some eastern accent, but he wasn’t sure where to place it, “I come from fars away. I am Reccoa Sano.”
	“Uh, Blud Raxpedalia,” The goblin replied, “Of the Seeker’s House.”
	“Ah! A fledgling weezerd. I am in Hause Faith.”
	“So you’re a sorcerer,” Blud hazarded an easy guess, choosing to ignore the beetle woman’s strange speech, “I’m not really a fledgling caster, I’m just a generalist.”
	“Jeaneralist?” Reccoa echoed in confusion. 
Blud opened his mouth to explain, but the explosion coming from the TV and the orcish shouting brought his and the beetle’s attention back to the screen, “WELCOME BACK TO DA KITCHEN!” The opening shrieked, bombs exploded, and an axe chopped through a slab of concrete– which also exploded as the commercial break ended, “In dis episode, we got Boar-Drink Iron-Hands going up against da professional Grim-Chef Buffalo-Wings-The-Redeemer for da ever illustrious title of ‘BEST ORC CHEF OF DA WEEK!’”
	“I am believing that Grim-Chef has this in the, how you say, duffel,” Reccoa noted as she stared in awe at the screen.
	“I think you mean the bag,” Blud corrected. 
	“Bag of duffel. I am of understand,” Reccoa rolled her eyes.
	Blud blinked slowly, “Reccoa. Can I call you that?” Saying a full name like that didn’t really feel good as it left his mouth.
	“Yessums.”
	“Where are you from?”
	She looked back over, pulling her eyes away as Grim-Chef used a chainsaw to cut up an ethically sourced elephant, “I am from Japan. I had flee from the Empire along whit my family.”
	“I see…” For once, Blud regretted snoozing during geography and world history. He wanted to pry more into her past, but for once decided against it. Despite her bug-like appearance, there was something charming in that face and he didn’t dare scare her off. He doubted anything would come of it, but after befriending Lox, he was more than willing to meet new people, “Oh! Grim-Chef is climbing the high-dive!” He suddenly cried.
	“Yes! Yes!” Reccoa’s eyes– all four of them lit up as she clutched her chiton covered hands, “Is that the sauce of Buffalo in that tub?”
	“He’s gonna have to bungee jump down to it, the spice rack too,” Blud watched as the orc strapped himself in and grabbed a small goblin, one in each hand. 
	“I don’t believe it!” The announcer shouted, “Grim-Chef, havin’ run behind, is double dippin’ some gobbos to help ‘im grad dem spices and a bowl of buffalo sauce! Boar-Drink is just watchin’ now. Look at dat smug look on ‘is face. Now– Grim-Chef is jumpin’!” Just like the orc said, the famous chef jumped with a goblin in each hand. The bungee cord held firm despite the weight as they careened down to the spice rack that hung from numerous chains. The first bounce down they opened the rack. Up they went before falling back down, no cries coming from their stoic faces. As they reached it again, the goblins grabbed exactly what they needed. Four little jars in one’s hands and one in his mouth while the other had grabbed the sauce, salt, and pepper. The third drop down, Grim-Chef dropped off his goblins who hurried back to their stations. The fourth drop and the chef sliced through the bungee cord with a big cleaver. He landed on his feet and rolled putting his hands in the air in victory.
	“A four point landin’! How will Boar-Drink respond!?” The announcer cried.
	Both Reccoa and Blud let out an ‘Awww!’ as the TV cut to a commercial break, “Did you see that!?” Blud shouted.
	“Yes, yes!” The bug woman nodded, “The gobulins were used in wonderfulous fashion!” 
	The two suddenly stopped as a soft noise sent a shiver down their spines. Both turned to look behind the couch where a cloaked form stood. Clad in all black with skulls on the shoulders was a pale face framed in shadows from a hood. Her sunken eyes were fixed on the TV but after a moment of silence  they peered down on the two students with a blank expression. Her nose curled up before she turned heel and stalked off.
	“Jeez,” Blud sunk in his seat.
	“The presidant of necro house. Edelgarde,” Reccoa whispered. 
	The goblin shrugged, “She didn’t seem too thrilled with what we were watchin’...”
	A few moments passed as a commercial for orcish meat cleaves came on, “Blaad,” The bug girl turned, quickly reading the room, “Mayhaps we should leaf this room. Go elsewhere to friend? Or–” She paused, “To hang-up? Watch orc show elsewhere?”
	“I… yeah, I’m down for that,” The goblin felt relieved, “But I gotta figure out a nickname for ya if we’re gonna be friends. Somethin’ one syllable long,” The goblin put his red, pointed hat on and rubbed his stubble covered chin.
	“Cylinber? Nack-name?” She echoed.
	“Like a…” Blud scratched his head, “Like, to a goblin, such as me, it's like calling a friend something new to show you’re friends. Ya’ know?”
	Slowly, the woman nodded, “Yes. Am understand.”
	“Rec, Coa… Sano? No. San? Yeah, I can call ya San.”
	“That is merely an honorific? Is not the new friendship name,” She gave a confused look. 
	“Ah, but most here wouldn’t call ya that and I got to it by shortenin’ your name. Just like my buddy Lox, or Loxley,” Blud proudly explained. 
	“Lox? Loxley?” Her face showed that her mind was racing, “You are knowing the dueling, Galahad?”
	“Yup. That’s my best buddy! I could arrange some kinda meetin’ if ya want.”
	“Oooh…” She looked at her hands, “I am wishing to meet this duel-Lox on the arena. Would he do that?”
	“I dunno, he’s said he doesn’t really like fighting. It was just something he had to do for that Manus lady.”
	“President of Albrac. Is she enchantress? Put him under she spell? Needs help?”
	“Nah, Lox is WAY stronger than anyone here. He’s fine, totally fine. I can talk to him next time I see him, but he told me he’s gonna be busy tomorrow with his studyin’ or whatever. I’ll figure it out. After this episode, wanna grab a bite to eat and watch some more in the cafeteria?”
	“My heart flutters at the thought of new friendship! For that, I am up!” Reccoa grinned with her sharp teeth, “I do not enjoy the essence the necro-house reverberates over this room. Oh, but I am of great need to watch Grim-Chef win this combat.”
	Blud smiled, glad that she felt the same way. His pocket buzzed, the phone that sat in it notifying him of a message. He checked it to see he had been brought into a group message. His sister was one of them and he didn’t recognize the other two numbers. ‘Blud. This is Carly with the Fairgarland Inquirer. Could I please speak to you in person?’
	The goblin scoffed, ‘I’m not selling out Lox, lady.’
	Rald responded quickly, ‘It’s not about Lox, Blud. It’s about that guy. The one you saw that night. We need to talk.’
	 
	. . . . .

	“Oh!” Headmaster Jasper Crixx yelped in surprise as she pulled the door to her office open. Balloons, confetti, and even flowers fell out of her office. The same party decorations were covering the floor too. A sparkling, folded note was tacked to her door with an emerald colored thumbtack that caught the golem’s eye. She unpinned it and opened it up, sighing before she read the fancy cursive aloud, “You are more precious than any gold or gem, more valuable to me than silk or silver,” She read from the note, “Your secret admirer.”
Headmaster Crixx held the note close to her chest. Her body slowly shifted from a dull, gray metal to a lovely, sandy, pink stone, “Another note from your secret lover, Jasper?” A chorus of soft-spoken voices asked the transmutation headmaster in unison.
	“It seems like it. A good Thursday morning to you, Headmaster Larch,” Crixx smiled at the animated tree. Numerous formless and multicolored spirits flitted around it, each one just as eager as the last to start the day. The tree itself had a near permanent wooden smile on its bark, “I appreciate the note, but does he need to fill my office with this?”
	The spirit filled tree’s leaves rustled quietly as they peered into the office, “They seem to be conjured," One voice pointed out, "Did he leave you a dispelling phrase?” another asked.
	Crixx looked the note over again before looking at the back of it, “It seems to be a riddle… 'I attend every party, I am at every wedding. I celebrate birthdays and holidays. I look good in any color, and even come wearing flowers. When I arrive people love me, but everywhere I go I leave a mess.' What do you suppose that could be?"
Professor Larch’s many sprites swirled around the hallway, “Cake? We love cake.”
“Cake is not always messy. What do you use to celebrate? Balloons?” The sprites entered Jasper’s office and swirled up some confetti and flowers from the floor idly, “Is rice still used these days?”
“That is more of a wedding celebration, I believe.”
	“Confetti?” Jasper guessed again. All at once, the balloons, confetti, and flowers that were all thrown around the room vanished, leaving only a bouquet of flowers in a glass vase on her desk. She sighed with relief, “Wonderful. I can finally work.” 
“Good morning, Headmaster Crixx, and a good morning to The Many of the Few,” Dean Zuccarius greeted as he slowly walked down the hallway to his office. He held his simple wooden staff with swirling, moving carvings on it in one hand and an open letter in the other.
"Good morning, Dean Zucarius," the many spirit-filled tree cheered.
“Good morning to you, as well,” Jasper nodded, “I hope all is well? I count a few wrinkles of worry on your face today.”
“Worry?” The Dean chuckled, “I know not if I should be worried,” He presented the letter to the two deans, “But part of me does.”
Larch took it, a few of the sprites presenting it to the rest. The cluster spoke after clearing their collective throat, “As of the high wizard court’s decision, for the crime of trespassing into the Sundered Lands of Yellowstone, Professor and Headmaster Xavos Daldomel shall return to Fairgarland Academy to teach as part of his community service. To Dean Zacharius Zucarius, please keep an eye on him as he is not allowed to leave campus and please report any violations of this order to the high court.”
	“Xavos is returning to us?” Headmaster Crixx’s body changed to a faded, sunbleached limestone, “He has been gone for two years.”
	“Yes, he has been in a lot of hot water ever since he teleported his personal tower to Yellowstone, directly into a heavily restricted area in search of condensed mana,” Headmaster Larch noted, "Thankfully he did not find himself sundered and instead a security detail found him. The same could not be said for his tower," The Dean chuckled to himself.
"So he's going to be here for the foreseeable future? When? For how long? Ohh, I hope he doesn't do anything reckless." Jasper whimpered.
Zacharius nodded quickly, “I know not the details, but I for one am glad he is able to return to us. There are very few evocation grandmasters who are willing to teach or can actually teach. He will be welcomed back warmly by me.”
“We have no qualms with the evocationist,” The Many of the Few concluded with its joined voices, “Good day to you both. We must take our leave and prepare for classes,” Numerous sprites flitted away and into the headmaster’s office while the tree itself took the rest to the outside. 
	“I believe your star student is approaching,” The dean smiled at Crixx, “Good day.”
	“Yes, good day,” The magical construct nodded as her body slowly morphed to a shining metal before she took her seat at her desk. She booted up her small laptop and pulled up some student files. 
	A blue face peeked in through the open doorway, “Headmaster Crixx?”
	“Please come in, Manus,” Jasper waved her in with a smile, “Good morning.”
	“Good morning, Headmaster,” Miss Manus sat herself on a wooden chair across from the magicked golem, “What pretty flowers.”
	Jasper set her admirer’s note next to them, “Yes, a wonderful collection of a rainbow of flowers,” She noted, “You should have seen the balloons and confetti that adorned my office just five minutes ago.”
	“What sort of fiend would break in and leave such a mess?” Miss Manus wondered as she folded her arms. Her middle set of arms held a warm cup of tea in a reusable metal bottle.
	“Whomever my mad secret admirer is,” Jasper turned a sandy pink again as she wondered about it, “I find his gestures romantic. Anywho, enough about that. Tell me of the going-ons of House Karak-Albrac.”
	“Galahad has become our official duelist. He moved in a week ago and has begun his classes again. Even with a broken arm, he has been doing well– at least grade B work in my class. On top of that he has made every other house back off our new lab and recreation time under threat of having to go against him. We have had the boon of high morale. The younger students have another decent role model, and our application rate is quite high because of it.”
	“I pray they do not wish to fight like him. They have no one to teach them basic magical combat,” Crixx sighed, “Although, a certain evocationist is returning to our humble academy.”
	“Headmaster Daldomel is returning to us?” Miss Manus gasped, “He was very involved in House Fritz’Eleo. Perhaps he will tone President Harold down?”
	“I know not his plans or the details of his return. But perhaps he will attempt to start a class on the basics of combat when he hears people have an interest in it?” The Headmaster wondered, “Anywho, Manus I am sure you want to chat about where you are with your path to mastery and be on with your day?”
	The fey-witch shifted in her seat, “Well, I would not say it like that.”
	“Come now, we both have things to do so let us waste no time," The construct headmaster tapped her student's paperwork together neatly before looking over it, “With your current projected path with your classes, you will have more than enough credits in two terms to graduate and apply for magical mastery of transmutation, and go through the exam as such. But…” She stopped at a page deep on the pile, “You will be missing some extracurricular credits. Unfortunately this will keep you from graduating.”
	“I see,” Miss Manus did not slouch or frown in response, “What must I do?”
"The easiest course of action would be to participate in club activities. This would have been best to do during your earlier years as there would have been less studying by comparison, however I have confidence that this would not be a problem for someone as diligent as you."
“How much do I require?” Miss Manus inquired quickly.
“If you join one club, about two semester's worth of time. We are halfway through the first semester. You have more than enough time."
Manus stood at once, "Then I must seek out a club to enter."
"I will remind you, you must participate. Pick one that interests you, Manus."
“Thank you. I look forward to speaking to you again next semester,” Miss Manus gave a little bow and stepped away, her mind sifting through what few clubs she could remember. Perhaps it was time to pay them a visit.

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