I find my way to the “newbies” meal hall by choosing random passages and going the other way when there is a slight shock. Finally, after about an hour, I am there. When I enter, loud noises nearly kill my eardrums. I hear people talking, people yelling, people cheering others on during a wrestling match – seriously? In a cafeteria? – and people doing a lot of other random things that I personally feel they should not be doing.
Suddenly the noise dies down, and everybody looks at me. I stare right back at them, when one of the girls stands up and says, in a loud clear voice, “Hey, newbie,” putting disgust on the word as though it’s the worst thing anyone could call me.
Right after she says this, everyone starts laughing. I feel my face flush with embarrassment. Seriously, does everyone have to pick on me? Then my eyes find someone who has a sympathetic look on her face. Immediately, I know I have a friend here. So, in response to the insult and for everyone laughing, I simply shrug.
Everyone stops laughing instantly. All of their eyes flick from the girl to me.
“Are you challenging me to a fight?” The girl’s eyes narrow and she glares at me.
Again, I shrug.
“Would that be a yes? I am extremely powerful you know. Actually, the best fire elementalist out of,” here she pauses to dramatically sweep her arm around. “All the people here who can control fire.”
Well, this is definitely going to be tougher than I think.
“I don’t know. Do you want to fight?” I ask.
“Hmm…if you’re not afraid to.”
Seeing the girl who looked at me in a nice way shaking her head, I almost decide not to fight.
“Well, actually, let’s just not fight.” I say.
She squints at me again. “Did I hear you say you don’t want to fight? Are you a coward?”
“I am not a coward!”
“Then prove it by showing you’re not afraid to fight me!”
Uh oh. I had just worked myself into a fight that could not be avoided. Yikes.
“Losing your nerve?” she jeered.
“I will fight you.” I say quietly.
“How about…tomorrow at midnight. The Rosetta Room.” Earlier today, while I was heading toward the meal hall, I had passed a room called the Rosetta Room.
“Sure. If you can even find your way there!”
Her buddies all laugh. Suddenly an idea strikes me.
I say, “Hey, aren’t you a newbie too?”
She looks nervous. “Uhh…well, actually, umm…”
“Well, are you? Oh wait, don’t tell me. If you’re not a newbie, you must have been punished and sent to eat here for…how long? A week? A month?”
“No. Just today. But too bad for you, you have to sit here for quite a while!”
I laugh. “Really, being a newbie is better than being punished and having to sit here for even a day.”
“You-you-you little-” At this point of rage, she’s stuttering so much she can’t even really talk right. “You little-you little- you little-you-you aren’t even fit to eat out of trash cans!”
“Really? Then what am I eating right here?” I say, pointing to my tray. (The food came while we were arguing, but I never really noticed it.)
“Hmph!!! You don’t deserve the meal in front of you.” Then, I see another girl stand up and walk over to the person I was just arguing with. Rage shoots through me as I see the girl I share a room with. Snotty braid girl whispers into the other girl’s ear, and she gets a wicked smile on her face.