Reinstatement (2/3)

”Now that you
e all here, the only way to leave is by passing or failing the upcoming tests. ” Flora once again captured everyones attention as the twin oak doors slowly closed behind the examinees. ”For those of you who are participating for the first time, youll understand why that is in a second. First however, I would like all of you to look around and get a good look at the room you
e in. ”

As instructed to do, the wannabe adventurers began to inspect their surroundings, glancing in every direction before looking back at Flora. Jak followed their example, his crimson hues flicking in every direction, analyzing the area around him. The rocky terrain, the flowing river in the far left corner, and even the bright blue sky with white tufts of cotton. He was already aware that it was a landscape made with magic, but he didn really care as he took it all in. If he focused, he could see the real room, of which was just an extremely enormous metallic box with the only entrance being the wooden oak doors he had just walked through.

(( ”Same scenery huh? ”)) Jak said as he shifted his eyes back onto the two examiners. (( ”Guess theres no need to fix what isn broken. ”))

”Now, those who can see anything please raise your hand, ” Flora instructed after some time had passed..

After a brief wait, through which not a single person raised their hand, she gave a small nod. ”If you had failed to see the illusion then you would have failed the test before it even got under way. This room shows the illusion to those with enough magical power and shows nothing to those below it, meaning you would already be outed as someone with inferior magical abilities. Im pleased to know that youve all reached the requirements to proceed to the actual trial. All that being said, lets proceed to the real assessment. ”

Flora waved her hand, and the entire illusion disappeared, leaving only the metallic box like room. However, this time a small stage stood at the very front of it, complete with a set of stairs off to the side that allowed one to climb onto the top of it. Placed directly in the middle, fixated against the wall, was a full length mirror with a multitude of blue crystals embroidered along the edges of it. The crystals glowed softly, emitting soft waves of magic that everyone could no doubt feel from across the room. This was the object that was going to measure their magical capacity, a Mangre Mirror. It was something that was only heard of but hardly ever seen. Something that was quite rare, especially as it was exclusively owned by the WGC.

”So thats a Mangre Mirror? ” A person next to Jak muttered. ”Never seen one in person before. ”

”Thats not surprising. The WGC lay claims to all of them. They
e only distributed to high class families such as nobility and royalty. The only place you
e likely to see one is during the Exams. ”

e made by the dwarves though right? Why would Drifters give us anything? ”

”Who cares?? As long as we get it, it doesn matter how. ”

”I guess you
e right. ”

”Ahem, ” Flora coughed, interrupting those few whom had struck up conversations. The individuals quickly fell silent, once again standing at attention.

”Uh….yeah. Anyways, we will now move on to the testing portion. We will be using your surnames to go in reverse alphabetical order. ” Margaret quickly flipped through the pages on her clip board, looking for the proper page. ”Please come up when called and place a hand on the center of the mirror. ”

”Yanda, Ja- ”

”Unoma, Carson. ” Flora interjected, quickly cutting off the purple haired receptionist, her voice raising a few octaves. ”Please make your way forward. ”

The muttering from before returned as a small female made her way from the crowd, a confused look on her face as she made her way towards the stairs. Everyone had heard Margaret call out some other name, thus they had every right to be perplexed at Floras hasty correction. Of course, no one was more shocked then Margaret herself.

”Hey. Um…..why did you call out that name? ” Margaret whispered, her tone polite. ”I thought we were gonna start with the Reinstatement first. ”

”Normally that would be the case. ” Flora watched as the petite girl trekked up the short flight of steps, brown eyes looking but not seeing. ”However, we
e dealing with a rare case. One that has be dealt with the utmost precaution. ”

(( ”Precaution? Does she mean the redhead? the 12th Rookie? ”))

”Tell me Marge. Can you guess why everyone thought that Jak had died during the Bird Massacre three years ago? Why they assumed there had been no survivors? ”

Margaret said nothing at first as she watched the examinee place her hand over the surface of the mirror. Violet hues narrowed in thought as she contemplated Floras question, giving it some serious thought. Eventually though she just shook her head.

”Its because he left almost immediately after it happened, ” Flora answered, brown eyes glancing briefly at the purple haired receptionist. ”He left on his own without telling a single soul. ”

”But why- ”

”What do you think hes been doing all that time? ”

A flash of light suddenly burst into bloom, capturing the attention of the receptionists, halting their conversation as the entire room was enveloped. A massive, blue light filled the entire room, causing everyone to squint as it became more and more intense. Eventually, after a few seconds, the light died back down and everything returned to normal, the mirror no longer responding to the girls delicate touch. However, a number appeared above the youths head after she removed her hand, one scrawled in the same color as the light the mirror had emitted.

”As you can see, this mirror analyzes ones magic and then quantifies it from 1 to 10000. However the limit on this one has been set to a mere 3,000. ” Flora explained aloud, stating everything nice and clearly, easily recovering as Carson walked down from the stage, of whom looked quite perplexed. ”The most any of you could ever hope for is 2,000 at most. A prime example of an already great score is Carson, a Water attribute who achieved 1730. ”

The black haired girl appeared even more shocked as she moved to stand to the side, indicating that not only had she finished the trial, but also passed it as well.

”Remember, you only need 1,500 in order to pass. Anything over is fine but fall below by even a single point and its a fail. ” Margaret repeated what she had said in the beginning as she looked over who to call next.

Following that, one by one, everyone was called up to partake in the magical assessment, crossing their fingers as they went up. For many, they would finally be aware of just how far they had come, to know if all the work that had put in was worth it and if it had amounted to something in the end. Though failing this test wasn a make or break moment, it would still show them how much they had to improve and if they even had what it took to truly roam the Rifts as an adventurer. The number of people within the crowd slowly decreased as many split off, either heading to the larger group of those that had managed to pass or to the smaller group of those that had failed by just a few points. Little by little, it was whittled down, until only Jak remained, standing alone, still covered by his hood.

”Yanda, Jak. ”

A wave of silence fell over the chattering crowd of newbies the moment the name had been called, the room momentarily becoming so quiet that one could hear a pin drop. Dozens of eyes shifted to stare at the lone figure, of whom had just begun moving. The hiatus didn last long of course as the hooded individual made his way forward, passing the crowds, towards the flight of stairs that would lead him upwards. What with the name being cut off earlier and the mystery surrounding the stranger, there was no way those watching would be able to keep their thoughts to themselves.

”So the Reinstater finally takes his turn. Wonder what his score will be. ”

”It shouldn be too bad considering that its a Reinstatement. Hes passed before so it shouldn be much of a problem for him. ”

”But if he only matches us who are just starting, it just shows how bad his talent is. ”

”But doesn that cloak seem familiar? I swear Ive seen it somewhere before. ”

The soft chatter of the shifting masses filled the room, the voices following the redhead as he trekked up the staircase and took his place before the Mangre Mirror. Standing at 240cm in length, the reflective surface alone towered over the individual, the dimly lit stones embedded in the frame casting a gentle blue light over the exposed parts of the youths face. The world seemed to come to a standstill as Jak placed his palm onto the mirrors of face, the bottom of the males cloak ruffling despite the lack of wind.

”Theres a reason hes an Elemental Rookie, ” Flora suddenly said, causing an enraptured Margaret to rip her gaze away from the mirror. ”Im sure you know they don just GIVE that title away. ”


Before Margaret had the chance to respond, a gust of magical wind, hot and heavy, hit the receptionist in the side of her face. A red and yellow light permeated every inch of the room, temporarily blinding those who happened to be looking directly at it. The area grew heated and stuffy, as if a raging fire had suddenly been lit, making it difficult for most to get a decent breath.

Then, just as quickly as it started, it all dissipated, evaporating into nothingness, leaving nothing but the blind and starstruck. Those who had previously doubted the cloaked individual said nothing as the youth stood there, the individuals hood having been knocked back during the performance.

Crimson hair. A shade of red so bright it was impossible not to notice. The hood that had hid Jaks head had all but disappeared, leaving a sort of weird cape with a giant mark in the middle of it.

No one spoke as Jak took his hand off the Mangre Mirror and turned around, their full attention focused on the spot above the youths head. Everyone waited with bated breath, even the receptionists keeping to themselves as the seconds ticked by. After what felt like an eternity, the numbers appeared. Even then, not a single newbie spoke up as they read and reread the four big block numbers flashing back at them. It wasn until Flora said something that they finally brought themselves back to reality.

”Jak Yanda. Flame Affinity. Score is 3000. ” Flora didn even have to shout for everyone to hear her, the room deathly quiet. ”The Twelfth Rookie, Jak Yanda has passed the first Trial. ”

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