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12 Chance Meeting  - Arcanum

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Following Ashley's instructions, I closed my eye and hesitantly tap and held the central button, I felt my body charged with Arcanum as it surged through the badge into me, the hairs on my body and my hair began to stand on end. A resounding thunderous boom echoed in my ears, as a faint blue flash beamed through my closed eyes, feeling normal again I hesitantly opened one eye waving away the faint smoke produced to get a clearer view of where I am.

The badge transported me at the end of a well-lit hall way with several torches, the stones walls and floor made of beautiful flawless white marble, behind me and in the distance in front two large heavy looking wooden door with three smaller wooden doors going along the side of the hallway and windows on the other side letting it the orange sunset. A small thunderous boom echoed the hallways as I turned to see blue runes on the floor fading as Ashley stepped out the smoke smiling from ear to ear.

"THIS is the S Ranked Dorms!" He explained with excitement and a gigantic smile.

One of the large doors at the end of the hallways creaked open I turned to see Travis coming through with two female students his muscular arms wrapped around the back of their shoulders, laughing and giggling as, he lead them to the smaller door at the end of the hallway. As he opened the door letting the girls enter ahead of him, he turned to me and gave me a wink, he didn't even try and hide it. His confidence and boldness was extremely hypnotizing, without realizing I began smiling back at him, my gaze fixated on his eyes, biting my lip slightly and straightening my body more than usual. My whole body burning up an overwhelming desire to approach him, aching for his touch. When he broke his gaze as he turned to the girls with a devilish smile walking in slamming the door shut.

"You okay?" Ashely questioned.

"Huh? ....What? Yeah I'm okay" As I quickly snapped back to normal barely being able reply with my parched throat my voice quivering ever so slightly.

"Ummm….. Okay...." Ashely hesitantly replied looking at me with raised eyebrows with an expression of confusion and curiosity. As he walked passed me towards the central smaller door. "Come lets go we regularly chill out at Pauls room and have fun and food." As he lead the way.

I froze in shock, "….umm… ummmm I don't think that's such a good idea." I quietly said to Ashley, my body filled with nervousness, although every part of me wanted to meet him again, I wasn't quite sure how he would react.

"Nonsense you and Paul are best friends" Ashley replied ignoring what I said.

"No you don't understand...… there's a reason we haven't seen each other in years...." I tried to explain myself without revealing too much.

"Yeah because he was forced to come here….." Ashley answered me.

"Not exactly ….. We hurt each other really badly a long time ago....." I quietly explained looking down, trying to hide my face.

"Look every friendships have their ups and downs, look at me and Scarlet she drives me up the wall, but even then when things get serious I know I can trust her." He explained.

"No… No… I just can't, can you show me to my dorm please?" I pleaded to him.

He paused a little, loooking slightly confused at me "okay sure no worries, I'll show you the way." As he began walking towards the giant door behind me. "You know he doesn't hold grudges and he forgives people easily.... You know that right?" He added when he walked past me.

"I know...… I just think it's a problem with me….." I quietly replied…. Almost in tears.

"I'm so sorry I didn't know….. I thought you was gonna be excited to see him …." He tried to explain his actions.

"It's okay... I know you meant well….." I replied quietly and following closely behind him.

Ashley opened the large door, surprisingly with little effort. "Normal student dorms are one level below. Normally this level is off limits because S rank students are famous, so it's to stop any disturbances. The floors above us is where you will find the teachers' lounge and rooms, their offices are located in the main building though." Ashley exdplained turning his head to look at me.

"Hello Senior Engineer Ashley!" a female voice spoke out from the direction of the opened door.

Ashley turned his head to face the source of the voice, "Ohhh Hello Princess Calista, it's been a long time." He replied.

My body began feeling even more dreadful as I silently shuffled behind Ashley to try and avoid her vision. She was the last person I wanted to see, especially at this moment in time.

"It truly has, been nearly 2 years I think." She replied.

"Sounds about right, so what brings you up here?" Ashley politely asked.

"Ohhhhh I have a date with Paul tonight." Her voices beamed making no attempt to hide her excitement.

"Really? That doesn't sound like him." Ashely replied sounding extremely confused.

She chuckled slightly as Ashley's response, "Ohh who's that behind you?" she questioned.

"Ohh this is my old friend Emilia." He responded stepping aside to reveal me.

My heart sank, why I stupidly thought I could hide from her. "Hi nice to meet you." I lifted my head to look at her, pretending it was the first time I've seen her.

"Hi nice to meet you too, I'm Calista Princess of Arcadia." She replied recognizing me causing her expression to change ever so slightly, holding out her hand.

Not wanting to look rude I held my hand out to shake hers. She gripped my hand strongly purposely applying pressure to hurt my hand, realizing my hand after a few shakes. "So Emilia what brings you here?" She asked.

"No special reason just showing her around." Ashley answered.

"Well it was nice to see you again after so long Ashley! And nice to meet you too Emilia. I should get going I don't wanna be late." She smiled and waved as she began walking towards the middle smaller door.

Ashley carried on walking through the large door, I followed him closely but looking behind to watch Calista, she knocked on the door and not long after the door opened as she walked in. a sinking feeling washed over me, I know we haven't been together or even contacted each other for over 5 years, but a part of me felt heartbroken. "Do you think she actually has a date with Paul?" I asked quietly.

"Hmmmm….. I'm extremely doubtful, all the years I've known him he hasn't showed any romantic feelings or relations with someone." Ashley answered, his answer made me feel a little better, but even then he was unsure. "You know we can always turn around and see what's going on….. "He added as we carried on walking.

"No.... It's okay…." I replied, I think I am the last person he would want to see.

"Hmmm let me see….." as Ashley began tapping on his arm, "looks like if you're on the fifth floor" he said, as we walked down a series of stairs, "so S ranks are on the 8th floor, so yours would be three floors down." As we began walking down the series of stairs.

"By the way, I don't have any other spare clothes and stuff, what can I do?" I asked Ashley curiously.

"Well tomorrow all freshmen will be taken to the local city, where u can buy clothes and supplies." Ashley answered.

"Ummm, what if I don't have any.... Money?" I quietly asked.

"Hmmmm that's a rather tiny problem..." He replied, thinking to himself as we carried on walking down flights of stairs, "Don't worry about it, we will sort out something for you tomorrow." He turned to me with a smile.

"Okay….. Thank you I guess….. Why with all the secrecy though?" I asked.

"I don't know, I just love surprises." He laughed, "here we are." As we arrived at a large wooden door that he opened. We arrived at a similar hallway, but this hallway was littered with doors on both sides, totaling to over fifty doors in close proximity. "Hmm I assume your room is where those two students are." Ashley said, as we walked to the two students in the distance. "I assume they are the guards stationed to watch over you till we think it's safe." He added as we walked towards them.

The two guards wore a black suit, with a glowing blue rifle on their back and one glowing blue pistol on their side, wearing a helmet with a pitch black visor so we couldn't see their faces. "Hi" Ashley shouted towards them, they turned to salute him. "I guess you're stationed to watch over Emilia?" he questioned, they both nodded yes. "Okay so here's the deal Emilia here is a VIP, very close friends to Me, Scarlet and Paul. So if anything happens to her we would hold you both responsible, and call us if there is any trouble." He said to them, they both nodded again and assumed their previous position.

"Let's go." As Ashley opened the door "Madam I present to you, your new home!" he gestured taking a bow, allowing me to enter. Similar to the engineering building, my room was surprisingly big, despite the doors being extremely close.

"Same type of building like the Engineering Building?" I questioned.

"Yup, similar spell" Ashley answered smiling.

The room was very bare, simple marble walls and floor, with a few bits of furniture and a large double bed.

"You have a fully functional bathroom here." Ashley said opening a door in the side of the room, looking in, it was surprising that the bathroom was relatively modern compared to the rest of the room's decor, there was a large bath with a separate shower and a sink with a toilet. "This room is yours, so if you want to decorate it to make it more homely feel free. And if there are any additional rooms you may need, let me know and I'll see what I can do." He smiled at me. "The weekly laundry is collected at the start of the week, and will appear in your cupboard the following day, just dump your dirty clothes in that basket." He pointed at the basket in the corner. "Also when you're free give the badge a double tap, and meet me at my lab ill add a function to allow you to teleport straight here." Ashley added.

Resounding strong knocks suddenly came from the front door, "Ummm…. Miss Patel, there's someone here bearing gifts." Someone from outside the door shouted.

I looked at Ashley with complete confusion, and he looked back at me equally as confused. "Ummmm ask them to leave it with you or at the door." Ashley shouted back.

"Okay" the same voice shouted back.

Ashley pointed to me to stand behind a wall as he walked to the door opening it, I assume to collect the gifts. Hearing the door close, I peeped out my hiding spot, to see Ashley holding a large stack of books. "Well this is a strange gift…" He put the stack of books on a nearby table. "First we should see if there's any traps in these gifts." He said holding his arm out to stop me approaching, so what I want you to do is pull your wand, and see if you can feel any Arcanum coalescing around the books, if they have been tampered with magically you should be able to sense faint traces of Arcanum.

I proceeded as instructed pulling out my wand, and I began feeling Arcanum surge through me into my wand, closing my eyes I couldn't sense any Arcanum around the book, but oddly sensing Arcanum on every piece of furniture in this room….. "I don't sense anything from the books" I said to Ashley.

"That's good, I didn't sense anything either but it was good to practice, and eventually you wouldn't need to use the wand." Ashley explained, lowering his arm allowing me to look at the books.

Looking through the books, filled with excitement, reading happened to be one of my favourite pastimes. I began feeling happy excited to dive into the books.

One book in particular stood out, it was a first edition Harry Potter book which happened to be my favorite series opening the pages to inspect the book, there was a short message written on the bottom of the front page addressed to me.

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