This is a story placed after the Immortals war.
Disclaimer: I own only the plot.
Numair Salmalín stood at the front of the classroom in the Tortallan royal palace. The pages were sitting in rows, talking to one another, waiting for his lecture to start. He surveyed the class. Nealan of Queenscove sat with his chin on his fist, intent on glaring at something directly above Numair's sholder. He seemed, to Numair, to be looking at him like that a lot lately. The pages also included the only girl page, Keladry of Mindelan.
'It was unfair,' he thought 'that such a bright and high performing girl got put on probation. The conservatives would accuse me of helping her if I talked to her at all, maybe giving her some pointers on how to kill immortals.' Which was the whole point of this class. And who knew more about killing immortals than him and Daine. 'Speaking of Daine…' Numair glanced at the clock '12:02. She's late.'
As if on cue, the doorknob rattled, and the class became silent. Numair resignedly released some of his gift to unlock it. The door opened suddenly and Daine tumbled in. She looked at the clock.
"Sorry." Daine said breathlessly "I guess I'm late." She tried to smooth down her unruly brown curls.
Numair raised his eyebrows and smiled. "Ready to start?" he asked. Daine nodded and stepped beside him. She only reached up to his nose.
"Today," Numair said "We shall continue our lesson in stormwings. To begin, we shall learn about nouns."
Most of the class groaned about their scatter-brained professor, and put their heads on their desks. Keladry of Mindelan, however, raised her hand. Numair nodded and gave her permission to speak.
"But Sir, how will learning about nouns help us battle stormwings?" Kel asked him, no expression coming through her mask.
"Yes, Numair, where exactly are you going with this?" Daine inquired.
"I was thinking that stormwings feed on fear, hate, and jealousy. These are, by coincidence, all abstract nouns." He paused, waiting for a nod of understanding from his students. Confused faces stared back at him.
"Maybe you should explain to all of us what abstract nouns are." "Daine's voice whispered in Numair's ear. Small weasel feet jumped off his sholder to land on Neal's head. He shrieked and stopped glaring at Numair as Daine's small claws dug into his scalp. She leaped off his hair and sat straight up on the desk. Numair touched his hand to his mouth to hide a smile.
"An abstract noun is something that cannot experienced with one or more of the five senses. A concrete noun is something that can."
Merric of Holyrose raised his hand. "Sir, can't you see hatred or jealousy on someone's face?"
Daine's voice sounded from the weasel. "True, but as I understand it," She glanced at Numair, "Those are the effects you see. A person can conceal disgust of hatred. Diplomats do it all the time."
"So theoretically," continued Numair, "If we don't show these bad nouns, the stormwings will have no reason the come here. Instead, if we show desirable traits like companionship, sympathy, and humor, perhaps the stormwings will be repelled. Can anybody give me another abstract noun?"
Daine was suddenly standing next to him, fully clothed. 'She must have learned a new trick.' Thought Numair.
Shouts of "Loyalty" "Awe" "Sensitivity" rang out.
"And love?" Daine whispered in his ear.
"Yes," He agreed "Most importantly, love"