An Angel's Thesis Original

SS) A First Rate Magician

Kairi takes an imposing step forward as she places an arm before her chest and flings the other behind herself.  Her self-assured gestures give the illusion of a cape billowing behind her.  “I am the dragon!  Bow down and worship my magnifi— ow!”

Aiden cuts off Kairi’s rant with a flick to the back of her head.  She was still trembling from trying to touch the Seven Star Sword two minutes ago…  How is she so energetic?

He looks at Kalani and Liam.  Reluctance laces his words as he says, “So, like I said in the messenger, this is my younger sister, Kairi.  She came to visit.”

Kairi jumps up to restart her tirade, but Aiden preempts her with another flick.  She turns to him with a crestfallen expression and says, “Why do you keep flicking me?”

Aiden stares at her for a moment and then shakes his head.  He recalls the previous night’s conversation with the thoughts, This is my fault…

Kalani uses the pause to approach Kairi and tease her with a smile.  “You’re a cute dragon.”

Kairi jumps at the remark.  Shock and embarrassment twist into fury and frustration as she spins around.  Her words are accented by crackling lightning as she says, “The dragon is not cute!  The dragon is ferocious!  Destruction incarnate!  For that insolence, I shal- ow!” 

Kairi clutches the back of her head as Aiden says, “Tone down the lightning before you start a forest fire.”

Liam speaks with mild amusement lacing his words.  “That was actually pretty amazing.  I never knew magic could run wild like that.”

Aiden shrugs, but doesn’t comment.  He needs that pause to keep from giving a deadpanned, “It doesn’t.”  All he can manage to come up with during that moment is, “Kairi is pretty talented.  She could totally get accept into this academy through her own skill.”

Kairi says, “Obviously!  Only fools would turn away the drag-”

Liam cuts Kairi off before she can start her tirade.  “Wait, what do you mean her own skill?  Are you using your status to pull strings?”

Kairi complains, “Hey,” but is ignored.  Aiden says, “Opposite, this is completely for their own conveniences.  They said they’ll automatically accept her for my sake, but they just want to examine her.”

Kairi says, “They can try!  The dragon is nobody’s lab ra-”

Kalani cuts her off and says, “Examine?  You mean as a comparison between you and a normal magician who’s also related to you?”

While Kairi again pouts at being ignored, Aiden says, “Pretty much, or at least that’s my speculation.  I mean, I would totally want to do the same.  They’re bound to have already checked the differences between me and other magicians.  Kairi will be a reference to what I was like before ascending.”

Kalani and Liam stare at Aiden for a few moments before sighing.  Kalani says, “I forget you have this side to yourself.  All those questions you asked back when we were helping you learn meditative mana gathering left me floored.”

Liam says, “Yeah, like, ‘would anything change if I meditated submerged in water?’  Heck, you even convinced me to climb to the top of the mountain for the sake of comparing potential differences due to altitude.”

Aiden says, “But, we discovered that although there wasn’t much difference in the amount that could be gathered, the mana itself felt “strange.”  This suggests that different “organisms” produce different types of mana.  With more research, we might be able to discover if those different types of mana have any effect on magic being cast or if those different types have any compatibility differences among magicians.”

Kalani makes a face as she turns away.  “Which you can do on your own.  You’ve got meditative mana gathering down so have fun.”

Aiden says, “That’s no good.  This sort of thing is better studied with a larger sample pool to compare against.  Kairi could give you hundreds of stories where I had her try out new spells for me over and over again.”

He waits for Kairi to follow up with an example, but only silence follows.  After looking around for a bit, he finds her skulking as she stares at some flowers off on the side.  His bad habit of drifting off into his own thoughts and ignoring everything around him had always upset Kairi.  Everyone doing that just now has got to be even worse. 

Kalani acts faster than Aiden as she gives Kairi a hug from behind.  “Sorry, sorry, we got a bit too caught up on ourselves.  Come on, we’ll totally make this up to you.”

Kairi speaks after a few moments.  Her tone is laced with stark annoyance and frustration.  “I want ice cream.”

“Then you’re in luck cause Aiden can totally get us the best ice cream on the island.”

Kairi peaks her face towards Aiden.  A bit of vigor seeps into it as she says, “Is Cami going to be there?”

Liam says, “Cami? You mean Camillia?”

Kalani squeezes Kairi towards herself out of surprise from the revelation.  She then sweeps the younger girl off her feet as she spins around to ask, “You guys are friends with a celebrity like her!”

Kairi, dangling off balanced within Kalani’s arms, says, “Of course…”  She then rights herself and adds, “Aiden would always drag her off to test whatever new spell he came up with when we were kids.  Did you forget?  She’s who performed the ascension ritual for my venerable brother.”

Aiden chuckles as he recalls the trouble he’d get Kairi, Camillia, and himself into.  His grin soon melts upon spotting bright anticipative expressions on Kalani and Liam.  “Don’t get your hopes up.  She’s been really busy lately.  I doubt she’d even have time to meet with any of us.”

He then sends Camillia an invitation to get ice cream over his phone and adds, “Honestly, I doubt she’ll even see this message.  Well, she might make time to see Kai-”

Kairi, as Aiden’s sister, notices the subtle displeasure hidden within his expression and gestures.  From there she picks up on the implication of his words.  She breaks from Kalani’s arms with a roar.  “That bitch!  She’s snubbing you?  You!  Everything she’s accomplished is your work!  The dragon is gonna-!”

Aiden chops Kairi on the head.  At Kairi’s whimper, he says, “Calm down.  It doesn’t matter anymore.”

“Venerable brother!  How can you have the presence of mind to claim it doesn’t matter?  The dragon must see to this injustice!  She’ll reg- ow!”

“I said calm down.”

Liam speaks before Aiden can say anything else.  Confusion laces his tone as he says, “Your work?  Are you claiming everything she’s done is because of you?”

Kairi swings her arm to the side as she says, “All of that was the fruit of my venerable brother’s research!”

Annoyance flashes across Aiden’s face as he sends Kairi an accusative glance.  Kalani says, “Wait, then what about the ascension ritual that made Camillia famous and got you both into the academy?  That was all you?”

Aiden recognizes that the truth has been uncovered and sighs.  Then, after a moment of thought, he realizes that he never intended to keep his capabilities secret in the first place.  He only kept quiet among his Maoli magic style training friends because he didn’t want them to know he was enrolled in the academy.  That it somehow deviated to protecting the truth about Camillia stemmed from an unknown moment of stupid rationality.  Upon recalling the conversation he had with Camilia in the hospital room, he feels even more foolish.  The shock is to the point that he shakes his head to try and drive it from his mind.

Kalani and Liam turn to Kairi at Aiden’s strange behavior, but she signals for them to just give him a few more seconds.  Not having any other recourse, they stare at him with open hesitation.

A confident grin soon flashes across Aiden’s face as says, “Don’t you guys remember my match?  I’m a first rate magician.  Everything Camillia knows is because of me.”

Kairi nods as she says, “Everything the dragon knows is also because of her venerable brother.”

Liam, although taken aback by Aiden’s sudden switch in attitude, says, “How are you so relaxed about this?  You should be furious.”

Aiden paraphrases the words he spoke to Camillia.  Melancholy laces his tone as he says, “She’ll probably be expelled sooner or later.  The professors are already starting to realize that I’m much better than her.  Some have even started inviting me to attend their more advanced lectures.”

Kalani smirks at the disconnect between Aiden’s usual behavior and the words he uses to describe himself.  “They are?”

A sheepish smile makes its way across Aiden’s face as he says, “I may have pestered them with one too many questions during their office hours about one or two revolutionary techniques in spell crafting.”

Playfulness laces Kalani’s tone as she adds, “You’re not the slightest bit humble when you talk about yourself, huh?”

“Hey, I’m being objective!  My descriptions are completely objective!  You try crafting a new field of magic and talk about it with someone.  You’d come off as impressive no matter what you say, okay!”