The sun wasn't even a glimmer on the horizon as Aksel rolled out of bed and pulled on his now familiar grey uniform. He sat on the floor of his small room and started his stretches. The sky was beginning to glow a vibrant red as he finished his routine and shifted position to kneel, facing the window. His voice was quiet, barely above a whisper, and he spoke in accented Karsite, offering up his prayers for Sun-Rising. Once he was finished, he smiled, very much enjoying these rare times of peace he had during the day. He silently walked out in the hall, a bookbag over his shoulder, and went to the dining hall for breakfast. It was only just being put out and he gossiped merrily with the kitchen staff as he helped himself to a pocket pie and some breakfast sausage. He tucked the pie into his pocket and walked out into the misty morning. Terrick met him just outside the door and Trainee and Companion walked in silence to the gardens. The differences between his old life, as an unaffiliated student, and his new life as a heraldic trainee were both marked and almost nonexistent. He still rose before the dawn, he still attended classes for most of the day and he still ended his day with weapons work and riding. The major change was that now his classes were about law instead of tactics and his riding involved learning to match Terrick no matter what. And most importantly, he had to learn to shield his mind. This new ability to sense the thoughts of those around him hadn't startled Aksel nearly as much as it could have, given that he had been raised entirely around Heralds. But at the same time, when his concentration slipped or he was tired, things would leak through and they were sometimes quite embarrassing. More embarrassing were the sporadic times he had responded to a thought instead of something spoken.
::If you aren't going to eat that pocket pie...::
Aksel rolled his eyes and held the pie up.
"Glutton." His tone was full of affection as he said it.
::I am not.::
A bell rung overhead somewhere and Aksel put a hand on Terrick's flank for just a moment before turning back into the building to head to his classes for the day.
Aksel tried not to respond. He tried to keep his anger on the inside, and his shame. He walked past the young nobles, all in their blue uniforms, and wiped the nervous sweat off his hands. He didn't notice the foot poised to trip him as he walked towards the door of the salle, he did notice the arm reaching out to shove him though. Aksel took a step forward, turning to catch the blow and fell over another boy's booted foot. Quiet but cruel laughter seemed to come from all directions. A hand suddenly entered his field of vision and he looked up to see the young Lord Kavinestral. The eldest son of a borderlord down on the Rethwellan border, he was half Valdemaran, half Rethwellan and completely and utterly self absorbed. There was a smirk on his face for just an instant before it was replaced with a false look of concern.
"Why, Trainee Aksel, here let me help you up."
Alberich stood watching an older heraldic trainee, nearly ready for her whites as she sparred with a guardsman. He watched with an impassive face, though he was very proud of each and every one of his students, and more than a little worried about them as they prepared to leave the Collegium. Suddenly, he heard the thud of a body hitting the ground and glanced over. He could see a figure in greys sprawled on the flood, flanked by Blues. He sighed inwardly as his dark haired lad glared up at the noble brats and stood, ignoring an out stretched hand.
::They're still bothering him, even though he's a trainee now.:: Kantor observed.
::He hasn't so much as mentioned it. Until he asks for help, I will continue to let him handle it his own way.::
Kantor went quiet, a definite sign he wasn't going to bother trying to argue with his Chosen once his mind was made up, even if he did think it was a stupid idea.
Aksel strode over to the pell and grabbed a training sword to work on one of the more complex patterns. Only Alberich, of all the people in the room, saw the fury in the boy's swings and knew it for what it was. He was also the only one who understood the Karsite oaths Aksel grunted as he swung.
Aksel slammed down into a bench in the dining hall and then put his dinner in front of himself more decorously.
"Rough day?" The voice was pleasant and light, a gentle female voice. It had to be Aria. Aria was a second year bardic trainee, and younger than Aksel. He at her and snorted.
"You have no idea..."
"Its when you say things like that where I truly wonder how people can believe being Shaych is a choice. After all, I certainly wouldn't choose to be beaten up day in and day out."
"Keep your voice down!" Aksel only barely managed to keep his voice to a whisper. "And I didn't get beaten up...just knocked down."
"Have it your way."
Aria reached for her glass and Aksel made a quick grab to keep her from knocking it over. She sighed lightly and thanked him.
"I moved it closer again, didn't I?"
Aksel couldn't help but smile at the exasperated look on her face.
"Don't worry, the healers said you would get your routine under control soon."
Aria frowned slightly and then nodded. She turned her face up to him and smiled, her milk white eyes unfocused. Aria had been blind for the last 3 years. Her family were from OutKingdom and she'd been sent here to relatives after the accident. It was only then that they realized she had Bardic gift. Aksel didn't know what had happened, she never really talked about it. He did his best to help her as she learned how to live without her sight.
"I hope so...I hope so. So, tell me more about you definitely didn't get beat up."
Aksel rolled his eyes and turned his attention completely to his food.