Sneaking out of the Diasomnia dorm is so easy once you’ve memorised every corner, hallways and the occasional night owl wandering about like a pale ghost underneath the moonlight.
It’s also a lot easier once you mastered the silencing spell. Especially if your room is a floor beneath two powerful and ancient Faes and below is another Fae known to read late into the night when he couldn’t sleep.
After slipping the red jacket on, Silver ties his hair into a small ponytail and checks his reflection at the vanity table one last time. His eyeshadows are fine so he just adjusts his hair a little to let the bangs framed his face a lot neater before grabbing his phone and wallet.
Silver turned off the lamp on his bedside table and immediately, his room is thrown into darkness. Only the soft moonlight reveals him standing at the door, his hand on the doorknob as he tries his best to listen to any sound outside. Malleus would already be fast asleep, judging by the hour. Lilia would also be fast asleep after pulling a four-day all-nighter playing video games with Ortho. Sebek had mentioned during lunchtime that he’s exhausted from helping the other First Year students of their dorm studying, so he’d probably turn in early tonight.
When he could hear nothing, Silver cast a silencing spell on himself as soon as he exits his room. The hallways look so eerie at night with the swaying green flames from the candles. The thorny vines creeping up the walls and ceilings cast long shadows underneath the soft light. The dorm would spook anyone meant not to be here, but Silver has become accustomed to sneaking between the shadows of Diasomnia that nothing but Lilia’s footstep can startle him.
Once he reaches a dead end in the hallway on the ground floor, Silver gently presses one of the bricks hidden behind the thick tapestry and the brick wall reveal a hole that’s big enough for him to slip out to the back of the dorm.
The cold night air envelop him as soon as he steps outside with the moon hanging high and full in the starry night sky. It’s a quiet, peaceful night and more importantly, one of the rare nights that Silver is fully awake for once and he plans to take advantage of it.
Silver raises an open palm to summon a couple of fireflies to lead him through the forest. The little creatures shine a brilliant shade of dark green light; strong enough to illuminate the path for him. The occasional hoot of the owls and crickets accompanied him as he walks deeper into the forest towards his destination.
However, he instantly froze when he heard something unexpected somewhere near him. A couple of voices dispels the quiet evening.
“ - right way?”
“Pretty... sure. I’ve walked... way... a couple... time now!”
Silver frowns. He ducks underneath a thick branch and hides behind a tree as the voices gradually become louder and clearer. The green fireflies disperse at a flick of his finger.
“Are you sure we aren’t lost?” Silver knew that voice. It’s that human student from the Ramshackle dorm - Yuu.
“Yeah, Ace. Isn’t this the way to the Dwarf’s Mine?” Another First Year student - Deuce - chimed in.
“Of course we aren’t lost! Look, it’s just a couple more steps, and we should be on the path towards the back entrance of the campus, alright?’ Ace assured them. He then leads the way, and the two hurried after him, the flashlight from their phones pierce through the darkness in front of them.
‘What... are they doing?’ Silver wondered as he watches them going further away from the same path that he’s on. He has a feeling that they too, are planning to sneak out of campus, but they’re going the wrong way, just like Yuu suspected. He bit his lower lip and then sigh, mind already made up.
Without hesitation, Silver went after them. There are monsters that lurk in this forest, and the ones that only reveal under the cover of the night tend to be vicious and nasty. Despite not being from the same dorm, it wouldn’t sit well with him as a Second Year student if he lets a bunch of newbies gets hurt if he could help it.
And when Ace let out a shriek, Silver quickens his steps and prepare his magic.
“What the fuck is that!?” Deuce shouted, eyes wide open in shock. Ace is on the ground, flat on his ass with Yuu and Deuce in front of him.
A large slime-like shadow monster with multiple red eyes and way too many mouths loom over them. As it bares its razor-sharp teeth and prepares to pounce on them, Silver shouted.
“Get down!” He ordered and threw a large fireball at the monster. Fortunately, Yuu and Deuce were smart enough not to question and quick enough to duck.
The creature let out an unnerving shriek of pain, but the fire refused to snuff out. The teacher had covered this particular monster during the first semester for the Second Year curriculum, so Silver knows how just how to defeat. He raises the fire higher and hotter until the monster bubbles and evaporates into soft smoke.
The green fireflies returned and circled them to ward off any more surprises.
“Silver-senpai?” Yuu called out, tilting his head in both relieve and confusion. “What are you doing here so late at night?”
“Isn’t that supposed to be my question?” Silver countered instead. Folding his arms, he then asks, “Shouldn’t it be common sense to stay away from the forest? Especially at night?”
At least Yuu had the decency to look bashful. Ace, however, managed to shake off his fear to reply, “You haven’t answered him, Silver-senpai. And why are you wearing such cool clothes for? Wait... are you going to the Mystic Elixir too?”
“Ace!” Deuce hissed, but that was all Silver needed to know.
“What!? You’re thinking about it too!”
Silver sighs. He really didn’t expect this; looks like Azul wasn’t kidding that this trio tends to bring trouble wherever they go. Still, maybe he can work something out...
“Actually, I am.”
His blunt and honest admission shocks them. “Whoa... I didn’t know that Silver-senpai is the kind of person to break the rules.” Deuce said in awe with a hint of respect.
Silver just shrugs. He’s aware of the school’s impression of him and his family; rather than getting annoyed, he let them think what they like. “What I do in my free time is my own business. Now, since we’re both breaking the rules and planning to go to the same place, our little trip to the city is going to be a secret just between us. Got it?”
“Of course, Silver-senpai!”
Silver nodded. “Good. Follow me.” He turns around to return to the previous path with the First Years meekly walk behind him. “Have you three been to the Mystic Elixir before?” He asks.
“We overheard it from Cater-senpai and got curious.” Deuce explains. “He said that it’s the only nightclub that doesn’t care about your age.”
“Have you heard about it, Silver-senpai?” Yuu interjects. The boy’s eyes glint underneath the light of the fireflies. Is he genuinely incapable of using magic like the Mirror of Darkness said?
“Been there a couple of times.” Silver admits. This results in a chorus of awe and questions, but he put a stop to it with a raise of his hand. “Ground rule: I’ll take you guys there, but you guys are not allow to drink. If I see any you disappear from my line of sight or do anything besides dancing and talking, I’ll haul your asses back here. Understand?” He demands, trying to sound as firm as he can. Hopefully, they’ll take his words seriously; he doesn’t have much practise other than arguing with Sebek.
The trio murmurs, “Yes, Silver-senpai.” Good enough.
When they reach far enough from the campus, Silver calls for a transportation portal from their area straight to the street where the nightclub is. If they were within the boundary of the college, the headmaster would sense the portal immediately, which is why they needed to be out of the radius to leave safely.
“I’m so excited!” Ace exclaim with a wide grin. “This is going to be the best night ever!”
“As long as we listen to Silver-senpai rules and don’t stay too long, it should be fine...” Deuce quietly assure himself, but Silver could see him fidgeting with excitement and eagerness.
Yuu said nothing. Though he kept sneaking glances at Silver; wanting to say something but stop himself every time. Silver made a mental note to ask him if they had the chance.
As soon as they step into the portal with Silver being the last, the Mystic Elixir appear before them. The building is large, circular with three floors and a rooftop lounge. The main entrance holds up the name of the nightclub in bright purple lights with the walls flashing a myriad of soft colours and music can be heard blasting inside.
“Oh wow, look at the line!” Ace pointed out. Like any other typical Saturday night, the club had a long line of people eager to get in. “It’ll take forever for us to get in at this rate!”
“Just follow me.” Silver simply replied and went around the building. The First Years continue to trail after him like ducklings; their excited chatter muffled. Away from prying eyes, they slip into an alley beside the building where an imposing bouncer is guarding a small door.
When he saw Silver, he peers over his sunglasses. “Oh-ho, the guys and I’ve been wondering when you would show up, Argentum. There’s even a bet running that you ran off to some other clubs at the other side of the city.” The Minotaur said with a friendly grin.
Silver rolled his eyes. “It’s only been four months. Anyway, is Hansel in tonight?”
“Heck yeah! He’s manning the bar on the ground floor with a couple of new girls. There’s a new menu that I think you’re gonna like.”
The two chatted for a few more minutes before he laughs at Silver’s sarcastic quip and opens the door for them; barely batted an eye at the three kids behind him as they shuffle in.
“Does Silver-senpai knows a lot of people in the city?” Deuce couldn't help but ask when the door close behind them. Silver leads them through the dimly lit hallway to where the music and people shouting and singing is.
“No.” Silver answered, and that’s that. When they finally reach the dance floor, Deuce and Ace gape at the sight. Music blares from every corner of the large room, the bright and colourful LED lights pulse from the ceilings, walls, and the entire floor is crowded with all sorts of creatures; some were dancing, some were playing cards and drinking at the tables while others made their way to the neon stairs for the rooftop lounge.
“Now this is a party! C’mon, c’mon! Let’s dance, guys!” Ace urged and grabbed both Yuu and Deuce with him to the dance floor. Silver watch them mingle with the crowd before heading towards the bar where it’s a little quieter.
Hopping onto one of the stool, Silver is immediately greeted by the bartender, Hansel. “Argentum! Good to see you again. How have you been? Busy?” The man said brightly as he tucks away a shot glass. Behind him, Silver could see two girls handling the other patrons.
“Had to study for a test.” Silver said. He hid his identity whenever he sneaks out of Raven Night College in case Lilia or Malleus caught wind of his little late-night adventures. A small part of him knew that although Lilia wouldn’t mind him hanging out with his own group of friends, the old man would definitely put his foot down as soon as he mentioned Mystic Elixir.
It’s baffling how overprotective the old man can sometimes be. You’d think he’s old enough to make his own decisions.
There’s been a lot of shady events that happened in Mystic Elixir ever since its grand opening. Being one of the very few nightclubs with very few rules, anything can happen here. Agreements, truces and even death. Though Hansel enigmatically smiles and said nothing when Silver wanted to confirm the last rumour.
But despite the nightclub’s infamous reputation, Silver actually enjoyed it here. Watching all sort of creatures dance the night away and even chatting with some interesting strangers over a glass of Icy Polaris about this and that can be fun.
When Hansel slides him a shot of Poison Harbinger, Yuu sat on the vacant stool beside him. Like before, he made a poor attempt trying to hide his curious glances despite looking at the non-alcoholic section of the menu. So Silver decide to nip that in the bud.
“Do you like sweets?” He suddenly asks.
“Umm... I don’t really mind them, Silver-senpai.” Yuu said after some thoughts.
Silver nodded. “Then I suggest either a Dea’s Kiss mocktail or Priestess Lemonade.”
Yuu decides on the first suggestion, and one of the girls begin to prepare his order. “Has enough of dancing?” Silver asks after a sip of his drink.
“I was starting to get sweaty.” Yuu admits. “I’ve never been to a nightclub before. Not even in my... world.” He pauses and then, “Not unlike Silver-senpai.”
“This is my fourth time here, but I’m not much of a dancer. I’m just here for the drinks.” Silver said, raising his glass for emphasis. Hansel cheers.
“Still... even though I’m still new here, I always thought that Silver-senpai prefers a much more... quiet scene.” Yuu said with a tilt of his head.
Silver turns around to face the dancing crowd. Despite the writhing bodies, he could see Ace and Deuce without a problem. “I do enjoy hanging out with Lilia-san and the others. But I’m also a curious person. Just like your friend, I heard about this place and wanted to check it out and found myself experiencing something new.”
Hansel returns with Yuu’s order. He eyes the drink; inside the tall glass is a swirl of purple galaxy with sparkling black dots that oddly reminds her of onyx. A single red rose petal floats on the surface of the drink. The drink looks pretty rather than delicious, to be honest, but he takes a sip nonetheless. His eyes widen when a pleasant sweet taste burst on his tongue. It faintly tasted like blueberries and something else entirely.
“Does Lilia-san knows you’re here?” Yuu finally ask.
Ah, Silver was wondering when he would ask that. “No.” He said after the sweetness of his drink burns his throat. As long as he can remember, Silver’s world consists of Lilia and Malleus; they the ones who taught and raised him everything they knew. They watch him grow when they themselves don’t, and over time, Silver can feel the difference between them.
Don’t get him wrong; Silver dearly love them as his parents, and they in return treat him as theirs. It’s unconventional, but he wouldn’t have it any other way. But after enrolling to Night Raven College, Silver sees them not only as parental figures but also his senior students.
Awkward is an understatement whenever the other students witnessed Lilia teasing him like how a father would and Malleus would scoop a portion of his food to his plate during lunchtime in the cafeteria. It’s during those moments that Silver is grateful for Sebek’s presence and would gladly humour him whenever he’s upset with something.
Yuu said nothing and they enjoyed their drinks in silence. The topic then shifted to something lighter; about classes, magic and the difference between their world. Silver couldn’t comprehend a world without magic, and despite knowing nothing of their histories, Yuu grasps his explanation surprisingly quick.
It’s almost as if he’s heard of them before.
When midnight came and went, the First Year trio were beginning to wear out from dancing and the intense atmosphere. Around 2 in the morning, they decide to return home. Silver paid for their drinks much to the their protest, but Silver easily brush it off, claiming that since it’s their first time, it’s a treat from him.
As they made their way back to the back entrance of the nightclub, Yuu took one last glance at the dance floor behind him. Just like the moment they arrive, he sees a young man with short auburn hair with red tips and russet brown eyes stare at them from one of the private booth.
No, Yuu suddenly realises when the stranger turns his head slightly. Not them, but at Silver.