Saturday, January 18, 2014

Stories from Eave: Rin's Tale 6

[Please keep in mind this is a rough draft.  Any questions?  Happy to answer.]

Rin walked down to the Colleges of Danaan, quite possibly the largest institute of higher learning on the face of Eave.  Some twenty thousand odd students come here to learn everything from agriculture to zoology and everything in between.  The Colleges cover most of the upper levels of the cinder cone and up and over the edges as they drop into the sea.  Rin remembered her year here in fosterage and it was a good experience.  She almost wish she could have spent more time here.  She could have spent more time here, but Aylen had recruited her to the Order.

Children as young as twelve could come to the Colleges if they were truly gifted.  In North Realm, children are taught much faster than children normally were taught.  By the time they were around fourteen to fifteen, they had the equivalent of a high school education because they did not coddle their children and teach them the useless information that only gets retaught later.  The children are taught to their strengths, so no student ever got bored with the curriculum.  If a student was physically gifted, then the teachers would guide the student to be the very best they could be.  If they wanted a higher education, there were many ways a student could learn.  The legal age for children in North Realm was sixteen where they would be treated as adults.

Overhead the tarn drill team flew among the many airships that advertised beers, foodstuffs and onsens, dragging streamers behind them if they didn’t have a dedicated airship.  Most of the lava rocks have been moved and much dirt has been moved here from the surrounding lowlands has been transported up here to allow for a pleasant environment to work and study.  The political science building is a large building, built into the side of the mountain.  As with many of the first buildings built here, it was one that was built upon a hot spring to keep it warm when the cold air from the sea would come in.

“Rin.  It is good to see you back,” an old man greeted her and came up to give her a hug.  Kemmon was a spry old man in his sixties.  He wore a robe to keep the chill and bay and had long hair and beard and was gray streaked with black.

“It is good to see you Uncle Kem,” Rin said as she hugged him back.  That got a big smile out of him.  Kemmon’s one true love died years ago giving birth almost forty years ago.  He never remarried and the Barony would be passed to his sister Crema when he dies.  So he through everything to teaching and loved it when his students would call him uncle.

“I take it you are here to see Itami.  She is still inside talking to Rikkard and Sofia.  Do not worry, Hanar Chan is with her.”

“I do not worry about her,” she smiled and lied.  Rin always worried about her charge.  She hugged her uncle again and went to the end of the hall.  Several students were still leaving and you can see Sir Hanar Chan standing there about five meters away from Itami.

“Greetings,” the tall man said.  Well, taller than her at her hundred and sixty four centimeters anyway.  He stood at least twenty centimeters taller than her.  He was part of the Order of the Rose, an order of knighthood that protected the royal family of North Realm.  He was armed with a sword and pistol and wore his chainmail underneath his clothing.  His shield with the Royal Seal emblazoned up it, was strapped to his back.  His armor and shield were enchanted much like her own armor was and provided him with movement and protection.  Hanar was a master swordsman and a fair shot with his pistol but he was really a master when he used both at once with his shield.  Sword in one hand and pistol and shield on the other, made him a lethal combination.

Rin smiled up at him, watching the young Princess.  “They are speaking of different forms of governments,” the knight said with a scowl and narrow eyes.  “What the Baron said that back in the Age of Stars, there was a form of democracy that guided the people Earth Directorate.  I do not know if I like it or not.  They are arguing with Her Highness about how she should institute it when she takes over the Realm.”

“She is a smart girl, not easily swayed,” Rin said of Itami.  Hanar just looked over at her, not convinced and cleared his throat.  The conversation stopped and Itami turned around to hush Sir Hanar.  Her eyes widened when she saw Rin and she leapt out of her seat and rushed over to Rin.  “Rin!  I have counted the days.  How is your brother, the Baron?” she asked of Aylen.  The wedding was all anyone could talk about these days.

“He is well and sends his regards.  He awaits his turn in taking you on in fosterage,” she said.  “You will learn of the eladrin and walk in the woods to view its beauty.”

“I cannot wait!” she said as she wiped a smaller braid that hung on her left side back from her face.  She was a beautiful girl, pale of complexion and hair.  Her hair was snow white and long, having to keep it in long waterfall braid that hung down over her right shoulder.  Rin’s eyes flicked to Itami’s two companions.  She has seen them before.  Rikkard always having heated debates with the political law professors.  Some thought it a challenge and the teachers liked the discourse.  Others hated the opinionated young man.  Sofia however she did not know.  The blonde haired girl was a little too quiet to be hanging around the opinionated young man.

“Oh.  Rin, may I introduce my two classmates.  Rikkard Davic and Sofia Hess.  Rikkard, Sofia, this is the Lady Rin danTaven.”  Rikkard almost sneered but Sofia curtsied just a little bit.  Rin just plastered on her smile that she usually saved for the boring people she usually had to deal with.

“It is a pleasure to meet you both,” Rin said pleasantly.  “I know you Mr. Davic.  Your discourses in the political arena are well known.  I often hear Her Highness talk about them when we are at home.”

“Someone has to speak the truth,” he said puffing himself up. 

“Truth?” Rin asked.  “What truths would those be?”

“The truth that all people, all humans should be equal.  Have a voice in how we are to be ruled and if needs be, we have the right to enact change and throw down the corrupt old guard!”  Hanar started to move.  What Rikkard said was dangerously close to treason, but Rin stopped him by stepping forward to place herself before him and Itami.  Rikkard knew he had spoken too much but his pride was too great to cower before the tall knight.

“All people are not created equal,” Rin started.  “The Spartan Blooded people are stronger, faster in both body as well as mind.  His Excellency Kemmon danTaere is not noted for his soldiering skills, but his mind is ever sharp.  There is not a person alive I suspect, who knows more than he about governance.  You are in his class, so I suspect you know already.  People will rise to the top of their field, be it in the military, the sciences, magic or governance, especially governance.  We, the nobles, do you know why we do our fosterage?  So we do not lose touch with the people.  So we do remember the hardships as well as the good times.  Her Highness mucked the kaddam stables in the Barony of Leavestonne.  She worked in the stores of the Barony of Holdingford.  Stood watch on Harro’s Wall in the Barony of Crosstaal.  I know this because I did the same thing when I was her age.  She knows more about the common people than you… ever… will.”  Rin said as she took a step toward Rikkard and he fell back.  She wanted to shame him and Rin thought she did.  “So instead of complaining for change, you should get to know the people you think wants such change and see if they want to change.”

Rikkard was used to shouting down his opponents but Rin never gave him the chance.  He stood there quietly and turned all matter of shades of red.  He started to push his way past Rin but was stopped by Sir Hanar who stepped in front of him.  “You owe Her Highness an apology,” he said low and threateningly.

“You have my apologies, Your Highness.  I was out of line,” he practically whispered.  It was quiet, except for the hissing of the radiator.  Hanar did not move and Rikkard had to edge his way around him and left for the door.

Sofia just stood there staring at Rin with a quiet, unknowing grin on her face.  “That was quite a show Lady Rin,” she finally said.  “You’re dangerous,” she smiled.

“I have only spent a year here, so I am sure he knew much more than I,” Rin said sarcastically.  “I take it you do not need a lesson, do you Lady Hess?”

“It all depends,” Sofia continued to smile.  “Do you give private lessons?”  It took a second for Rin to figure out what she meant while she could hear Itami stifle a little giggle.  Before she could answer, Sofia continued.  “Please, do not think that Rikkard speaks for everyone.  Like all men, he is passionate, but like all men, he is passionate about one thing and does not see the larger picture.”

“And you do?” Rin asked of her as she was picking up her books.  Sofia just smiled as she was left.  Sir Hanar giving her a wide berth.  “I think you are the one who is dangerous,” Rin said softly at the door.