Dec 02, 2022 2:20 AM
wulong may goes to arcadia
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Ren takes it well.

Actually Ren takes it with five minutes of bewilderment, wants to pull May's antlers, needs to see the witch outfit go on and off a couple times, and passes a hula hoop May didn't even know they owned around May's levitating self, and then takes it well. She's very excited, wants to know if she can be a witch too, hares off to look for the shop entrance and can't find it, and decides to live vicariously through May's witchhood.

Charlie's more complicated to tell: even at 85 miles per hour on her broomstick, up high enough not to be observed should her cloak flap, May would take a whole day - complete with not sleeping - to get there. May winds up experimenting with her picture-entering power and determines that while a print of Starry Night from Amazon won't work, one she personally takes to the copy shop and reproduces does. (She's apparently not the first wulong to choose specifically Starry Night as a transit mechanism; there's a candy wrapper and some property damage in there.) So there's one in May's bedroom on the wall, now, and one rolled up in her luggage for school, and one Fedexed to Charlie, and then he has to be pestered to mount it in her bedroom in his house without understanding why this is so time sensitive, and when he's done it, and tells her so, out she pops. Then he also takes it pretty well, in a way that might be mistaken for shell-shock at a distance. For her "bag of holding" she's using an art class landscape she won third place in the school art show for sophomore year; she gives most of her clothes to Goodwill and drags her emptied dresser into the scene so she has a place to put things that isn't just lying around on the grass.

Arcadia figures something out with her withdrawal from high school, and May tells anyone who might note her absence that she is going to university early. Which is true.

And when her residence is available, she packs up her Starry Night and her clothes (not very many clothes, but she might ever want to wear her remaining civvies or a bathing suit or a bathrobe or a raincoat or something, and it makes it a little easier to keep track of her invisible servitors if she puts them in T-shirts) and her crayon drawings from Ren's hoard and her iPod and a couple knicknacks she picked up during her trip to Goodwill for seeming mana-y, and she stuffs everything in her landscape and her landscape in her pocket and takes the bus to the portal network.

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The portal network path to Arcadia is reasonably well-labeled, but not in a way that inspires confidence that it will be so next week. When she arrives at Arcadia, she emerges out onto a large open quad space with a big sign saying, "WELCOME NEW STUDENTS!"

There are a handful of little stands for housing assignments; May probably wants the one that says "Latin Alphabet: Q-Z"

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Assuming it's by surname, she sure does!

She is among WITCHES now and DOES NOT HAVE TO WALK!!!!! She drifts over to the Q-Z stand a few inches off the ground.

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"Hi!" says the girl behind the desk, who looks like some kind of fire elemental with a skull. "Name?"

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"Mabel Mariko Swan."

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She rifles through a box beside her and presents her with an ornate golden key with twinkling red stones in the base. "This is your room key! It will open any on-campus door that your student account authorizes you to enter. It should be supernaturally difficult to lose but if you manage it anyway come by the residency office, which is here," she points to a blue circle on a map she pulled out of the box at the same time. "You're in Suite 32 of Claviger Hall." She points to a red circle. There are a variety of other colors of circle, with a key to one side clarifying what all the colors mean. 

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"Thanks! Is this map mine to keep?"

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Then off May goes to her new home! Zoom.

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Claviger Hall is beautiful. 

It looks almost but not quite like a cathedral, from the outside; the architectural style is fully Gothic, except where the stained glass windows are smaller and more numerous than they would be on any cathedral, and some swung wide open, and there are certainly no crosses anywhere. Some architect clearly put a lot of work into the building, and another artist into all the stained glass (which has fully secular geometric designs, once she gets close enough to see), because this is the most charge she's ever gotten off a building. 

Inside, it looks more like a normal college dormitory, but a particularly tasteful one; every public lounge and hallway isn't necessarily decorated in a way that goes with any other, but they're arranged in such a way that you never have to see two things that clash with each other at once. 

Suite 32 is on the second floor. 

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Oh, gorgeous, she loves it already.

She flies up the stairs and lets herself into 32.

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Suite 32 consists of a common area with four individual bedrooms branching off of it. About two-thirds of the common area is taken up by a living room or lounge sort of area, while the remaining third is taken up by a kitchenette separated from the rest by an island countertop. The living room has one big squashy couch, a big squashy chair, and three beanbags in three different colors. 

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Sitting on one of the beanbags is a pale, dark-haired girl with her excessively long canine teeth sunk into a very red apple. She looks up when May enters the room. 

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"Good morning, I'm May!"

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She pulls the apple off her teeth. "Good morning! I'm Ava. You're a wulong, right? I got a book about different witch races before I came here."

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"Yup! I'm afraid I did not get such a book and I don't think whatever you are was one of my options."

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"I'm an Empusa." She opens her mouth wide to gesture at her fangs. "Vampire witch."

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"Huh. Uh, I awakened from a mundane background a few weeks ago and don't know the answers to any questions you may or may not get all the time."

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"I awakened from a mundane background six days ago and haven't had time to get asked them."

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"Oh, how convenient. Do you vant to suck my blahd? I'm told it's now blue, though I trip a lot less now I can float so I haven't seen it yet."

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"Uhhhh...I'm good, thanks," she waves her apple, "Lunabella has magic blood fruit. That they export. Drinking from an actual person sounds kind of, uh, intimate? Honestly? Like an uber-hickey." 

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"Legit, I do not especially want to donate any - wow, magic blood fruit is a very cool concept given that there are vampires - do you also have to eat normal food?"

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"Nope. Biologically, I'm pretty much dead!" 

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"Is that... uncomfortable?"

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"Absolutely not, it's great. Biology is incredibly gross when you actually pay attention to it and now I don't have any, I never once felt as clean before I activated as I have since my first shower since." 

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"Huh, I hadn't really thought about it that way. I guess you're not the rotting kind of undead - I got that option but it was basically the first I struck - so you're just like, not sweating, not shedding skin...?"

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