Original Work: Fire Emblem: The Sacred Stones
Eirika and Marisa were on their way back to the dormitory when they heard footsteps of someone running through the corridors. The footsteps were getting closer to them, so Eirika turned around to see who it was. It turned out to be L’Arachel who was already panting by the time she reached them.
„Eirika… Marisa…“ she said while trying to catch her breath, „Good thing I caught you. Can you meet me in the music room in ten minutes? Wait, meet me in front of it; I forgot it’s locked.“
Without waiting for their answer, L’Arachel rushed off again in the same direction she first came from. Eirika and Marisa exchanged short glances and that was enough for Eirika to know that Marisa was probably just as confused as she was.
„Are we going there?“ asked Eirika.
Marisa shrugged. „We probably have to,“ she said and started walking towards the music room.
Although Eirika looked forward to some rest, she had to agree with Marisa. She also started heading to the music room, even though there was still plenty of time. Eirika had no idea why L’Arachel needed those extra ten minutes. There were still more than five minutes left when she arrived at the spot, so she and Marisa spent the next few minutes waiting uneasily, not sure of what was L’Arachel thinking.
Finally, the heard footsteps once again and L’Arachel arrived with Amelia and Neimi in tow. „Oh good, you’re already here,“ said L’Arachel, „Wait a second.“
L’Arachel produced a key from her pocket and unlocked the door. In the meantime, Eirika exchanged a look with Neimi and Amelia. It seemed that the younger girls were only told that they had to come with L’Arachel and being Fourth Formers, they could not very well refuse a prefect’s request.
„Go in,“ said L’Arachel, holding the door open for them and once they were all inside, L’Arachel locked the door behind them. „Sorry about that,“ she said, „But I don’t want anyone eavesdropping, even accidentally.“
Another exchange of glances. Eirika may have been new at school, but the younger girls were looking at her expectantly and Marisa just shook her head. She turned to face L’Arachel, “Why do you want us here?” she said.
At first, L’Arachel didn’t answer. Instead, she first took seat on a chair, farthest removed from the door and even after that, she was speaking in a voice so low that the girls had to get closer in order to hear her. In fact, she was almost whispering.
“I just had the most brilliant idea,” she said as excitedly as her hushed tone allowed, “See how the old lacrosse team was broken up just because of losing even one player? Vanessa has the right idea with trying to build the new one with more strong players, but she’s a little short-sighted.”
“What do you mean?” said Amelia.
“I mean, the entire school is too dependent on the Sixth Form for leaders,” said L’Arachel, “We did fine when Syrene left school, since she got to be a teacher, but there could be loads of trouble next year.”
“So, what does it have to do with us?” said Eirika, “Why are you telling this to us?”
“I think that we need to make more effort to bring up the next generation of prefects,” said L’Arachel, “Here at Jehanna, prefects were always selected from the Sixth Form and they were always overwhelmed with the duties. We’ve always managed so far, but it’s not going to last forever. I want to make more effort in that area.’
“That’s why you called us?” said Neimi, “You want us to be prefects in the future?”
“Exactly!” said L’Arachel, “Miss Ismaire puts a lot of stock into the current prefects’ recommendations. Too bad there just aren’t enough potential candidates in your forms, but I’ll make do with what I have.”
“But why all this secrecy?” said Eirika, “Couldn’t you just have told us?”
“No, this idea came to me just now, during the meeting,” said L’Arachel, “That’s why I rushed after you like that.”
“You haven’t talked this over with Lute and L’Arachel?” said Amelia.
“No, there was no time. Anyway, they probably have their hands full of their lovers’ quarrel,” said L’Arachel.
“What?!” exclaimed Eirika.
“You still don’t know?” said L’Arachel, “It’s more or less a public secret. Speaking of secrets – I’ve called you here like this, because this is going to be a secret society!”
“Why?” asked Amelia, “Wouldn’t it be better to do this openly?”
“Prefects have to seem impartial at all times,” said L’Arachel, “If we singled out even a group of people, the entire school would be saying that we’re playing favourites. No, being open wouldn’t work at all.”
“I think I understand your reasons,” said Eirika, even though she still had her suspicions, “But why us? Why me? I haven’t been at this school long enough.”
“I chose you,” said L’Arachel, “Because I think you’re the best Jehanna has to offer and because I like you the best. Isn’t that enough?”
At that moment, Amelia took a look at her wristwatch. “Erm, L’Arachel,” she said, “I have to go. It’s getting late and Grandfather will be worried about me.”
“Oh, so sorry about that. Should I write him a note, absolving you of all crimes and misdoings?” said L’Arachel, “Before I let you go, remember to watch out for a secret message about out next meeting.”
She stood up and unlocked the door, letting Amelia go, together with Neimi who mumbled something about seeing her friend off to the school entrance.
“L’Arachel,” said Eirika, “We’d better be going as well. It’s getting late and we still have something left to do.”
“Is that so?” said L’Arachel, “All right then, but you’ll need to do a lot better than doing your schoolwork at the last moment. I won’t tolerate any laziness on part of future prefects.”
L’Arachel let them go with just that little reprimand, which, Eirika felt, wasn’t warranted as they haven’t even agreed to being part of that secret society. It seemed that Marisa thought so as well, but Eirika still found it hard to understand the girl’s feelings.
“She’s doing it for fun,” said Marisa suddenly.
“Do you think so?” asked Eirika, “She seemed sincere enough to me.”
“She is sincere,” said Marisa, “But she is doing it for fun.”
That made sense, but Eirika didn’t say so. Marisa had already said what she was interested in saying and probably did not want to continue the conversation any further. When they arrived in the Fifth Form common room, the other girls were already busy with studying and didn’t pay much attention to Eirika and Marisa’s tardiness. While they were working, Eirika though over what had L’Arachel just told them. It seemed unreal, why would she, a new arrival, be chosen as a prefect material? Marisa was the same. She may have been at Jehanna for five years already, but Eirika wouldn’t think that she was any kind of leadership material, even though the quiet girl was her friend.
She turned around to ask Marisa’s opinion, but thought better of it when she saw the look of concentration on Marisa’s face. Eirika already knew that while Marisa wasn’t a natural leader, she made up for this deficiency by sheer perseverance. However, this also meant that she was liable to get irritated when interrupted. Eirika had to admire her ability to concentrate. She herself found it hard to remember what she was studying ten seconds ago.
Although it wouldn’t be of much use in her current state of mind, Eirika kept up attempting to study. The sums swam in front of her eyes, so after doing the bare minimum necessary, she tried her hand at English and French and failing miserably there as well.
Finally it was bedtime for the Fifth Form and Eirika could safely retire without arousing any suspicion. While it was a bit disappointing that she didn’t get a chance to talk with Marisa, the evening wasn’t a complete waste in the end. After all, she did somehow manage to get ready for tomorrow.
There was not much time in the morning, but Eirika did manage to grab Marisa and drag her away for a short private conversation.
“Marisa,” she said, “Why do you suppose L’Arachel chose us for that secret project of hers?”
Marisa shook her head. “I don’t know,” she said, “I don’t really want to participate in that sort of thing, so I have to find a way to make L’Arachel let me go.”
“Do you think it can be done?” asked Eirika, “L’Arachel seems to be just as inconsiderate as Lute.”
“Maybe,” said Marisa and smiled, “But I have to try.”
“Can you possibly get me out as well?” said Eirika.
“No,” said Marisa, “You will have to do that yourself.”
That ended their conversation, since breakfast was starting in few minutes and Eirika didn’t like the thought of having to go hungry for the entire forenoon. As she was absentmindedly chewing whatever was for breakfast that day, Eirika thought about L’Arachel’s excitement concerning the secret society and remembering the look on L’Arachel’s face, she smiled to herself, a little sadly perhaps, and resigned herself to L’Arachel’s scheme.