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Highthorn: The Gatekeepers

Author:   Horus

Chapter 32: Orientation

Rage and Sensei sat inside the carriage followed by Adrian's and Caspian's carriages as they rode out of the palace and towards the academy.

The administration said that they had to show themselves to the students before the tournament, Rage didn't really like the spotlight so Sensei would most likely be the one to give a speech if needed, Jimmy was tagging along to see if there were any young mages with potential since he had an innate ability to see mana flow within the body, Madeen on the other hand was left behind for obvious reasons.

"So, how was yesterday?" Sensei asked Rage with a smirk.

"How was what?" Rage replied in confusion.

"You know, everyone saw you and that girl from Adrian's guild sneaking out of the palace during the ball.

"O-Oh, yeah that, well yeah, It's nothing we just had.. business to discuss" Rage cleared his throat in embarrassment looking out the carriage, "Anyways we're almost there"

The grand buildings and towers of the academy greeted them as students lined by the gate to greet them, a small performance was put on by some of the seniors as the carriages passed the gates with fireworks made using fire magic flew over the academy's sky, "Man, I can't get used to allat" Rage sighed sinking into his seat.

"Well, you better" Jimmy replied as he opened the carriage's door, Sylvora and Varon stood by the carriage while the Highthorn guards made a cordon around the carriage itself preventing the students from crowding around the clan members.

"Oh Look!" One of the students yelled as Adrian got out of the carriage, "OMGOMGOMGOMG This must be lord Adrian of the Azure knights he's so cuuute!"

"Look there!" Another called out, "It's the Highthorn, I heard they are the strongest out of the otherworld's factions"

"Isn't this Prince Valerian? He's so cute too! why are all the otherworlders so handsome" Another student said.

Sensei got out of the carriage scanning the crowd for Eve but neither her nor Cedric were anywhere to be found, he leaned down on Rage whispering, "So what's the plan?"

"I dunno, but judging by how that guy looks he must be the dean" Rage nodded towards an old man surrounded by a bunch of professors all smiling while waiting at the Academy's gates.

"Your Royal Highnesses, I am Demetrius Darvell the dean of the Imperial Academy, It's my pleasure receiving you on this lovely day" He extended his hands in welcome as they approached, Rage decided to stay silent and let the talking to either Adrian or Caspian.

"The pleasure is ours" Caspian shook the dean's hand before introducing his companions, "This is Sir Adrian Von Frankfurt the leader of the Azure Knights order" He pointed to Adrian as he shook the dean's hand, "And this is his highness Prince Valerian Highthorn"

"It's a pleasure meeting all of you" Demetrius said politely bowing his head, "Shall we head inside then?"

As entered the main building, symphonies of music and magic illusions played throughout the many corridors they passed until they reached the main hall where the orientation was being held, following them were the tons of students who were outside greeting them as they arrived at the academy, they quickly took their seats atop the podium as all the students took their seats.

Among the students, Cedric, Lucas, Taliyah, Elena and Noah were accompanying Eve to the orientation to encourage her on her first day in the academy, they took their seats in the middle of the hall as Eve caught Sensei's eyes, she subtly blushed before Lucas and Taliyah quickly noticed, their eyes jumping between both as they exchanged looks.

"Cedric" Lucas leaned in to whisper in his ears, "Is your sister betrothed to that knight accompanying Prince Valerian?" Lucas asked.

"Yes" Cedric answered, "They immediately clicked as soon as they arrived in Oakbrook, he's a good man of high status and fitting of her, so there was no reason to say no"

"O-Oh" Lucas sank back in his seat as he kept eyeing Sensei and Eve exchanging looks.

Demetrius stepped forward clearing his throat and hushing the students before he started, "Dear students, I welcome all of you to the grand imperial academy of the Eastern Empire, the oldest and most prominent academy in the entire continent, you were privileged enough to be accepted into the academy this year, a place where the heroes and kings of the Eastern Empires once learned, Today we have very special guests" He pointed to Caspian and the others sitting behind him, "His royal highness prince Caspian, the second prince of our beloved empire, the one who is creating a new imperial guards squadron for people your age, and choose our prestigious academy to pick ten of the knights who will be enrolled into the imperial guards" The students started cheering Caspians name in a chaos of cheers and applause before they calmed down, "Beside him, two people who are new to our realm, people who came from another world like the same incident you study about in history classes that happened a century and half a century ago"

"Is he complimenting or insulting us" Rage leaned in to whisper to Adrian who subtly chuckled.

"His Highness Prince Valerian Highthorn, and Sir Adrian of the Azure Knights" The students started clapping and cheering once more before Demetrius stepped back allowing Caspian to stand up for a small word.

"Students, I am Caspian, the second prince of our beloved empire, lately I was thinking, there is so much potential in the young generation my age that should be properly picked and raised, leaving their talents to go blunt over the years was a great waste to the growth and strength of our empire, and so I thought, why don't I handpick people with talents and grow that talent within the royal palace, and then I thought again, why don't I pick both commoner and royal? Isn't it all for the strength of our empire? the future of ourselves and our descendants after us?" Caspian said firmly as the students started cheering, except for a small portion of noble students who were still strongly against the commoners entering the royal palace.

"And so I used the guidance of these strong individuals from the other world to help me pick the students from this academy through the tournament that will be held next week" Caspian added, "Prince Valerian and Sir Adrian are both two prominent faction leaders and very strong warriors that rival even the Empire's grandmasters" Some students started to murmur at that statement.

"They look so young? how come they rival the empire's grandmasters who spent their entire life in training?" One student whispered to the other.

"I'm pretty sure that's an exaggeration" Another student replied.

"I know what you all must be thinking, how come such young individuals rival the empire's strongest?" Caspian added, "And so showing is better than telling, for the next week, all three of us will be guests here in the academy, if you wish to duel, spar or bring a person to spar against any of the esteemed otherworlders, we welcome and encourage it"

"It's just as Prince Valerian said" Caspian thought to himself, "They will start trying to fight or bring someone to fight them and we can find more talents that are not within the academy that way" He smiled at the thought before sitting back at his seat.

"As Prince Caspian said, this is also a chance for you students to gain some fight experience in a safe environment within the academy walls"

The orientation party followed with some shows and instructions for the new students regarding the academy, but Sensei noticed a strange girl who was sitting by Cedric eyeing him the entire time.

"Hey man, I think this girl hates me for some reason" He leaned down to whisper in Rage's ears.

"Huh? Do you know her?" Rage replied.

"Nope, but I was looking their way since Eve and Cedric are there, maybe she thought I looked at her wrong? I think I should apologize after the orientation party is over" He rubbed his head leaning his back on his seat again.

After the party was done, Sensei headed towards where Cedric and Eve were, He took Cedric in for a brotherly hug with a heartfelt laugh before holding Eve's hands, "Hey, long time no see, has it been a day?" Sensei smiled at Eve who kept blushing the entire time.

"You!" Taliyah walked past Eve getting in Sensei's face.

"Oh you, I'm sorry if you thought I looked at you wrong, but I was just looking at Eve and you happened to be in the same ro-" Sensei tried to apologize before being interrupted by Taliyah.

"My brother will duel you for Evelyn" Taliyah crossed her arms before Sensei's expression completely shifted to suppressed fury.

"I will what?" Lucas's face turned all red as he looked at his sister in confusion.

"For who?" He muttered under his breath as he towered over Lucas and Taliyah, his murderous intent immediately being sensed as it sent shivers down their spines urging them to take a couple of steps back.

"H-Hey it was just a joke alright, calm down" Eve put her hands on his chest as he took a deep breath and started to calm himself.

"It wasn't!" Taliyah continued, "We're going to the arena now!"

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