Of Covens and Clans (RP w/ toast)

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Gijinkas, Modern, Magical, Romance, Slice of Life... I'm pretty cool with most all genres except the few that I'm not too fond of.
Cristol strolled through the section of town that was decreed Betza territory-- not that most, normal humans would know that. It was standard witch policy to keep humans in the dark as much as possible about any witch going-ons, to the point of where, if they could afford it, clans would sometimes be very careful about selling houses, allowing stores to be built, or leasing anything to non-witch members in certain sections of their territory. A potential witch hunt could be even worse than what a clan conflict could bring.

Within the Betza territory were many things of affluence. Being a rich clan in general, they often had only the finest of shops and homes built. Along with the clan itself, many of these things were also here for generations... well, up until recently, what with the magic duel her father lost caused the loss of a section of territory. As per agreed, the Betza clan left than land, and who knows what that other clan was doing to that land... Cristol shook her head. She was sure that, when she was strong enough, she'd win it back. She had no reason to believe that she couldn't. Her instructor often commented that she was a strong magic caster for her age, but that she needed to focus her abilities. She remembered her reiterating that prodigies weren't born in a day.
Alto looked out the window, watching the commoners do their back breaking work. He found it difficult to pay attention to what his teach was spouting out. He wished he was anywhere else. Anywhere. But this was his duty, wasn't it? To learn how to be strong, and crush his clan's enemies. Very simple, very cut and dry. But he still wished his teacher would make the lessons a little less....tedious.

There were four other students with him, none of which he was very close too. He didn't have friends, he wasn't allowed to have friends. It didn't seem that big of a deal to him. Alto didn't get along very well with others anyways. They always seemed to have a sour reaction to him, maybe it was jealousy, that the clans leader had taken a personal interest in him. He didn't care about that, they could have all the attention they wanted.
Looking in the window of a shop, Cristol saw that it was almost time for her lessons, and as such, hurried along to get to them. It wasn't proper manners to be late, after all.

Arriving to the manor, she knocked at the door, and it was promptly answered by her instructor, Dalea. She smiled warmly upon seeing Cristol, who curtsied in response to seeing her, "I'm glad that you could make it, Cristol." she said, inviting her in, "Please join the other students in the parlor. I'll begin your lessons shortly."

Cristol set herself down on a couch, helping herself to the tea that was on the center table. As she sipped on it, the other three, two girls and one boy, gossiped. She guess she'd consider them 'friends'-- it's not like having friends of whom had rich and affluent parents within the same clan was a bad thing in terms of a relationship.

"What about the Sharlon Clan?" one student interjected.

"What about them?" another said, "It's not like they have any allies to speak of."

"Well yes but...."

"But what?"

"... What if they suddenly rose up one day?"

That got uproarious laughter from everyone in the room, even Cristol, "They should. Try to, that is. It would finally give us an excuse to rid them! They've been such a thorn in everyone's side, but I would think that even our rivals could give them a good run for it."

"I was being serious!" the student said, but it was of no avail as everyone continued to make jokes of the remark.
"Class 13, are you paying attention?" The teacher asked softly. Instantly, all five students turned to look at him, with their hands folded.

"Sir." They all said, some nodding.

The older man at the front of the room let out a dark chuckle, and started weaving his way through the desks. He'd stop to look at each student, scrutinizing their emotionless expression, tutting at the two who couldn't keep it together. "Alto!" He suddenly commanded loudly. "Recite the pledge."

Alto stood slowly, wile the other students let out sighs of relief, letting their masks slip. "I will wipe away my being, I will give myself completely, I will kill all in our great leader's way." He said in a monotone voice. "Love, happiness, peace, and honor. Those things have no ground in my life." He sat back down, eyes still facing the front.

"Very good, Alto." The teacher said, making his way to the front. He turned to look at the students. "Do any of you know why you're class 13?" He asked them.

One of the girls raised her hand. "Because 13 is a powerful magical number, sir."

"Yes. Good, it seems you were paying attention after all." He tapped his chin. "In a week, we will invade the Betza territories with the Marsh clan, temporarly aiding us. Can any of you tell me why we're not forming a permanent alliance?"

Alto's dorm mate answered that time. "Because, without fail, all alliances will crumble one day."

"Are any of you, perhaps nervous?"

"No sir." Was the instant response from them all.

"My, what laughter." Commented the teacher as she stepped into the parlor.

"Oh, we were just laughing at a joke."

The student who made the remark glared, but the teacher replied with an inquisitive "Oh?", assuming it to be just playful youth chatter.

"The Sharlon clan 'rising up'."

When the teacher slammed the books that she'd been carrying onto the table, tipping over a cup of tea, they knew that a mistake had been made.

"The Sharlon clan is no laughing matter!" the teacher said in a sharp, harsh voice that seemed entirely unlike her. Even Cristol, infamous within her own clan for being a little difficult to handle by some of the older witches, was intimidated, but didn't look away.

"B-but aren't they disliked by pretty much everyone a-anyways?" one student spoke up.

"Yes, but you mustn't forget why." Dalea said sternly, "They are cold, calculating monsters who even treat their own as if they were disposable. That's not even leading into the atrocious acts they've done..." seeing the scared and concerned faces of her students, she stopped. She hated the thought of teaching by fear.

Cristol was the first to apologize, "We really should have known better." she hated the thought of having disappointed her teacher so severely. The rest of the students spoke up in agreement.

"I just want all of you to understand that the Sharlon Clan isn't to be taken lightly... they are shunned because they go against many of the basic principles by which Witches, and most conscious living creatures, live by." there was an awkward silence before she cleared her throat, "Now, why don't we get on with the lesson? ... After I go fetch something to clean up this tea. I'd hate for it to stain the table."

The students were much more eager to start the lesson than ever before, wanting a much welcome switch from the sudden tense atmosphere.
They were given uniforms, the symbol of their clans on their backs. "The main targets are the secondary leader of the clan, any energy magic users, and the daughter of the previous leader." The general said to the five witches, who stood with their back straight, and eyes void of emotion.

"Are we to kill them?"

"Not all of them, you're to bring the girl back to headquarters, we'll use her as a bargaining chip."

Alto watched it all with cold eyes, looking around the room at his classmates. It'd be the first time they were being forced to work together as a team. But he knew they would work well. He popped his knuckles, more out of habit than anything, and looked at the generals of the clan who they had temporarily agreed to work with.

They seemed more open to women's power then his clan did. There wasn't a single woman who was above a commander in the Sharlon clan. He looked at his two female classmates, who looked as if they were thinking the same thing, with small frowns on their faces.

"This is your lot in life, get over it." He snapped at them, showing a strange amount of emotion.

"Easy for you to say, you're a man, you can move right up in the ranks." The blond one said.

"If you attempt to defect, I'll kill you both." He told them.
Of course, Cristol was ahead of the others in her learning. She'd might have been more sarcastic and condescending in this fact if it wasn't for that her teacher disproved of this as well... besides, the time the teacher spent helping the others let her practice more. Usually there'd be a small lecture inside the parlor before they'd be led outside to practice spells.

As Cristol twisted her fire from her wand, she could sometimes see a look of worry on Dalea's face... and more often than not, she saw her teacher looking at her when she thought that Cristol wasn't looking. Was this still about the Sharlon Clan? It had to be, Cristol couldn't think of what else it was about. Was she still mad about it? Annoyed, maybe? But then what was the worried look for, and towards her? Cristol nearly burnt a porch chair because she was distracted with these thoughts.

When the lesson was over, and the students said their goodbyes to each other, she felt her shoulder lightly tugged by her teacher, "Please be careful, Cristol..."

Cristol gave a confused look.

Dalea paused before answering, "... Because there are more unsavory, older Witches of whom I'm sure would like to use you."

Cristol couldn't help but scoff at this notion, "I'm very sure that your teachings have been able to help me defend myself... as I have power and technique." she said proudly.

"Yes, but experience can beat potential alone... I'm not saying that you're weak by any means, Cristol, but as a daughter of a fellow high ranking Witch, you are a growing force to be reckoned with, but because of this, many may wish to take advantage of how young you are." Another pause, "... I'm sorry, it's just that-- and please don't tell the students this, I don't want them to think that I care about them any less-- I sometimes think of you like you're my own daughter."

More like she might have well as been Cristol's mother, having been there for her more often than her actual mother was, but not wanting to upset her teacher she didn't remark on this, "I look forward to our lessons tomorrow."

"As do I, Cristol. I wish you a safe trip back home."

With that being said, they exchanged goodbyes, and Cristol headed for home. As she walked home, she looked at her wand. Should she be worried...? Cristol shook her head. She was more than aware than she was far ahead of other witches when they were her age, and by no means was she all that naive, either. She'd be fine, her own pride told her this.
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