Study and Scrutiny 20-02

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Judging from the not-so-subtle whispers that immediately started up as soon as people caught sight of Hisao, I was pretty sure his affiliation with Eden’s Garden wasn’t exactly a secret to everyone. Which made sense, especially with the older students. Miranda had said that he was one of Garden’s most impressive and decorated Vigiles, their equivalent to Runners only with even more power. The Vigiles acted as judge, jury, and executioner and didn’t have to report or justify themselves to almost anyone. Only their tribal chief or the full Garden leadership (called Victors) could override their field decisions.

So yeah, it definitely made sense that other students besides me had encountered him in the past. And now those other students were telling their teammates and the whole story was spreading like wildfire.

Sands was looking back and forth, taking in the sight of everyone talking so much before focusing on the rest of us. “Uh,” she started with a squint of confusion. “Did I miss something? Who is that guy?”

Before Avalon or I could answer, Deveron stepped into view. “Hisao. He’s from Eden’s Garden. Pretty important guy over there.” As he spoke, our mentor tugged a chair out with one hand to sit. His other arm was in a cast and sling, which made me do a double-take right alongside the one from Sands.

“Wait, what happened t–” I started to blurt, eyes on his wounded arm. Wounded despite his healing?

“Wait, what do you mean, from Garden?” Sands blurted right alongside my voice, her eyes on Hisao.

Gaia, however, wasn’t exactly done talking. She gave the students a few seconds there to react before her voice took over the room once more. “I understand that a lot of you have many questions concerning this decision. And more will likely have those questions as the rumor mill gets up to speed. But allow me to answer some of them right now. Yes, Professor Hisao is from Eden’s Garden.”

Her gaze moved over the room slowly before she continued. “For those of you younger students who are not fully aware, Eden’s Garden is a… separate school from Crossroads. They have different teachings than we do, but our primary goal remains the same: to protect humanity from the creatures who would enslave, torture, or kill them. Whatever our other differences, that we can all agree on.

“Professor Hisao has been a Heretic for a very long time, since before either Crossroads or Eden’s Garden existed. He predates almost any Heretic you will ever meet in person. So believe me when I tell you that you all can learn a lot from him, if you allow yourselves to. He has graciously agreed to a… trial run as a substitute teacher here at Crossroads as a personal favor. So I would appreciate it if the talk of society politics and spies was kept to a minimum. He is here because I asked him to be, because I believe in allowing all of you to learn from the very best available sources. Regardless of what school or society those sources normally affiliate themselves with. He’s giving you a chance. Give him one.”

I could already see some of the students, particularly the older ones, shaking their heads. In the back, a few of the teachers were doing the same. Sands’ and Scout’s dad leaned over to whisper something to Peterson Neal, and the man just shook his head with a grimace that looked like he’d tasted something incredibly foul. It made me wish that one of the many abilities I’d picked up included super-hearing.

Wait. Didn’t someone actually get that? But who… Crap. My eyes scanned the rest of my team briefly as I tried to remember. Then I had it. “Scout,” I whispered, leaning closer to the table while keeping my voice as low as possible. “Can you hear what your dad and that Neal guy are talking about up there?”

Her eyes flicked to me, then up to where the two men were still whispering. I saw a frown of concentration knit her brow for a few seconds before she shook her head while mouthing, ‘spell.’

Right. So they were using a spell to make sure they weren’t overheard. Which made sense. If they were really criticizing Gaia while standing barely ten feet away from her, they’d use something to cover it up.

Gaia continued, silencing the whispers by moving on to other subjects. She welcomed back a couple of the third year students who had been in the hospital after a failed hunt a couple weeks before the winter break, mentioned that the weight room would be off-limits until they finished cleaning up some kind of goo from something that had exploded in there, and reminded everyone that if we wanted to change tracks for the new semester, we had to make a note of it on the sheet that would be passed around.

Something about sitting here, listening to the headmistress talk was tickling at my memory. There was something… something that I could almost half-remember, but it just wouldn’t come all the way out.

And then the menus appeared on all the tables as Gaia finished talking. All around us, the discussions seemed split between talking about what people were going to eat, and what Hisao was doing here.

I, on the other hand, turned to Deveron. “What,” I demanded while pointing at his cast, “is that?”

Oh lord. From the smirk that immediately touched his face, I knew what he was gonna say before his mouth even opened. “Well, Flick,” the man-in-a-boy’s-body drawled, “That’s what we call a cast, and-”

I kicked him under the table, scowling. “Why do you have one? Did your super-healing go kaput?”

From the other side of the table, Columbus added, “Or did you get hit by the same thing that hit Avalon back when she couldn’t heal it?”

It was a good point. Deveron, however, shook his head. “Neither. Nothing’s kaput, and I wasn’t poisoned like Avalon was. I just—I had a little altercation with a Thelesican.” Before I could ask, he added, “Kind of a cross between a bat and a giant leech. It latches onto your body and has these sharp hollow teeth that dig straight down to the bone. Then it sort of… grinds up and slurps bits of your bone through the teeth like dozens of miniature straws.” Lifting his injured arm, he explained, “Like I said, had an altercation. I killed it, but the damn thing messed up my arm pretty bad. It’ll heal soon enough.”

In the face of my horrified look at that, he gave me a wink that was obviously meant to make me feel better. “See, you’re not the only one who gets in trouble when you’re supposed to be on vacation.”

There were so many more questions I wanted to ask. Starting with where the hell he’d been to get attacked by some kind of bat-leech that ate liquefied bones. But before I could get any of it out, Sands cut in while looking straight at Avalon. “That’s what you were doing with Gaia, wasn’t it? Someone said that you guys haven’t been around very much. They wanted to know if me or Scout knew what was going on. You were helping convince that Hisao guy to come here.” She frowned. “But why would they listen to you? I mean, aren’t you persona non grata at that place ever since the—you know, incident?”

“With most of the tribes, yes,” Avalon replied a little stiffly. From her expression, it was obvious that the trip back to Garden hadn’t been all that fun for her. It probably brought up… well, memories. Before saying anything else, she gave Deveron a significant look until he took one of his own privacy coins out and flicked the thing onto the table after activating it so that we weren’t overheard. Not that it seemed like anyone was paying attention to us. Everyone was talking about the new teacher from Eden’s Garden. But I knew better than to take that for granted.

Once privacy was ensured, Avalon went on. “But Hisao is part of the Eternal Eye tribe. They… apparently they were the only tribe who ever spoke up for me. Not even my own tribe did that.” Her eyes dropped a bit to stare at the menu. “Not most of them, anyway.”

I shook my head in disgust, unable to help myself. “I can’t believe they like that Torv guy so much they’d all turn against you. I mean, why didn’t they believe you when you told them what happened?”

That was something that had been bothering me for a long time, tickling at the back of my mind. Yes, Avalon had killed another student. But from everything I’d heard, almost no one had even bothered to hear her side of things. They just walked in to find her—well, beating him to death and never listened to what actually happened. If Seller had gone so far as to send her away to Gaia, he had to know that she wasn’t going to be given a fair trial or hearing or whatever they’d have. He had already known that it would go against her, right from the beginning. But why? There had to be more to it than we’d heard.

“Order your food, Chambers,” Avalon instructed flatly without looking up at me. She was focused on circling the items on her own menu that she wanted. Finally, she dropped it on the table. A few seconds later, it vanished and its spot was replaced with a plate of what a quick glance at my own menu revealed was likely the Greek-style lamb with lemon and thyme, along with a salad on the side.

“But I–” Stopping myself, I hurriedly used the menu to order chicken and rice before setting it down. My attention was on my roommate. “You said that he was sending you messages for a long time, that he was… harassing you. And going by the messages on Tangle’s phone, whoever she was working with probably pushed him to do it. Or even used magic or some other power to make it happen. Did Torv ever say anything, give you any indication of why he thought you’d–” I stopped talking, because even the implication was making me feel sick deep in my stomach.

At first, I didn’t think she was going to answer at all. But after a few long seconds of silence, Avalon finally murmured, “He was my friend. His brother was always a jackass that belonged in Lost Scar. But Torv was one of the Vigilant Sons. His big brother basically raised him since their parents died, but Torv wasn’t like Trice. He was… kind of sweet. Poetic. Sometimes he said really stupid things, but it wasn’t because he was a dick, it was because he didn’t think about what he was saying. And he daydreamed a lot. He used to tell me stories about the monsters we’d kill when we were… partners. Not that way, just—Stranger hunting partners. He was nice. Maybe a little thick sometimes, but still, nice.”

Cutting into her lamb, the other girl’s expression darkened considerably. “It changed two months before—before that all happened. Someone started leaving notes in my bedroom, in my books, in the bathroom just before I got in there. They were–” A distant look came to her eyes then. “–graphic descriptions of what they’d like to do. More graphic as time went on. I tried to ignore them for awhile but they just got more… descriptive. I had to talk to someone, so I told Torv about it. I wanted help.

“He laughed. He asked if I liked them. I didn’t get what he was laughing about at first. I thought maybe he thought I was joking or—or something. But he made it clear. It was him. My friend was the one leaving those disgusting notes. I told him I never wanted to talk to him again. I tried to switch teams. Nothing worked. No one listened. They just thought I was overreacting to him having a crush or something. He wouldn’t let up. Every time I saw him, he kept saying worse things. Then that night…”

It was the most I’d heard Avalon talk about what had happened. Something about going back to Eden’s Garden must have made her want to explain her side of things to people who would listen. Even then, however, she didn’t go any further. Trailing off, she shook her head firmly and went back to eating.

It was Deveron who reached out to her first, before anyone else could. Silently, the man moved his uninjured hand across the table to touched hers. He didn’t say anything at first. He just rested his hand there, squeezing lightly before changing the subject. “I think we’ve gotten a bit off track here. You were saying that the Eternal Eye tribe, the one Hisao’s part of, were the only ones who actually stood up for you. Why would they do that? I mean, why would they be the ones who did it and not your own tribe?”

Shaking her head, Avalon replied flatly, “I don’t know. I know why my own tribe went against me, because they’re pissed that I killed my own teammate and they don’t believe me. I know why Lost Scar went against me, because Trice is Torv’s brother and he’s their golden boy. I know why the rest of the tribes sat everything out, because it’s an internal tribe thing and they don’t want to be involved. But I don’t know why the Eternal Eyes actively involved themselves on my side. I wasn’t close to any of them, I didn’t ask for their help, I didn’t… ask for any of it. All I know is that Seller said a couple months ago, they started speaking up for me at the meetings whenever someone from Lost Scar or Vigilant Sons brought me up.”

“Oh,” I realized aloud. “Ohhh. Wait, a couple months ago? Wouldn’t that be around the time that I started talking to Miranda? And she probably talked about you to Hisao, because he’s her Obi-Wan.”

“Her what?” Sands’ expression was completely blank as she stared at me. “What does OB-1 stand for?”

Making an exaggerated noise of exasperation at the other girl, I blurted, “You know all about baseball and all that stuff, but not—you don’t even know wh—pffft.” Shaking my head, I muttered, “Philistine.”

Huffing a bit while looking away from my utterly uncultured teammate, I focused on Avalon again. “The point is, Miranda probably talked to Hisao, and he has some big pull with his tribe. So they started speaking up for you. The timing works out. I’m just not sure why she didn’t mention that she was gonna talk to him, or that he was actually listening to her.”

“Hey,” Sean cut in then, head shaking. “Let’s just be glad we don’t have to throw the Mystery Of Why The Eternal Eye Tribe Likes Avalon on top of the pile. Because the pile is about to collapse on itself.”

Columbus gave a rapid nod. “Yeah, our Encyclopedia Brown book already looks like War and Peace.

“Encyclopedia Br–” Leaning closer to her sister, Sands stage-whispered, “They’re making this stuff up to mess with us.”

“A: no we’re not,” I retorted. “And B: now you know how we feel half the time when you’re talking about stuff.”

Turning back to Avalon then, I added, “The boys are right though. It’s probably a good thing if that explains why Hisao’s tribe was speaking up for you. I bet there’s others that believe you, but it’s just not politically viable or… worthwhile for them to speak up. They don’t get anything out of it.”

Snorting, the other girl nodded. “That’s why Gaia took me with her to talk to Hisao and his tribe, to ask for his help. I…. I don’t think she has very many people left that she trusts around here. She doesn’t know who Ruthers has gotten to, or who might be… compromised in other ways. They might’ve anticipated anyone she picked to take over for Katarin. So she went outside of Crossroads entirely and picked someone that they couldn’t possibly have predicted.”

“Yeah,” Sean put in. “And from the look on Neal’s face, Ruthers probably wasn’t exactly happy about it.”

Straightening up then, I took a bite of my food. “Speaking of things Ruthers would be pissed about and things on our ever-expanding to-do list, have you heard anything from Mateo?”

His head shook. “Just something about some pixie that’s the best mechanic in the world. They’re still looking for the other wolves.”

“Other wolves?” Sands echoed. “Pixies? Mateo? What the hell are you guys talking about? What did we miss this time?”

Before I could answer, one of the students from the next table over passed us the clipboard for people who were signing up for different tracks. You were supposed to sign your name to it and then write what you wanted your new track to be. Columbus was the first one to take it, giving the sheet a look before shaking his head. “I like Development. Anyone else?”

Sands looked to her sister before both shook their heads.

Sean accepted it, scribbling his name onto the sheet before explaining, “Security’s interesting and all, but I wanna see what the Explorers are like. Had enough of barricading and protecting a place. Vulcan and I need to get out there and see new things. Plus,” he added with a wink, “I look good in red.”

“Not as good as I look in green,” I pointed out before focusing. My hair lengthened out a little bit and turned a dark forest color. “See?”

Sean blinked at me, then blinked again before coughing. “Crap. I forgot you had that power. That’s… cheating.”

Avalon was the next to reach out to take the offered clipboard. “I’m taking Kohaku’s offer to learn security things from her. It might help.”

Exhaling at that, I took my turn with the clipboard. “Oh good. I don’t have to feel guilty about not taking her offer myself.”

Deveron raised an eyebrow at me. “You’re not changing to Security?”

Shaking my head, I wrote on the sheet. “Nope. I was going back and forth on it, but with Hisao here, I think the Hunters are a better fit.”

“Hunters?” Sands cut in, sounding skeptical. “You mean the ones that go out and actively hunt down Strangers? You don’t see that conflicting with any of your… beliefs?”

Wincing, I met her gaze. “I have to believe that Hisao is gonna be careful about the kind of hunts he sets up. I just—I can learn security spells from Wyatt. I can learn other magic from Gaia. I can learn fighting from lots of people, like Deveron and Avalon. The one thing that’s harder to do is put Strangers in front of me so I can…” I paused, feeling a bit sick about putting it the way I was about to.

Deveron did it for me. “So you can kill them and take their power. Don’t feel bad about it. You need the power they can give you, if you’re gonna… if you’re gonna stand up against Fossor.”

“She won’t do it by herself,” Avalon snapped immediately. “She won’t be alone.”

Before they could argue, I cut in while scribbling my chosen track onto the sheet. “Of course you guys won’t abandon me. And I won’t abandon you. Believe me, I’m not stupid or suicidal. But I’d also rather have every advantage I can get. I don’t want to let everyone else fight my battles for me, but I also don’t want to run off by myself out of some stupid ‘oh I need to protect you’ bullshit. If any of you guys want out, you can leave. Believe me, I won’t blame you. Ask for a new team. I promise, I get it. But I’m not gonna walk away from you just because I think I have to do it all by myself.”

Since we were done by that point, I held the clipboard out to the next table. It was Vanessa and Tristan’s team, and the blonde girl was the one who stepped over to take the sheet. Before leaving, however, she dropped a paper in my lap. Then she moved back to her own table.

Blinking, I unfolded the paper and read it aloud. “If you guys are going to use privacy spells to hide what you’re saying, try not to use them when you’re talking about normal things. Because waving the track sheet around and signing it while you sound like you’re talking about your favorite kind of soda makes you all look like crazy people.”

I’m pretty sure even Vulcan managed to blush at that. Deveron straightened up a little. “Yeah, we should probably go back to normal discussion.”

“Wait, not yet.” Holding up a hand, I shook my head. “You guys are probably gonna want the privacy spell up when I tell you what happened while we were gone.”

“Oh yeah,” Columbus agreed. “Especially these ones.” He used both thumbs to gesture toward Sands and Avalon. “Total fangirls.”

“I’m a what?” Sands demanded, while Avalon just gave him the dirtiest of looks.

“Hey, hey,” I cut in. “Before you kill him, maybe you should listen. He’s got a point. Cuz… a lot of stuff happened. But the biggest part is probably… the fact that I met Gabriel Prosser. I guess he’s sort of like… a surrogate god-father or something?”

Sands’ eyes widened, and the girl looked completely surprised by that. But it was Avalon who made a sound like a tea kettle that had been left on the stove to boil. Her hands went up, then down, then up again. She shifted in her seat, leaning back and forward almost like she was on a rocking chair. Finally, one of her hands settled over her own mouth to stop the whistle while the other clutched the table before sliding up and through her own hair.

“What happened?” she demanded, trying and failing in every conceivable way to sound only vaguely interested. Squirming in her seat, she ran her hand through her hair, then down again. “What did he say? How did you meet him? Where was he? What did he sound like? Did he talk to you? Why was he there? What did–”

Snickering despite myself, I leaned closer to Deveron. “See what I mean? It’s probably a good thing you left that privacy spell up, since anyone hearing this would think we were screwing with them anyway.

“Because nobody would ever believe that Avalon could actually sound like that.”

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  1. Everyone who said they wanted to see Avalon fangirl over Prosser, that last bit is for you. 😉

    I hope you guys enjoyed that little chapter. It’ll be the last one set the night before the new semester. Starting in the next chapter, we’ll be getting right into things with a bit of classes (Flick’s new schedule should be written up and posted as soon as possible) and most likely a look at her first Hunter track session. So that should be fun!

    We’ve also got one more mini-interlude that should come up at some point this week, focusing on Sariel and Haiden (Vanessa and Tristan’s parents) back when they learned they were about to have a couple kids. 😉 Look for that in the upcoming days. Plus, of course, the regular chapter on Friday.

    For those of you who are just the very best people ever and like voting on Top Web Fiction to push our place back up, here is the link for that. And here is your applause for being incredible readers. Actually, even if you don’t vote, feel free to take in that applause, because you’re all incredible.

    Anyway, tags for this chapter are: Avalon Sinclaire, Clearly My Changing A Few Of The Tracks And Thus Their Uniform Piping Color Is Just A Vast Conspiracy To Make the Fanart Look Wrong., Columbus Porter, Deveron Adams, Felicity Chambers, Flick, Gaia Sinclaire, Hisao, I’m Sorry But Bat-Leech That Liquefies Your Bones And Sucks Them Out Through Straw-Teeth Is Not Even Remotely Okay., Peterson Neal, Sands, Scout, Sean Gerardo, Vanessa Moon, Vulcan

    Liked by 4 people

      1. Maybe a Seosten was controlling him.

        Hear me out: Avalon is Hieornymus Bosch’s descendent, so it’s possible that she or one of her own descendents could potentially see something revealing that Bosch was possessed while going through the Edge or eating one of the Apples. Maybe they want to wipe out the bloodline to ensure that doesn’t happen.

        Or maybe there’s something they want in Bosch’s blood vault, and they’re working with or controlling Bosch’s next closest relative to gain access, at which point they’ll dispose of him or her too.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Unfortunately “I thought this guy was my friend but he turned out to have no concept of boundaries and ended up stalking and assaulting me” is a rather common story which occurs all the time in the real world without any need for mind control.

        Liked by 1 person

      3. Uh, yeah, all things considered (and despite my previous message), Sengachi is probably right. While the timing is suspect, the whole thing between Torv and Avalon isn’t exactly unheard of in real life.

        That said, I do still wonder if the Seosten have something to do with the conspiracy.

        Liked by 2 people

  2. So Flick’s going Hunter, huh? I genuinely wasn’t expecting that. Still, what she said about being able to learn from Wyatt in her spare time makes sense, what with not having to sleep too much. That might look suspicious, but I suspect figuring out a way to meet without attracting attention would be one of the first things on Wyatt’s lesson planning. Other than that, Avalon’s switching to Security, Sean to Explorer, and the other three are staying where they are, right?

    Trice is Lost Scars “golden boy?” Wow. It was already obvious that was one of the more barbarous tribes, but damn. Don’t wanna comment about the other stuff, too real.

    Can’t wait to see more of Hisao! I like everything I know about him so far!

    Something about sitting here, listening to the headmistress talk was tickling at my memory. There was something… something that I could almost half-remember, but it just wouldn’t come all the way out.

    Hmm. *goes to reread 1-07*


    1. Does it have something to do with the “Thanatosis Marks” Gaia mentioned at the beginning of the year? Thanatos was the Greek god of death, Flick has to deal with a necromancer, it’s one of the only not immediately relevant things Gaia talked about back then…

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  3. So I was trying to imagine how Heretics would view someone like Prosser, and then it hit me. Historical figures like Caesar, Cleopatra, and George Washington are super famous, right? But what if those people never died? What if they just kept on living, and kept on doing legendary stuff? What would their legends look like if they just kept getting added to forever and over?

    And /then/ I put myself in Avalon’s shoes and thought about what it must be like hearing her girlfriend met Prosser and I was like “Oooooh, no wonder Avalon is fangirling.”

    Liked by 2 people

  4. “Blinking, I unfolded the paper and read it aloud. “If you guys are going to use privacy spells to hide what you’re saying, try not to use them when you’re talking about normal things. Because waving the track sheet around and signing it while you sound like you’re talking about your favorite kind of soda makes you all look like crazy people.””
    Me: Ha. I’m sure that knowing everyone’s favorite soda might come in handy someday.
    …What? It could happen.

    Also, I found Avalon’s fangirling over Prosser to be hilarious, as were her attempts to grill Flick for info.


  5. I’ve been waiting for them to look at the limitations of the privacy spell for a while now, particularly since it was mentioned on a few different occasions in the last few chapters that various other individuals (Ruthers, Neal etc.) have been using similar spells.

    And in all seriousness, I find it hard to believe that EG and CR don’t have M/S protocols for situations like “My oldest friend has started creepily stalking me for no apparent reason”. That said, even Flick doesn’t appear to have openly considered mind control yet.

    It occurs to me, however, that Hisao may have smelled a mind-control shaped rat upon hearing Avalon’s side of the story and started investigating the possibility of corruption or infiltration of the Garden.

    In the meantime, could Flick PLEASE actually get around to talking to Shiori and Avalon in the near future? All the interruptions, distractions and the like are turning me into a nervous wreck. I mean, clear communication is supposed to be Flick’s thing, right?


  6. See that Gaia bringing in Hisao, someone associated with the Garden in as a substitute teacher is indeed sparking a lot of comment amongst the students and staff, some of whom are quite furious, including Professors Mason & Neal, whose commentary on the subject is likely vitriolic enough that they feel that they had to use a privacy spell.

    And on the subject of Hisao, also interesting to learn that not only is he another one of the real old-time Heretics, but as a Vigile, he had one of the most powerful positions in Garden-Heretic society- makes one wonder just what made him agree to take time off to substitute-teach at a place where he’s not exactly going to get a friendly reception.

    Another odd thing about the Garden is how nobody tried speaking up for Avalon until Hisao & his tribe, the Eternal Eyes did after Hisao & Miranda bumped into Flick & Dare back in Wyoming.

    And speaking of odd & interesting things that were going on at the Garden, just what happened with Torv- unlike his douchebag brother Trice, he had been a nice guy, until all of a sudden, he started an increasingly intense campaign of sexually harassing Avalon that culminated in the rape attempt where Avalon was forced to kill him in self-defense.

    Were the rest of the Vigilant Sons unaware of this sudden change in Torv, and that’s why they didn’t believe Avalon? Or for that matter, do the Garden Heretics not have any equivalent of Master/Stranger Protocols, because from Avalon’s version of events, the entire sequence of events suggests that Torv was somehow mind-controlled, possessed, drugged, hypnotized, etc into attacking her? Wonder just how much the conspiracy targeting her had something to do with that whole sequence of events.

    Thelesicans sound like some pretty bad news.

    Also got a chuckle out of the twins being clueless about all those pop-culture references.

    And we’ve got people in the team shifting to new tracks for the new semester- Sean going for Exploration for the adventure, Avalon going to Security to learn some of their tricks, which considering all the attacks on her, would be useful to pick up, and then, what I suppose, in what was the surprise of the chapter, going with the Hunters instead of Security. Though Flick’s logic does make a lot of sense, because if she can get a lot of the Security stuff through private tutoring with Wyatt, then it’d make sense to go where she has the best chance of getting some more powerups to help when it’s time to deal with Fossor, especially since she seems to trust Hisao to be careful as to what sort of hunts he’ll set up. Though, as Sands mentioned, it’d be interesting to see if this semester with the Hunters will cause Flick to have some more moral dilemmas.

    Though kind of wonder if any of the stuff Sands saw or experienced during vacation might have made her more sympathetic to her father’s view of things.

    Oh, and it was kind of funny seeing Avalon fangirling over how Flick met Prosser


  7. So this privacy spell that talks about their favourite sodas, does it get it right? Like, would an outside observer get an accurate picture of their soda preferences by listening to their shielded conversation? If yes, how does the spell know – does it, for example, go off what the caster knows about the soda preferences of the people involved, and use a best guess if they don’t know? And in that case, could it, as suggested above, be used to acquire situationally useful (okay, really situationally useful) information? If that’s the case, who decided that it should be sodas?

    If it’s not accurate, how does the spell decide which soda to assign to each person? Is it just random? If it is, how does it keep track between multiple castings? If it does, of course – the point may be that soda preferences is just such a banal topic that it’s more to signal that a conversation is meant to be private rather than actually fool someone into thinking the conversation is real.

    …yeah, I wouldn’t be switching out of the Development track any time soon. On that subject though, hurrah Flick for taking the step away from Investigation and towards the Hunters – that can’t have been an easy decision to make. Her reasoning is solid, though.

    Liked by 2 people

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