Chapter 185 – Studies (Part 7)
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Taking their seats, the Maidens all looked at Sia curiously as she stood there with a serious expression.

As my assistants and I laid out the food on the table, and the tantalizing smell of food began drifting; those curious gazes began turning our way.

Grinning, we began serving the food and soon everybody had a plate in their hands and were happily eating as they waited for Sia to begin.

Which she did with a clap to attract our attention, and then speaking, she said, “Alright, so a lot of you don’t know this, but we had a plan called ‘fleece the sheep’.”

Laughter broke out as everybody heard the name of our plan, and grinning, Sia said, “I know, I know. Well, we fleeced the sheep, and we got 4 things that were essential to us.”

“First… We got a lot of construction materials. Including stone, as you all know,” she ended with a smile as groans rose from the gathered people who had hauled said stones as per Urbano’s directions.

Then, gesturing to Urbano, she said with a grin, “Urbano, mind telling them why we got the materials?”

Getting up excitedly, he launched into a complex lecture which was hastily interrupted by Sia as she said, “Watchtower. He means watchtower.”

Nodding as he rubbed his head, Urbano bounced around as he said, “Not just any watchtower, but something that’ll take everything that the academy can throw at us!”

Murmurs broke out before someone asked, “What do you mean by what the academy throws at us?”

Growing serious, Sia said, “Remember the hound attack?”

As people nodded, Sia continued to say, “I expect something along those lines to happen in the future when our guard is down. Which is why this construction project is so important.”

Murmurs of agreement sounded out, and then Sia said, “Second part of the plan was getting a lot, as in a lot of food. Faustus?”

Standing up, I looked around as I said, “We eat a lot. Like a lot. But even then, we had enough food for one year before the exchange market. After the exchange market? We have enough for close to three years!”

Puzzled, everyone looked at me before someone asked hesitantly, “Why do we need so much food, and won’t it spoil?”

Coughing, I said, “It will spoil. That’s why you guys better eat as much as you can… and believe me, you’ll need it.”

Taking over, Sia said, “That brings us to our third part of the plan. We obtained all the training equipment that year 2 had, along with quite a number of shields. What we shall be doing is simple. We will train, and train, and train some more.”

As everybody stared at her, Sia smiled as she said, “That’s why we got the food. We won’t have to go out to hunt, and so that brings me to my next point. The hunting team is disbanded.”

Sitting in the corner, Apollo muttered out, “Thank God!” before he added as people turned to look at him, “I mean, oh no. Why ever have you disbanded our glorious team?”

Rolling her eyes, Sia said, “The hunting team will now join the combat team in its entirety. Since Iole and Marrok have left… the team will be headed by me with you and Faust as vice heads.”

Bolting upright, Apollo pointed to himself and sputtered out, “M-me?”

“Yes, you,” Sia testily said.

“But, I’m an archer!” Apollo weakly cried out.

“So you will teach the people of the combat team archery, and learn sword skills from the rest.” Sia snapped back.

Deflating, Apollo looked around before he sighed and sank back into his chair morosely.

Shaking her head, Sia said, “The fourth part of our plan was to obtain raw materials. Lots of them. The Weaving team and the tailoring team will exclusively focus on making them into products. Which we will use to pad our pockets soon enough.”

For a moment, there was silence before understanding began to dawn in people’s eyes.

Then they turned as one to Apollo and stared at him.

Uncomfortably, Apollo coughed as he asked, “Why are you looking at me like that?”

In unison, they said, “This plan can only be yours!”

Laughing, Sia said, “It is indeed his,” and then she rolled her eyes as Apollo puffed out his chest proudly.

Clapping her hands, she looked at us all seriously as she said, “That was all about the ‘fleece the sheep’ plan. Now we have to consider our next problem. Namely, our studies.”

“It has been brought to my attention that some of us need to learn their letters and are having difficulty following the lessons.” She said as she glanced at me.

Stepping forward, I said, “I propose that we should finish our work each day as fast as we can, before we all gather together in the main hall and study. Every person who can read and write will help another of the Maidens to learn. Similarly for all other subjects; we shall do the same.”

Murmurs of appreciation rang out, and then somebody cradled their head in their arms as they muttered out, “Baling Language of War.”

As laughter sounded out, another snorted as she said, “Baling language of war? What about Herbology and Potioneering? Bal near thought I was going to die after drinking my ‘potion’.”

As more laughter broke out, we nodded as we decided that studying together would be part of our daily schedule.

Then, with a half smile, Sia said, “No better time to start than now. Plus, we have a lot of homework… so Maidens! Gather around and let’s start!”

Wide eyed, we stared at her as she innocently blinked her eyes at us and then, groaning; we got to work.

And the midnight oil burned till the next morning.

A morning that we had off.

But the rest of the 25 students didn’t.

Watching them leave with schadenfreude, the rest of us tired Maidens turned in to sleep.

And our dreams were deep, even though the morning sun shone bright.

Okay, first off. My complete bad. I had a personal emergency and things were pretty bad. My sincere apologies and if something like this happens in the future, I will definitely inform you guys first.

Secondly, for a few days, we will be at 1 chapter per day while I settle back into routine.

I really appreciate all of you for staying and your support. A big thank you to all of you! :D

Much love to you,

Stay safe, stay happy!

And enjooy!