Leena is the first one to come out of her room and join me and Layla in the corridor. Now wearing a much less formal and a lot more comfortable dress, she seems to be bursting with energy and excitement.
“Wow, you’re here even earlier than me, Jacob! I didn’t think anyone would be more enthusiastic about this than me, but you proved me wrong,” she says with a small laugh, casually standing next to me.
“Huh? Yeah…” I reply, shaking my head a little. My mind is still on what Layla said earlier.
Suddenly, the lift opens up again and Maya, Rebecca, and Aria step out. Layla waves her hand to greet them before going ahead to talk, but Leena pays them no mind and continues to speak to me animatedly.
“I cannot wait to go outside and visit their magical academy. In fact, I couldn’t sleep last night because I was so excited! It’s going to be great, I can feel it,” she tells me, her eyes twinkling in a strangely sinister way.
“Yeah, I know you want to see Princess Ilyrana get humiliated, but are you sure she will? The Queen didn’t even mention her losing against me, nor did Miss Meira,” I say with a shrug.
Of course, Queen Ilsevel and Meira are most probably aware of my Primordial magic. So, it wouldn’t make sense for them to blame Ilyrana. But Leena doesn’t know that.
“Yeah, I was wondering about that, too… but don’t worry, if the magical academy of the white Elves is even remotely similar to the one in my country, then I am sure we will be thoroughly entertained today,” she tells me with a grin.
Leena doesn’t explain exactly how we will be entertained, and I don’t implore either. In a few more minutes, almost everyone gathers up on the second floor, ready to leave— all except Naomi and Mia.
Well, I guess they must not be very interested in the tour. And it kind of makes sense as well; The White fox goddess and her assistant bunny must’ve visited the elven city multiple times before.
“May I have your attention, please,” Ilyrana says loudly as she walks ahead and stands in front of everyone. She’s changed into less formal clothes as well— wearing a beautiful white top and blue jeans— but still somehow managing to exude the aura of grace and royalty.
“We will begin the tour in a minute, but before that, I need to give you a small warning. No matter what, please don’t get separated from the group. Although our city is extremely safe for any normal— I mean, for anyone above a certain level, I cannot guarantee that safety to you. Even the everyday magic we use here might become lethal to you,” she says seriously.
My eyes automatically shift to the magical lift right behind Ilyrana, making me agree with her wholeheartedly. Like me, everyone else who was in the lift (except Debbie) fearfully nod their heads as well.
“Don’t worry, Princess Ilyrana. It will be my job to make sure that doesn’t happen,” Miss Laura, our teacher, says responsibly, giving her a little bow.
“Very well, then. Let’s head downstairs.”
Ilyrana enters the lift and the rest of us follow her inside. Unlike when we were traveling here to the Elf kingdom, the three Princess are not sticking together this time. Ilyrana is standing a bit away from everyone as usual, but Zakira and Leena are now standing right next to me— ignoring the confused looks from others in the lift.
We get down to the ground floor and exit through the front door— the magnificent city of the Elves, Ieprolia, appearing right before our eyes. With Ilyrana in the lead, we pass the guards stationed around the giant tree palace and directly enter the connecting street with magically modified trees on both sides.
And well, I immediately start looking around, feverishly taking in all the activities happening around me.
First, I find myself looking up at the tall trees, noticing how they are not for the sole purpose of housing as I first thought. I can immediately spot several shops on different stories, elegant yet flashy enough to attract the attention of passing customers.
Next, I look around the street. It cannot be considered ‘crowded’ exactly, but there are still a lot of elves here. It is quite fascinating to see so many of them at once— all fair, flawless, and graceful— going on about their daily work. And it’s even more mesmerizing to see all the casual magic happening around them.
Walking isn’t the only option for them, it seems; a lot of elves are just gliding around using magic, their feet a few inches above the ground. Others are using hoverboards, which are undoubtedly powered by magic as well.
As our group walks past them, most people stop to give a small bow to Ilyrana before continuing on their way. But there are some who purposely look away as well, a somewhat cold expression on their faces as they do so.
“Fufufu, these are the people who used to absolutely fawn upon their little Princess, and now see them,” Leena says gleefully. “Either barely doing the formality by greeting her, or outright ignoring her. Well, she did bring disgrace to the White Elves by being defeated by a human. No offense to you, Jacob.”
“… none taken.”
Although Ilyrana is keeping a straight face, I think I saw her eyes watering up for a moment. And honestly, I do feel sad for her… and maybe a bit guilty as well. It’s not her fault that she had to go against a Primordial magic-user who didn’t even know what he was doing.
“I wonder how far the academy is… I hope we don’t wander around all day before going there,” Leena says with a sigh, much louder than necessary so that her voice can reach Ilyrana. “The Dark Elf kingdom is much better than this sub-par place, I don’t want to waste my time here.”
She really wants to piss off Ilyrana, doesn’t she?
“Oh, don’t worry, Leena. We’re just minutes away from the academy. Even I don’t want to waste your precious time; you’re much better off spending it while lazing around and not leveling up, as you usually do,” Ilyrana strikes back with a smile.
Leena grits her teeth but doesn’t reply back.
“Just wait, you little…” she mutters savagely.
We walk for a few more minutes, taking a couple of turns here and there before Ilyrana finally stops— we’ve reached the end of the street, a dead-end surrounded by even more trees, thought the normal ones this time.
The people in our group, who’ve been talking to each other excitedly up until now, become quiet. We stare at Ilyrana in confusion, wondering why she’s brought us to this deserted place.
[To kill you all!]
“We’re here, everyone. At the White Elven Magical Academy!” she announces.
“Huh? What are you talking—?”
I start to speak in even more confusion, but before I could finish— Ilyrana takes another step forward and vanishes into thin air.