Arcana X: 3rd Assignment – Cruelty and the Beast Chapter 1 Pt.5

For the preceding chapter, click here for Arcana X: 3rd Assignment Chapter 1 Pt.1Pt.2Pt.3, Pt.4!!

Tatianna looked distantly. Hearing the White Sage tell Ecks and Willow’s story about how he helped her gain more confidence in herself and made her happy changes her perspective of Ecks. Like many other knights, she saw him as a reckless insubordinate who bends the rules to the point of breaking them and uses his work ethic to cover this fact. Now she sees that there is more to him than just being the resident ‘badboy’. She would not have thought that someone like Ecks would take the time to help anyone other than himself had she have not heard it herself. Now that she thinks about it, there were moments when Ecks did show concern for her, but Tatianna assumed he was mocking her. She drops her head a bit. Perhaps she was a little too hard on him.

The White Sage notices. “Don’t fret. Ecks can be a bit overzealous at times but, shockingly, that is his defining quality.” Tatianna looks up at the White Sage as he explains. “The carefree demeanor Ecks has makes him easily approachable to common folk and leaves a lasting impression. I recall a few times I walked amongst the merchants outside in the courtyard, welcoming the newcomers. And there would be First Lieutenant Ecks doing the same in his own way. What amazes me is how easily the people took to him. Of course, they were nervous at first because he is an Arcana Knight and a high-ranking Lieutenant on top of that. But with just a few words, Ecks calmed them, just by being himself. He didn’t try to do anything impressive. He just talked to them. Just like he talked to Willow. What’s more, no one judged him for it. Like Miss Willow, they wanted to be treated the same as well.”

“Ecks did all that?” Tatianna said.

The White Sage nods in response. “And more. That carefree quality of his, it wasn’t long before it spread to a few of his peers. He even helped the Fifth Lieutenants interact. And we know how timid new lieutenants and recruits can be.”

“Hmm, I see. So, what you’re saying is that in order to make things easier, one should be themselves,” Tatianna fathomed.

“Not exactly. Although, that is a good analogy,” the White Sage smiled. “But I believe ‘one should not judge a book by its cover’ to be more suitable.”

“That does seem more suitable,” said Tatianna, smiling back.

“Despite his demeanor, Ecks is an excellent knight and completes his assignments dutifully. And he has a special gift that makes him unique. And being unique should not be shunned. Wouldn’t you agree, Miss Novell?” said the White Sage.

Tatianna turns her eyes to the floor. She knew what His Grace was getting at. He has a tendency to be mysterious with his words, revealing his true meaning in the end. The White Sage, with that last line, was pointing out the uniqueness of his personal assistant. Tatianna Novell is from the town of Villiers located in the Uutalh Region. She is a wiccan healer well versed in the mystic arts and knowledgeable in medicine. She is also one of the few Mystics who can access the Astral Flow. White Sage Alpex is able to achieve the feat, but he has limitations even with his incredible magic strength. Tatianna can sustain the connection for several hours, which is virtually unheard of considering that the overall average for the connection is roughly one hour. His Grace is able to break the maximum three-hour window at the cost of expending more of his power. When her ability was discovered, the current Villiers Priestess, Lady Sirenia, suggested that she come to Arcana Kingdom, after learning that White Sage Xehtus Alpex was searching for an assistant. He was intrigued to hear about Tatianna and her unique ability. It was His Grace who requested that Tatianna be his assistant. Since then, she has become a great asset to him and her efforts are appreciated. To the other Wiccans in Villiers, she seen as different. Her ability to connect to Astral Flow for hours is an oddity and Tatianna was treated as such. It is still a painful memory. The only people who did not see her as an oddity are Lady Sirenia, White Sage Xehtus Alpex and—

How could she have nearly forgotten? Tatianna laughs softly at herself. The other person who did not see her as an oddity is First Lieutenant Ecks. At first, she did not know what to make of his carefree demeanor. It was strange to see a knight act so flamboyantly, and yet—thinking back—it suited him.

“Yes, Your Grace,” Tatianna said.

The White Sage returns her smile. “Well then, Lady Beatrice should be contacting us soon about the summit. So how about we get back to work while we wait?” he politely suggests.

“As you wish,” replied Tatianna respectfully.

While His Grace returned to his predecessors’ notes, Tatianna resumed studying the various healing herbs of the Northeast Region, mostly the plants native to the area around the town of Rousenblats.