Mogs University

Etsuko wasn't the perfect student in high school. She got in fights, mostly about her powers, and her grades tended to slip at the beginning of each semester. She applied to many colleges, but she only got accepted to one, a more private university she doesn't really remember applying to.

Carly is shy. She intends to change that her sophomore year with the upcoming freshmen, but she spent an entire year not speaking to anyone and feeling like they didn't even realize she was there. Maybe the only ones who could see ghosts were the teachers.

Kyle was just about fed up with school. Eighteen years of his life felt wasted, especially because this had been the seventh time he's changed his major. He wanted to just leave and focus all his energy on archery, which was the only skill he had. However, the university chancellor refuses to let him leave until he graduates. Now he just needs a plan to sneak away.

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1. Freshmen Orientation

Etsuko's POV

Growing up, I always had an unsettling feeling that I was different. Not different like I could actually accomplish something extraordinary with my life, different like I wasn't like anyone else and it was a bad thing. In my home town, I was the only kid who ever developed the ability to create mana. No one knew where I got it from, my alcoholic father swore up and down that my mother wasn't from the Otherside, but he also refused to let me save up to get a DNA test just to be sure. I was made fun of and teased at school on a regular basis, and being the short tempered girl I was, I got in a lot of fights. I didn't care much about my grades, I was the most isolated person in my school, and all I really wanted was to move far, far away.

  So why any college would accept my resume was beyond me. Out of the fifty I applied to, only one sent me a letter saying how unique I was and how grateful they would be to have me attend their school. I didn't recognize the name, I had no idea how they got my resume, but after 49 rejection letters and the idea of living with my father in this town that didn't like me, I decided to just go. What was the worse that could happen?

   So of course, during the orientation, the university chancellor was nearly twenty minutes late. I jinxed this, didn't I? This was probably just a small school that accepted any high school graduate that didn't stand a chance in the real world, just like one of my father's drinking buddies had mocked me about when I mentioned it a month ago.

  "I am so sorry!" a young woman yelled as she ran onto the stage in the auditorium. "I was held up in a meeting with a senior that lasted way longer than expected!" She scanned the small crowd and dipped her head to one side and then the other. "You're all a bit spread out. There are what, twenty of you? This auditorium was built for five hundred, you could've moved closer together."

  The entire auditorium seemed to hold its breath. No one moved, no one rolled their eyes or looked around; everyone just stared at her as she slowly met the eyes of each student.

  "I see then," she said. "I'm going to make my statement more clear." Her voice slowed down and deepened slightly. When she spoke again, it was calm, but terrifyingly dangerous. "Front and center, everyone."

  Almost immediately, anyone who wasn't in the center section's first couple rows stood up and moved. I typically didn't listen when someone told me to go to a new seat, but even I stood up and walked down the left aisle to a closer seat.

  She smiled once everyone was once again seat. "Now that's better. Let me introduce myself, for those of you who know little of this school. I am Chancellor Smith, but you may simply call me Chan. I run this school for unusual young adults, mostly for ones who don't have a clue of their origin. Fear not, we will all learn more about ourselves as you take your college classes, complete your major, and receive a bachelor degree." She stepped out from behind the podium and stood center downstage. She spread out her arms and her voice projected through the entire room, "Whatever you've been through, I intend to fix damage down. When you leave here, you will be satisfied. If not, I will repay you in anyway you wish."

  Now that she was closer, I found she seemed very under dressed. Her black and brown hair was tied in ponytails of things, her brown eyes and mixed complexion seemed to glow in the lights that shined down on her. She wore a green hoodie, a hoodie in late summer, and skinny jeans with black boots. She certainly did not look like someone who ran a university, she hardly looked any older than a senior. In fact, she could've been a student for all we knew. A student who saw that their real chancellor had failed to show up and decided to take the stage as if we were nothing more than the audience for her one women show.

  "With that, you are all dismissed! Please find your dorm, settle in, and then be ready by dinner. Six o'clock sharp." Her hands came together in a clap and the every light in the auditorium turned off for ten seconds. When they came back, the woman was gone, as well as the podium, and I had some how ended up back in my original seat.

  I looked around, everyone else looked as confused as I was. Did that just happen? I was certain I had moved, but I could no longer tell if that was even real or not. I looked down at my phone. It was four thirty, a hour hour after orientation was suppose to start, and an hour and a half until dinner..

  Several people started to stand up and leave. Deciding I didn't want to be left in the auditorium, I stood as well and headed out the back. The group of freshmen migrated to the dorms, some forming small groups and beginning to talk. I looked to the girl next to me, a young high school aged girl with reddish brown hair, blue eyes, and pale skin. She was wearing a maroon shirt, denim shorts, and black flipflops. She held a book tightly to her chest and looked nervous.

  "Oh, the Iliad," I noted. "That's one of my favorite Greek epics."

  She looked up at me. "Uh, yeah."

   "I'm going to be honest, though," I continued. "I haven't really read many Greek epics."

   "I honestly prefer the Odyssey," she told me, "but the it was already checked out."

   "From the school library?" I questioned. "You've already been there?"

   "It was the first place I went."

   I already knew this girl was a nerd, and as much as that fact alone didn't really bother me, I felt very weird about a girl who looked half a decade younger than me being being at this school. What did Chan say, we all had origins we didn't know about? Whatever this extremely smart, young girl was or could do, the idea that it pulled her from a school like Harvard to here was flat out unnerving. I stopped talking and just headed right inside the dorm building and up to the fourth floor. I went down the hall to room 4E and swiped the card I had been given along with my schedule and pushed the door open.

   Inside the room was a bed, a desk with a computer, a dresser, and a book case. Sitting at the computer was a brunette dressed in clothes I didn't think existed anymore, let alone was bought by young adults. Her hair was tied back and her skin was Nordic pale. She turned to me and stood up, her brown eyes widened with surprise. "Oh, you must be my roommate," she said in an accent I could distinctly make out as Icelandic. "Your room is one door down. Or you could just take a shortcut through the bathroom." She smiled and added, "I know, it's weird that they consider two separate rooms as the same, but just go with it. This is a weird school."

   "Right," I said, taking a step back. "I'll just . . . yeah." I closed her door and went down the hall. That was the most awkward conversation of my life. I unlocked and opened my door, finding the room to be identical but reflected, and set my stuff down. I could already tell this was going to be way different than any other school I had ever been to. Now was that a good thing or a bad thing?

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