Extra Help

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Imryll sat down and reached for the pile of papers. She claimed the first sheet and scanned the document. With a sigh, she dropped the paper and stared at her students. "Well, I think that's enough for today, go enjoy yourselves before your next class."

While the pupils began packing up, the teacher yanked the initial page from the stack and a red pen and started marking it.

After Darren slipped his papers into the folder, he itched at his splinted arm. He shut his eyes, biting his lower lip and took a few deep breaths. Darren twisted and tapped Maxwell's shoulder. "Max, you and the rest of the guys should head out without me."

Maxwell stared at their instructor and leaned over. "This was our last class of the day, we're hitting the town tonight."

"Sorry, but I have to bail on you," Darren replied as he closed his bag and shoved it under his desk. Darren lifted his uninjured hand and jerked his thumb towards their teacher. Lifting his injured arm, Darren continued, "I think some extra one-on-one training with Imryll, might prove beneficial for me."

The Dwarf's face scrunched as he slung his pack onto his back. "You want additional work for biology?"

With a grin, Darren patted Maxwell. "You got to do everything in your ability to excel at the subjects you're weak on."

"Ugh," Maxwell grunted. He hoisted the bag farther up his shoulder and started for the exit. "Darren, you know how to spoil an evening."

When Maxwell left, Imryll lowered her pen and folded her hands together and leaned back. She hummed a jaunty tune while tapping her foot. "You don't struggle with biology." Imryll lifted a finger and pointed at the door, adding, "Your friend, however, this is not his best course. So, why are you lingering here?"

With a lopsided grin, Darren abandoned his bag and hurried to the desk across from her. His hands gripped the edge as he tipped it forward. "I never mentioned that I required assistance with biology, Maxwell assumed that because this was our biology class."

Imryll grabbed the pen and twirled it between her fingers. "Which brings me back to my question. What subject do you really want the extra help with?"

"I know you all like the single classes for all the subjects we learn."

The teacher wrapped her hand around the writing tool and tapped it against her temple. "Some prefer to separate students once it's apparent they are negatively affected having to repeat remedial information." She dropped the pen to the desk and moistened her lips. "But, please answer the question."

"Defensive magic is a weaker subject," Darren admitted while rubbing his mouth. "And I hoped that I could get some extra lessons, preferably in a one-on-one environment."

"We do not have private studies with students," Imryll answered as she grabbed her pen and resumed her grading.

"Why?" Darren asked as the rear chair legs returned to the floor. "There's no rule against having personal sessions."

"True," Imryll replied. She laid an arm down on the paper and huffed. "But, I don't do individual classes. Besides, you are adequate with defensive magic."

Darren lifted his splinted arm and pointed at it. "This is the consequence of adequate defenses."

"Nonsense," Imryll said, moving the sheet back to the stack. "Arlen says you'll be fine. I'm not even sure why she forbade you from healing that minor injury."

"It happened in my last duel."

"Ahhhh," she replied, tapping her fingers on her desk. "Well, that explains why you're wearing a splint."

"And it's the reason I am looking to receive extra lessons." Darren closed his eyes and collected himself. "I don't want my defenses to bested so easily."

With a scoff, Imryll leaned forward and smirked. "A perfect defense is impossible to achieve. You'll always come across someone who can sneak something past you." Imryll rose and rounded her desk. "Darren, you are a talented healer. Outside of a duel, that injury is simple to correct."

"I want to be the best in every magical subject."

"It's good to have goals."

"Please teach me," Darren implored. "I'll do whatever you require me to do."

Imryll sat down on the edge of her desk and folded her hands on top of her knee. "You're not about to drop this are you?"

"Not until I can defend myself from you and the other teachers," Darren answered.

Imryll locked eyes with her student and hummed a few notes. With a huff, she twisted around and opened her drawer and withdrew a small notebook. "This has a lot of my thoughts and musings about defensive magic. The basics of which you receive in that class."

"Thank you, I'm sure this will help," Darren said, taking the notebook. "But theory alone won't help my defenses."

"Theory is important," Imryll replied, returning the tome. She sat up straight and tilted her head to scrutinize Darren. She cleared her throat and blinked her irises back into existence. "Are you determined enough to stick with the extra sessions with me."

Darren's eyes widened as a grin broke out. "You'll give me additional help with my defensive magic?"

Imryll nodded.

"Yes!" Darren roared.

She shook her head and pointed at the rear of the classroom. "Let's get started."

Darren leapt from the small desk and ran to the training area and turned around, pressing his hands together. "Thank you for doing this."

"Don't be grateful," Imryll replied coldly as she claimed the opposite side of the space. "That would be a waste of time." She formed a sphere with her fingers, and an instant later, a fireball appeared in her hands. "At the moment, focus on crafting your defense."

While the teacher prepared to heave the growing flames, Darren's mind raced to identify the magic. The second he identified the makeup, he crafted a shield and waited for Imryll to throw her spell. "Let's get started then."


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