Feldare Tales: High Society Ch. 02

bymack_the_knife©

"They were the lads who roughed up your little man here, Miss Witch," said the slightly smaller of the two, the one named Cherle, pointing at Wenn. "I heard they right stomped him near the market square for taking unfair advantage with his magical abilities and hurting their friend."

Peris was growing alarmed at the rather unfavorable direction this conversation was going. "Please, that's old news, Cherle, and it's not our new students' fault that Irvin and Waddens were deviants."

Cherles' face grew red with anger. "You little cu. . . ." he never finished the statement as Wenn's fist smashed into his jaw with a resounding crack.

The young man fell to the floor, writhing and holding his injured jaw. "You will keep a civil tongue, or I will rip it from your face!" screamed Wenn, shaking his hand.

Lentan balled up his fists, but found himself frozen in place by panic, then he backed away from the unknown menace that seemed to come from Crissa, who simply stared at him with angry eyes.

Peris was beside herself. "Dear me," she said, watching Cherle collect himself and use his shoulder against the wall to prop himself up as he climbed the wall.

"I'll get you for that, you little shit," said Cherle, his voice slurred by his numb jaw. Many students had stopped their meanderings to watch the little drama unfold, though none seemed eager to intervene on one side or the other.

The two upper classmen backed away from the trio and then walked down the corridor and the watchers wandered off, as well, the show being over.

Peris turned to Wenn. "By the One, you're quick with that punch," she said, her tone fluttering slightly with admiration.

Crissa nodded. "Yes, only twenty minutes into our first day of schooling and you're already making new friends," she said with dripping sarcasm.

"Why waste time with formalities?" said Wenn, still shaking his hand, he feared he may have broken something in his hand or wrist, but did not care much. Peris was impressed, and that mattered more than a minor injury.

"You do know that Cherle is the son of a duke, don't you?" asked Peris.

"Is he the son of the duke of Morrovale?" asked Wenn in return.

Peris smiled. "No."

"Then I don't care," said Wenn, letting his self-regard inflate his chest.

Wenn had dropped his small ledger as he threw the punch and Crissa bent to pick it up. A wave of desire hit her with enough force to nearly knock her over. She spun about, expecting to see one of the other students taking advantage of the view up her skirt. Only Wenn and Peris stood behind her and Wenn was looking at Peris.

Peris, on the other hand, was looking at her.

Crissa knew that there were girls that were attracted to other girls, but that was the first time she had been lusted after by one directly. It felt different from most men's lust, subtler, and maybe hungrier. Unsure herself at her own feelings toward this new aspect of desire, Crissa dismissed it for now, deciding that she could explore it further later.

The remainder of the morning was spent going from place to place, learning where there classes were held and upon what days they would attend each. She showed them the auditorium and the library, which was extensive, but lacked the sort of texts that would truly interest Wenn, though Crissa was duly impressed.

She even showed them the dormitories, where most of the students housed. Even though they would, of course, be living with Marrat while coming to the Academy every other day.

"You're lucky," said Peris as they left the dormitories. "You two don't have to do the rather odious chores that the staff cooks up on the off days."

Crissa barked a laugh, replying, "No, only the chores that Master Marrat cooks up, like a master chef, every day."

Wenn nodded agreement. "Yes, he's changed the location of his privy three times, at a cost to my arms."

She was escorting them down a long, narrow alleyway between two buildings of the campus, which then debauched on a green way. There were suddenly trees about them and a lush lawn. "What's this?" asked Crissa, smiling.

"The Commons," replied Peris with a wide smile. "It's where we students can get away and relax, after hours, of course. The staff hardly ever comes here."

It was a lovely park, well-tended and quite pretty. It ran for a ways, then met the village's wall. "I like it," said Crissa. Wenn simply nodded in agreement.

They walked the park for a few minutes before Peris said, "We should go to the dining hall, it is nearing lunch."

The three entered the large room just as the first wave of students were also entering the vast expanse of tables and benches. Platters of food were already set out on the tables, sensible if somewhat bland foods.

The three of them ate together as several students, also in white sashes came up and exchanged greeting with Peris and were introduced to Crissa and Wenn. Between two such introductions, Peris said, "They want to meet the newlings, but don't wish to seem overeager. I've not shared ten words with some of these folk."

The two 'newlings' laughed at that and they all bussed their table and left the dining hall. "As you can see, we often leave campus for food, though. It nourishes, but doesn't feed the desire to taste something other than shoe leather."

They were passing a privy and Crissa excused herself. As she moved off Peris looked at Wenn. "Are you two really lovers?" she asked.

Wenn nodded. "Of a sort, yes," he admitted. "I won't lie to you."

She smiled. "I'm glad of that. But you say of a sort, what does that mean?"

A slightly dark look overtook Wenn's features. "It means we are free to - enjoy - the company of others, as well."

"What a delightfully convenient arrangement," said Peris, smiling broadly.

Wenn's own mood improved vastly at her favorable reaction. "Do you have a partner?" asked Wenn.

"Me? Heavens no," said Peris, blushing.

"Sorry," said Wenn, "I just assumed you were too pretty to be unaccounted for."

She blushed deeper red, almost crimson. "You're a sweet-tongued young man, Wenn, I will be keeping an eye out for your ploys. Boys like you get girls into trouble."

A look of wounded innocence crossed over Wenn's features. "I've never," he said, protesting.

She giggled. "You already told me you have, that you and Crissa have been lovers and are still, at times."

Crissa walked up to the pair. "Did I miss anything interesting?" she asked, eyeing the pair with mock suspicion.

Peris' expression took on a fleeting fearful look, then settled down when she realized the look was in jest. Crissa noted it, however, and felt the little wash of worry flood out of the girl. She did not wish to embarrass this young woman, though, and rather liked her.

The three walked back to the Commons and found a shaded spot beneath a tree to sit. They sat in a small circle talking about the school and about other matters that they found interesting. Crissa was sitting with her back to a small boulder and her legs toward the other two. She wondered if she had been right about Peris earlier, and lifted her legs a little, giving the other girl a view up her skirt if she were to look.

She looked, and Crissa felt a fresh wave of desire and interest flow over her from the girl. Alarmingly, Crissa also felt her own body responding to the emotional flood. Confused, the young apprentice let her legs lie flat again and regarded Peris as her eyes slowly drifted up from her long legs. She was not staring, but she did watch closely. I've better warn Wenn, she thought. Then she felt a fresh flow of lust from Peris, and this was directed at Wenn. I definitely need to tell Wenn, she amended.

"Would you mind that?" asked Peris, looking at Crissa, breaking her from her reverie.

"Hmm? Sorry, I was daydreaming," said Crissa, blinking and looking from Peris to Wenn and back.

Wenn said, "I invited her to the house for dinner."

"Of course I don't mind," said Crissa, breaking out her best smile. "You're more than welcome. Should we wait for you after classes or give you directions?"

Peris smiled. "I will simply come with you two as you leave, if you don't mind."

"Great," said Wenn, beaming.

They attended a LONG lecture on Westron history that afternoon and Crissa had to nudge Wenn awake twice during the droning of the lecturer. The torment of yawns finally ceased, though, and they were released until the day after tomorrow.

"By the One, that was a dull lesson," said Wenn as they exited the gate and turned toward Marrat's home.

Peris and Crissa giggled and agreed heartily. "Your snoring was more entertaining," said Peris.

Crissa's eyes flashed with realization. "Peris? Who are your parents?" she asked.

Peris regarded her a long moment. "My father is the baron of Westfold," she said, in a tone that indicated it was not bragging. "But don't hold that against me, while students, we don't enjoy the benefits of our titles." Her tone was almost apologetic.

Westfold was a small realm lying west of Morrovale. Much smaller, but not insignificant, and had been a on-again, off-again ally of the duchy for the last fifty years.

"Our parents are commoners, mine are farmers, and Wenn's are tanners," said Crissa.

"Perhaps," said Peris, "but you two are also apprentice wizards, and that counts for much. For one day, you will both be wizards, wielding great magics." Her expression turned sour. "I will be wed off to some other nobleman, to seal some agreement, or achieve one. I would do much to become a wizard and have no man's domination on me."

Crissa felt a sudden pang of pity for the poor girl. To be so cheerful in the face of what seemed to be a enslavement of wealth. "Perhaps your husband will be one who you will love?" asked Crissa.

Peris nodded. "It could be so, I suppose," she said. "Though, holding out hope for such may well lead to more disappointment later."

They reached Marrat's home and Wenn held the door for the two young ladies. Peris gave him a wink as she walked by, and a tiny fraction of a smile. Wenn's reaction to that bit of flirting sent out a signal that bounced off the back of Crissa's mind like a sling stone. She glanced back to see Peris smiling at her in return.

Marrat bellowed from the study. "Are you two hoodlums back?"

"Yes, Master Marrat," said Wenn, smiling, "and we have company."

The old wizard walked through the doorway to the study and regarded the young lady. "Lady Perissen," he said, bowing slightly, "a pleasure to meet you."

Peris giggled. "Thank you, Master Marrat," she said, "though, I am amazed you know my name."

Marrat smiled broadly. "It is a wizard's business to know many things, milady," he explained.

Wenn opened his mouth to speak, but a quick, warning glance from Marrat stopped him.

"Please don't be so formal with me, Master Marrat," said Peris, "I seek not genuflection."

The old wizard's eyes widened. "Genuflection," he said, "the Academy does teach you young nobles well, for certain." He thought for a moment. "Well, I can just double up your chores tomorrow, off you two go, entertain your guest, then," he finally said, flapping his hands in the air.

Wenn and Crissa did not hesitate to escape his view before Marrat changed his mind and found 'one little thing' for them to do. They bounded up the stairs with the energy only the young can muster, taking them three at a time, with wind to spare for laughter and giggles.

They reached their turret room and Crissa ushered them in. Though the tower at the Academy was the tallest building in town, Marrat's home was one of the few at the taller end, and the view from the many large windows was spectacular from up here, overlooking the village on one side and the countryside south of Norboro on the other. Crissa liked to think that one of the indistinct smudges on the horizon to the south was the small wood near her family's farmstead, though she could not be certain.

Peris looked about and gasped. "Which of you has such a lovely view?" she asked.

Wenn and Crissa gave each other a uncomfortable look, and Crissa nodded to Wenn.

"We both do," said Wenn. "As we said, we share a bed."

Peris looked at the two of them with wide eyes. "I thought you simply meant you occasionally dallied with one another," she said. "You really share a bed nightly? Like married folk?"

They both nodded slowly, a slight tinge of worry in their eyes. They both sought to not upset or scandalize their new friend, for very different reasons.

She smiled brightly. "You two are so lucky," said Peris. "To both have a lover that allows you other lovers?"

Crissa and Wenn looked at each other again, and Crissa nodded minutely.

Wenn smiled. "Sometimes it's not quite so fun, you know," he said. "We do, on occasion, get jealous of each other."

Peris stared at him for a long moment. "I would imagine," she said.

"We don't pretend it's an easy relationship to maintain, nor even tolerate, sometimes," Crissa added. "But we have little choice." She looked out at the clock tower on the town hall. "I must go to make supper, it is my chore this day."

Peris watched her leave, then turned to Wenn. "What's it like being intimate with someone regularly?" she asked.

Wenn stammered a moment, rather shocked by the sudden loss of the safety Crissa's presence had maintained. "Well, it's nice, I must admit," he said. "But it's not world-altering." He thought about that last statement a moment. "Well, I suppose it is world-altering, actually."

The young noblewoman giggled. "I thought so," she said. "I envy you two your freedom."

"We're not so terribly free," said Wenn. "Marrat keeps us plenty busy."

She touched his arm. "I mean in being with other folk than those that your family chooses for you," said Peris. "My father would disown me if I lost my virginity to anyone but the man he chooses to be my husband."

Wenn touched put his hand over hers. "I hate that for you, Peris," he said. "It sounds horrible."

She gave him a weak smile. "Not really horrible, just frustrating." She met his eyes and put much meaning into her expression. "As I would rather give my innocence to the young man of my own choosing."

Wenn felt his breath catch in his throat. "I. I can understand that," he said.

Peris let her smile bloom to full growth. "I wish you did," she said. "It's infuriating when you wish to have someone and cannot be close to them."

"Do you have someone in mind that you're sweet on?" asked Wenn.

"No, not really," she said, though again, her eyes came around to regard him. "Though, it is possible, I've recently met a boy who may be more than suitable."

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