A gloved hand shot up in front of Irene.
“Yes, Miss Eva. I’m well aware you think you’re a chaos mage. You’re not.”
There were a few chuckles around the classroom as Eva slowly lowered her hand.
Irene just rolled her eyes.
The students quieted as Professor Baxter began speaking again. “The fact that you are unable to use any water magic is proof enough that you are a pyrokinetic. However, you do make for an excellent example.
“Miss Eva has demonstrated the ability to blink as well as the ability to generate large, area covering clouds of darkness. Both of which are considered chaos spells, though blinking does incorporate some order magic. Yet, Miss Eva is a mere first year student. How is she using magic that isn’t taught until the later years of your schooling?”
Professor Baxter’s eyes drifted over the classroom, almost as if she expected someone to respond.
Irene did not raise her hand. She was mostly sure that it was just a rhetorical question.
Professor Baxter proved her correct after a brief moment of watchful silence.
“The same way that Miss Rivas can use such advanced earth magics. Practice.
“Neither order nor chaos will come as easily or as naturally as your element. You’ll struggle with them harder than you would with your satellite elements. That doesn’t mean you can’t use order and chaos at all. Like most things in life, practice and constant use will make using chaos magic easier.
“Miss Eva had a mentor before school started. That mentor taught her to blink at a young age. Very irresponsible, if you ask me. Nevertheless, she learned it. She practiced it and she can do it on command now. How long did it take you to get to the point where you are now?”
Eva hummed for a moment. “Right now, I can’t actually blink. Or I could, but it would be very dangerous,” she said with a gloved finger tapping against the leather band around her eyes. “I lost a leg once while trying to blink into the same spot as a glass coffee table that I didn’t see.”
Gasps rose up amongst the students. A few of them leaned under their desks in an attempt to glean a glance at her legs. Unfortunately, Eva had pants on today, rather than her usual skirt.
Irene shook her head at their antics, though she made a note to check out Eva’s legs the next time she wore a skirt.
Eva turned her head around the class as if she were looking at them. “Well, I got better,” she said with a frown. “Regarding your original question, I asked my mentor to teach me when I was nine. It was two years before I could blink at all. Even then, it was only a few inches at a time and incredibly exhausting. The exhaustion lessened and the distance increased over time. Slowly at first. At last Halloween, I’m sure I could have blinked between thirty and fifty feet, several times in a row without becoming exhausted.”
“And you likely worked several hours a day on practicing?”
Eva simply nodded her head.
“Blinking is not an easily acquired skill. Many adults can’t do it at all. That’s mostly due to the time one must put into practicing it.
“Yet with practice, it is clearly possible.” Her gaze swept over the room.
Irene didn’t think her gaze could turn any more serious, but somehow Professor Baxter managed.
“Do not attempt it on your own. Learning to blink is a dangerous task; you all just heard that Miss Eva lost a leg and that is a rather light injury–especially as she was able to reattach it. There will be a time and a place for learning if you so choose later in your education. Unsupervised, you’ll likely wind up dead.”
There were several nervous glances around the room. Some not so nervous as well, Jordan notably. Irene had a bad feeling about his smile.
“Blinking is one of the few order and chaos spells that does not require near absurd amounts of magic to power. This makes it usable in faster paced situations such as combat. Most order and chaos magic is used in warding, the application of spells to a location, and enchanting, the application of spells to an object.
“By weaving order and chaos magic in with each other or more mundane elements, you can achieve a frankly staggering amount of spells. Many new spells are discovered on a relatively frequent basis. Unfortunately, many of those spells are worthless practically. Good for nothing more than nudging a co-researcher and saying, ‘hey look. Isn’t that neat.”
While a handful of the students chuckled, Professor Baxter reached underneath her lectern and pulled out a box.
An odd box. It had a top, a bottom, and two chrome walls. The front and back were completely open.
A dull red light emanated from somewhere around the center, reflecting off the insides.
“This is a sample ward.” She reached into the box and held her hand steady for all of two seconds. With a sharp breath, Professor Baxter pulled her hand out and clutched it to her chest. “Using order and fire, it creates intense feelings of pain, designed as an area deterrent. All psychological, no physical damage whatsoever.”
Professor Baxter held her hand up, showing both her palm and the back of her hand as evidence.
“You might notice that I called this a ward despite it being clearly an enchantment.” She lifted up and rotated the box around. “Notice how the effect stays with the box, not a location.
“When inventing wards, they generally start out as enchantments. It is far easier to experiment on a small, portable subject rather than something building sized.”
“We aren’t here to discuss the pedantry of proper terminology. Not today at least. Open your books to page one-one-zero-three-seven. We’ll be looking at more specific applications of order magic today.”
Irene sat up straight as the lesson turned to something of more personal interest to her. She doubted they would get in the thick of things during the lesson; order and chaos magic were taught only in the later years of schooling. Still, nothing would stop her from taking as many notes as she could today.