June 01 9022 landed on a Sunday.
Ashton received an e-mail yesterday reminding him to attend the welcoming ceremony for new students. They even said that they will send someone to pick him up which was weird.
Still, since the e-mail was an official one, he must attend. Plus, he wouldn"t miss the chance to finally see what the Mystic Academy looks like and how to get there exactly.
Currently, the clock's about to hit 10am, Ashton's already wearing his school uniform with his stuff placed on utility belt on his waist. It's weird to not carry a bag going to school but it's more convenient this way.
He had spent the last ten minutes telling Jerry what to do while he's gone. And after giving him some instructions, he heard his doorbell ringing.
Ashton went to the door and opened it to see a man wearing a suit. The man greeted him with a small nod and said:
"Hi, my name is John. I assume you're Mr. West?"
"Ah, yes. How can I help you John?"
"I'm sent by the Mystic Academy to be your chauffeur for today. I'll take you there. Are you ready to leave?"
"Oh! Ah, give me one second to double-check my things." Ashton left the man at the door for a brief moment to check his stuff once more, making sure he has everything he'll need.
After confirming that he indeed have everything, he bid Jerry goodbye and left for the door.
"I'm ready." He said to John.
"Great!" John then took a step backwards and waved his hand.
A rectangular light appeared out of nowhere and slowly moved forward, leaving a frame of a vehicle at its wake. Ashton was astounded seeing this.
After a few seconds, a motorcycle appeared. The type that looked badass. John went to it made the engine purr which jolted Ashton awaken.
"Hop on in!" He said, "Don't worry, I'm a good driver. You won't be in danger."
Ashton gulped and thought; 'Why am I scared?'
Still, he approached the motorcycle and hopped on its back. John then reared the engine and they took off which surprised Ashton greatly.
"Wait, were not wearing helmets!" He reminded.
"Oh, there's no need for that! This baby right here is built with a safety module. If we have an accident, the mod will activate and protect us. Just hang on tight, we're going to go fast!"
It turns out that Ashton's instincts were correct. There is a reason for him to be scared.
When John said that he was a good driver, he didn't specify his words. He is indeed a good driver.
A very good race car driver that is.
John didn't have to tell Ashton that since it's too obvious by the way he drove this thing. He zipped through the lanes while flames trailing the tires due to how fast he was driving.
Weirdly enough, nobody seems to be disgruntled about his reckless driving, well Ashton is but aside from him, nobody was. He had passed through several traffic enforcers already but none of them stopped him on his tracks.
'How is this okay?' Ashton screamed internally as he held on for dear life.
This dude is going like...500mph on a densely populated city, cutting through lanes and squeezing through other vehicles like they were nothing but still objects and nobody's telling him off. What is going on?
Thankfully though, the ride didn't last long. Ashton's home is close to the academy in truth, there's no need for a chauffer - if you can even call John that.
Ashton's mind was still rattled by the time they parked the vehicle. He didn't see much of the road, much less memorize how to get here with how fast they were going and how afraid he was.
"We're here." John dismissively said.
Ashton took that as a sign to hop off of the vehicle. He felt a little bit dizzy but he could endure it. He took a deep breath to calm himself down. He looked at John to see that his motorcycle already disappeared. He stood there as if nothing happened just now.
Ashton took a moment to recover, he checked himself in a mirror just in case he looked wretched because of that ride, thankfully he wasn't. Just a bit pale but fine for the most part.
This is when Ashton finally surveyed his surroundings. He found himself in front of a massive gate, around 40 to 50 meters tall. The gate is connected to tall fences surrounding a huge patch of land just ahead of them.
He saw other students around him. Some of them were the same as him, looking around, while the others are already going through the gate.
It was then that John spoke from behind:
"Just enter the gates. The welcoming ceremony will start around 10:30am, you should be there."
"I understand. Thanks for taking me here." Ashton nodded. He then walked away, leaving John behind.
Ashton felt strange upon entering the gates. He felt like several gazes landed onto him the moment he did so but he didn't see any so he just tossed it back to his mind.
A wide span of mowed grass plain greeted him the moment he entered. There were a few patches bushes with flowers growing in them scattered here and there.
There's a plaza in the middle that also has a fountain as its center-piece. Around him, he saw several wooden benches with students sitting on them. He can also see tall trees here and there which provided a decent amount of shade within the area, he even saw some students sitting or sleeping under them.
He saw also signs which told him where to go. It all leads to the north so he followed it for now.
Interestingly enough, he also saw several stalls here and there. He even went close to one and found out that this one was selling snack. They remind him of the school-side street vendors back on Earth.
'I guess some things doesn't change huh...'
Ashton had no interest on buying any food for now since he just ate before leaving for school.
Eventually, his foot lead him to where most of the students were around.
There a zone in there where several tables were arranged. He can see students forming lines in front of these tables. He also saw some students holding some sort of a stub which he didn't have and made him curious.
Before he could ask anybody, he saw something at the corner of his eye. There's a sign-in there that he seemed to have missed for some reason. It says:
'Attention to all Freshmen:'
'Form a line and approach your Seniors, they'll be sitting on the tables right up front.'
'Show them your student credentials to get instructions on how to enter the academy proper and some meal tickets. They will also tell you where to go from there.'
'May the blessings of Mana be with you.'
There's even an emoji at the bottom of the sign, which is weirdly adorable. Still, it's a good thing he saw this early.
'...but there's like five lines in here.' He muttered to himself, 'I guess it shouldn't matter where I go right?'
Since this area was reserved for freshmen, he didn't need to worry to much. He spotted the shortest line and decided to follow that.
He didn't need to wait too long for his turn either since the progress was fast, when it's his turn, he's already holding his student credentials.
"Good Morning! Your name please?" The kind looking girl in glasses asked.
"Ashton West." He replied.
The girl then searched for him name in the database with her smartwatch. After confirming that he's indeed there, she asked for his student credentials which Ashton handed to her.
After inspecting it for them brief moment and confirming that it was the real deal. The girl smiled at him and said:
"Thanks for coming to the welcoming ceremony. Here you go, some meal tickets, just a small reward for your attendance."
Ashton received the stubs he had been seeing on the other students. Then the girl continued saying:
"Now, see that hall over there?" Ashton followed where she was pointing and nodded his head, "Great, just enter that hall and you'll see some guards wearing armors in there and a huge magical circles."
"Just approach the guards and show them your ID, Badge and Pass. They will activate the magical circle for you that will take you to the Academy proper."
"Fair warning though, you might feel dizzy on your first teleportation. It's a normal thing and you'd get used to it in time. Just try to relax and don't panic when the transfer begins, that should minimize the dizziness."
"Once in there, just walk forward until you enter the giant castle. There will be people there who will tell you where to go next."
"I see. Thank you." Ashton gave her a brief nod before leaving the line.
Ashton released a sigh and looked at the hall, trying to calm down his anticipation, he walked towards it to see what the Mystic Academy truly looks like.
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