“So, how was the sick visit?”
“Short and sweet, rather pragmatic ... she left immediately after giving me my stuff.”
“Short and sweet... Albaaaa, you’re blushingggg.”
“No, I am not, I’m just still a bit feverish.”
“You didn’t happen to do anything about the group assignment?”
“No? I took a look at the sheets Vi- Latvia gave to me, but I didn’t feel like it.”
“Well, today’s the first session anyway, I guess we’re all in a group together?”
“Course we are!”
“... I invited her to our group.”
“Her? As in the lady?”
“You can call her by her name, you know? At least I think she wouldn’t mind.”
“Why’d you invite her?”
“Well, she came to my place to bring me the stuff, and she didn’t seem to have found a group yet, so... I don’t know, just didn’t want her to be alone, or something.”
“Hm, she doesn’t seem to have any friends, now that you mention it.”
“Huh, and why do you think that would be?”
“Jeez, Alba, I didn’t know you cared so much. You were in on the gossip from the beginning.”
“Well, I talked to her a bit and she’s nice. A bit lost, maybe. But not the high-and-mighty princess you make her out to be. Although she sure looks like one.”
“And walks like one.”
“And talks like one.”
“Okay, point taken. Still, it would be too awkward to just rescind my offer.”
And maybe you’ll see. She is quite awesome, actually...
Group work was awkward.
It mostly consisted of attempts at communication made by glances between the girls and every now and then someone saying something vaguely related to the work they were supposed to do.
The girls were situated in the courtyard. It was rather warm outside which provided a nice change of pace from sitting on the wooden classroom benches.
The girls, except for Via and Alba were Alba’s two friends. One of them was fairly tall, and had her hair dyed blond, with curls, while the other was wearing a short black bob, and a pair of glasses.
“Uhhh, I don’t wanna do a presentation,” Alba exclaimed all of a sudden.
“Well, I can take on a bigger part of it, if you don’t want to be talking so long.”
“You’d do that?”
“Sure, I don’t mind. I’ve been speaking, presenting in front of people for as long as I can think.”
“Figures,” the blonde one said.
Even though I turn into a puddle, whenever I talk to you girls.
She hadn’t even asked them for their names and surely it was too late by now.
“You know, you are different from what everyone made you out to be,” the blonde said.
“What do you mean?” Via asked.
“Well, all the gossip about you. I mean it’s mostly died down, but before you actually came to our school the gossip mill was working overtime.”
“Oh,” Via didn’t really know what to say. She was curious to ask of course. But just hearing the innocent chatter on the hallways was enough to send her thoughts spiraling.
“Well then, let’s take this moment to get these rumors out of the way,” Alba declared.
Via turned to her friend(tbd) with a nervous squeak.
“Okay, great,” the glasses-girl said. “Your hair color, I’ve been dying to know whether it’s natural or not.”
“Oh, yes, it is. The royal family hails from the elves after all. Of course, the magic has weakened over the last few centuries, but magic still runs through my blood. My mom’s hair is red, however.”
“Cool! I dyed my hair once, but it came out like a wet mop, so I just keep it blonde nowadays,” the blond friend said, as she fiddled with her curls.
“What about you getting into our school? Most of the people say, you got here because of the king’s order,” the glasses-girl asked.
“That’s true, I think? I mean, the king is my grandfather, so of course he had to ensure I got the proper education.”
“Huh, so there’s no drama attached to it,” blonde girl tried to dig a big deeper.
“So, the rumors are all true?” asked glasses-girl.
“How anticlimactic,” blonde girl answered in disappointment.
“Turns out, there is nothing bad about those rumors after all,” glasses-girl added.
“Yeah, kinda funny how rumors themselves are kinda bad, but now that they’re proven not to be true, it’s kind of like “and what about it?”” Alba summarized the girls’ findings.
Her friends looked at her with a flabbergasted expression, before bursting into laughter.
“Hahah, what’s with you Alba, always saying things that are so out of place.”
“Well, I wouldn’t be me, if I weren’t out of place,” Alba looked at Via, a smug expression on her face.
For the first time in a while, Via felt comfortable.
“Well, now that we got all that cleared up, it’s time to gossip.”
“What gossip, though? I thought we were over Latvia, no offense.”
“That’s kind of the point. Notice, how no one has really talked about the school mysteries yet?”
“This conversation feels kind of familiar.”
“To break it down for you: This school is kind of cursed.”
“That’s a way to put it.”
“Every year, there is some strange occurrence happening at our school.”
“It’s something different every year, but it always repeats in a cycle of seven.”
“That’s why they usually call it the seven school mysteries.”
“The Seven School Mysteries? Why does it all sound so dangerous?”
“Don’t worry, usually it isn’t. I don’t think anyone has ever... died from one or anything.”
“Unless! Our memories get erased, whenever something happened to a student...”
“Wow, now you’re having me scared...”
“So, do you perhaps know what it is for this school year?”
“Rumor has it, that this year, we will have an additional student.”
“So, nothing to really keep an eye out for.”
“Nothing we really can keep an eye out for ...”
“Usually, that additional student just disappears after the end of the school year.”
“And when trying to contact them, there have been several reports of them having died many years ago.”
“Waaaah! That’s so creepy!”
“So, what if we tried to find out who that student was before then?”
“What? What kind of a suggestion is that?!”
“An awesome one actually? Has the School Mystery Club never tried this before?”
“They’re a school club opened specifically to research the school mysteries.”
“Have they actually found anything out though?”
“Well, it was them who coined the term, because they also found out about the cycle.”
“That was decades ago. I haven’t really heard about anything they’ve done since we started school here.”
“What if we did the research ourselves then? Call it, the Secret Mystery Club.”
“Yeah, sure. As if we don’t have better things to do.”
“We don’t. That’s why our prime characteristic is gossiping.”
“Got me there...”