MARKED – 8.12
Riva looked suddenly excited. “I do! I have three, actually. So we could put everything we know into the book, and nobody but us will be able to read it! Oh, that would be fun! Think about it! She was nearly bouncing. “So, we could put in the story of Nilien, and being a Wild Rune, and then we could talk about what Ember told her, and compare it to what our familiars first said to us, and then-”around slowly, looking at the room with new eyes now that they’d cleaned it up and showed it to other people.
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MARKED – 4.6
“Now Nilien,” Professor Vaudelle frowned, “if there really is someone here who wants to harm you, you should let the adults handle it. We don’t want you to be hurt; Reinmonte is meant to be a safe place to learn, not a place to get into more danger.”
“I’ll be all right, professor.” Feeling a little guilty, Nilien added on a fib, “besides, it’s probably just another student pulling a prank, right? If I bring in a teacher for something like that, it will only make it worse.”
“You can go look,” the professor relented, “but if it turns out that it’s not another student, do come find me or one of the other teachers. Don’t try to take on another adult by yourself. Understand?”
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MARKED – 4.5
Nilien stared down at Ember. “I’m sorry, you can what?”
I can find the person that marked you, Ember repeated patiently. I got the spell’s spoor before the teacher removed it. It’s not difficult.
Nilien blinked at her familiar. “You can — I didn’t know you could do that!”
You didn’t ask. Ember yawned again and put its head down, tail over its nose.
Nilien looked up at Professor Vaudelle. “Ember says that it can find the person who put the tracking mark on me. I didn’t know familiars could do magic.”
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MARKED – 4.2
Nilien smiled uncertainly at Professor Vaudelle. “Actually, Professor, speaking of that…”
“Yes, dear? I imagine Hestinger didn’t bring you all the way down here to pick out a treatise to read, at least not this early in your studies, did he? And it’s unlikely he’s testing your ability to not get lost in this place; he’s not the sort to do that.”
“He pointed out landmarks…” Professor Vaudelle’s logic was leaving Nilien a little lost. “So I don’t think he was trying to get me lost. No, he said you might be able to help with something about magic sight.”
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MARKED – 4.1
“Professor Vaudelle’s office is just down this hall. Now, when you come back, it helps if you use landmarks. See, here’s this door with the stripes of stone and metal in it.” Professor Hestinger pointed out a doorway. “That used to be Professor Marein’s office, and nobody wants to change it, so it stays that way. It helps tell you which way you’re going, though. And then here’s the old archway with the tiny gargoyles carved into it. It’s a little out of place back here, so it’s easy to recognize. And here’s Professor Vaudelle’s office.” He knocked on what looked like a plain, ordinary door.
“Hestinger! Come on in. And who’s the student?” A clear, high, cheerful-sounding voice came through the door as if it wasn’t there.
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MARKED – 3.12
Nilien sighed. “It’s not working.”
“No?” Professor Hestinger leaned forward. “You said ‘oh.’ What was that?”
“Oh, that?” She wrinkled her nose. “I was trying to see the black stone, but I ended up seeing Ember and your familiar glowing, instead. And our runic marks.” She gestured with her marked hand. “They all glow.”
“Oh, very good. That’s magic sight.” Professor Hestinger smiled broadly at her. “That’s an excellent skill to learn; it can be very useful. So you saw the familiars and the marks, of course. They must have glowed rather brightly?”
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MARKED – 3.11
One more try. She could do it. She closed her eyes and reached out for the bowl, for the black pebble somewhere inside it.
Nothing. “Maybe…” She furrowed her brow and considered the bowl. If she could see the stone, she could find it without a problem.
So first, she needed to see it. She stared at the bowl. Focusing on seeing a thing, that’s what Lorque had said. So she just needed to focus on seeing a black stone.
She petted Ember a little bit and focused her power on vision. She had to be able to see it. It was there; it had to be a simple matter to find it, or Professor Hestinger wouldn’t have assigned it to her, would he have?
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MARKED – 3.10
Nilien stared at the pen. It was a nice pen, with marbling throughout in green and purple and mauve and a gold nib. She’d had a pen like that before she went away to school, a gift from her aunt…
Ember’s teeth touched her finger. Concentrate, it suggested. Nilien nodded mutely. If she couldn’t focus, she’d never go anywhere in class.
She focused on the pen lifting. Should her hands be in some special position? Should she be feeling something? Nothing happened. The pen, if anything, seemed more resolutely on the table.
Relax, Ember chided, and focus.
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MARKED – 3.9
Nilien swallowed. “Oh. Oh, I see, of course.” She gave Lorque a quick hug. “I’ll see you after class, then.”
“Chin up.” Lorque looked a bit stunned, but, well, Nilien supposed what Professor Valents was saying made sense. It was one thing to be a bit behind — a week or two, maybe — in history or sciences, but in magic? “You’ll catch up in no time.”
“I’ll do my best.” Nilien no longer felt very certain, though. “I’m sorry, Professor Valents, I don’t mean to dawdle. Where…?”
“It’s all right, dear. It’s good you’re making friends so quickly. This way.”
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