Break period, something most students start to both love and hate in the first semester. This break was the very first, making all students quickly check out the time and distance between reaching the cafeteria and open benches outside.
Rineri however, had already found a spot for himself, using the packed lunch he had from home as a snack. In the gardens of the academy was a simple and small maze sitting between the dorms and the main building, where a center part was filled with various flowers and a bench. The path towards the center wasn’t that simple to find, since most paths just give another way outside instead of passing the center, making Rineri secure about being in a calm and silent place for now.
With this, he enjoyed the little sandwiches his mother made him, smiling as he enjoyed the view over these flowers. Frequently he looked upwards, right towards the now open sky. It was Autumn, but the weather still had a summer scent flowing throughout, keeping the clear open skies and warm embrace of the sun steady for now.
Meanwhile, on the other side of campus the students created a chaos of rampaging crowds through the halls to figure out where the best tables and benches were. Within this mess, no one would find peace and calmth.
Outside the maze rested a garden with a miniature lake of water, imitating a river opening into a lake. Shii stood next to the lake and looked towards his reflection. He smiled in the embrace of the sun as its golden rays set upon his warm light brown skin. His lifeless black eyes stared into the reflection, yet a parallel of a genuine smile still remained on his face. He eventually shifted his gaze up into the sky and ran his hands through his hair—his black hair that had reached his upper chest in length. His eyes gazed into the illuminating white ball that was the sun.
“Between the stains of time and tediously tireless days, moments like these are long forgotten, but their true value is inexplicable,” Shii said slowly to himself as he closed his eyes and the blind spot of the sun sank in.
“This academy has beautiful gardens, interesting knowledge and sexy girls. I’m not cut out for this, but I guess I am faring pretty well for the time being…” he continued with glints of both self-doubt and minor confidence.
Shii finally sat down on the grass and unpacked a box of a royal Kaezi specialty dish that he was made by his supposed elder sister. He started eating the food and continued to stare at the sun—anyone could tell from this much that he had a liking for the sun and sky.
However, the peace didn’t last for long—footsteps sounded and Shii was finally discovered. He turned around to see who it was and nearly flinched from surprise. It was the last person he would’ve expected—Ikene.
“Oh hello there~, Is the patch of grass beside yourself taken?”, Ikene asked in a soft but sweet-like tone. Already being close to sitting down, having a good hold on psychology and anticipating a certain answer.
“I-it’s fine”, Shii replied hesitantly, knowing that he can’t say no to such a situation. He looked at her for a brief moment before turning back to his food and continuing to take another bite.
“Well well well, what is mister foreign doing here all by himself, can’t take a moment to introduce yourself to me? I’m Ikene~”, Again, a socially nearly potent Ikene taking the lead in the conversation. As if she knew his hesitant social behavior already, which was slightly helpful towards Shii to answer in short sentences.
“I enrolled here to learn magic and become an able adventurer. My name is Kenny vi Kaezikee, but I would prefer you call me something more informal like ‘Shii’”, he answered with a nervous smile looking at her.
“Interesting, Shi~ni~… I noticed you were beside our Rin~ Do you know him well?” she asked, knowing that Rineri was quite distant to anyone outside his family and old friend group. In her case, she only had seen Rineri during votes from the elders and at the entrance, for the rest she only heard of the human elf—someone adopted as human to the elven region—from time to time…
“Ah~ I don’t really know him, but we get along kind of…” Shii replied with an embarrassed tone—he had never heard anyone call him nicknames like that, as his family was fairly modest and formal to him.
“Unlike us, you were fairly well-prepared for the class back there. I suppose you’re used to this kind of thing?” He attempted to maintain the conversation by his side as well, along with inquiring the details of elves’ lifestyles.
“So, so, I wasn’t prepared… I am actually a member of Class E, but for space efficiency, the staff decided to put me and another class member to the G class, also hoping to raise its ranking a bit…” She said quickly, masking a slight lie in the true class she comes from, someone as confident on a first year starting day wouldn’t be just from Class E… But to avoid various situations to make others feel lower or less, she avoided telling the true ranking she was placed in…
“Ah, that makes sense”, Shii smiled genuinely. “I suppose the other classmate is the red-orange haired boy?” He said, having already guessed as much. On the inside he felt rather nervous trying to maintain a conversation—not only was the experience new, but he felt strangely inferior as a human surrounded in the land of elves.
As time had passed quite a bit during the conversation, a couple of footsteps seemingly became louder and louder, before suddenly stopping. The source of these was Rineri, standing now on the path that runs by the grass patch Shii and Ikene sat at. Trying to now softly tip toe past, he avoided eye contact at any cost.
Shii, having noticed Rineri, shyly waved and foiled Rineri’s attempt. His reason was not out of pure self-interest, but as a measure to reduce the awkward tension that was placed on him for being socially hesitant. He had already finished eating his food and continued to stare into the sun as a last measure.
“O-oh… Heo… Hello!” Rineri spoke in a hesitant and stuttered tone. His motion stopped, standing still at his spot before slowly turning to them and giving a small little awkward wave back… His plan failed, and so he had now thought of pushing both in the river and running, not finding the actual courage to do so of course—just staring towards them for now.
“… Have you eaten yet?“ Shii responded awkwardly, having realized that his actions only doubled the amount of awkward strain. Still, he tried his best to reduce it.
“Yes… b-by-the-e flower bed… nearby…”, Rineri ‘swiftly’ answered, taking no longer to look around and see if he could act to be rushing towards somewhere.
“I see, I suppose the break is nearly over now”, Shii said after reading the situation. He figured Rineri would want to get away as much as he himself did; even though there was nothing wrong with conversing with Ikene at all.
“Righties, I’ll leave you two to it for now, I must find my friend before class starts to read over some small notes - Can I trust to have a conversation not from my initiative next time hehe~”, Ikene said, standing up as she brushed the dirt and grass from her skirt, which has risen a bit from sitting, as she casually pulls it back to place.
“Y-yeah, of course”, Shii responded as a finisher to the conversation. He put his lunch box away and stood up to face Rineri with a relieved expression.
“W-who was that…”, Rineri silently asked from Shii, as his eyes were mainly towards the eyes of Ikene, being alert of everyone—knowing how elves ‘used’ to be with humans—before diverting his eyes back to Shii.
“She is one of the students who wrote the Aphelos part back in class. Her name is ‘Ikene’, she seems to fit the idea of a popular girl”, Shii replied before glancing once more at the sky as he spoke.
Soon, as predicted, their break time had run out. The students returned to class after sharing both quiet and chaotic breaks.
The rest of the classes—history, language, … proceeded similarly. Rineri and Shii shared both the sensations of verbosity and pure boredom. Followed up by a lunch break, both split again as the half first day had ended, making way towards the first night at the dormitory, at least for now.