Survey of Magical Elements: Hot Topics

The province in the central northeast part of Hyrule includes the Death Mountain, Eldin Mountains and Eldin Canyon regions.
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Maize
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Re: Survey of Magical Elements: Hot Topics

#26

Post by Maize »

How could this morning possibly get any worse? In just a few seconds, Mihail counted three ways, three separate things that tightened the knot in his stomach and made him want to launch himself into the boiling Death Mountain magma -- no, wait, lava. Magma rose, like the anxiety creeping up his throat, and lava erupted, like the sob that he might let out if one more bad thing happened.

The first thing was Amrian, who snatched the medicine bottle from his hand and asked how he -- his lungs, rather -- would get buff enough to defeat asthma without protein. Though Luka was the medical expert, Mihail didn’t think lungs got buff, different sorts of tissues and muscles, but in the time it took him to fish his canteen from his backpack and wash down the capsule, she had already started talking about making out, and then, oh, Goddess, brought Luka up, as if Mihail didn’t just live through the humiliation of Luka having to watch Miss Vanilla, ahem, go to town on him. Then came the gossip in a tongue Mihail didn’t speak, but it was surely about him -- and it was surely embarrassing.

Second came Dr. Runeblood. The brilliant whimsy that characterized the professor did little to comfort Mihail as she thrust a stamina potion into his hands, thick and sickeningly green (don’t say like bile, Mihail, don’t say like bile). She brought up his advisor, how she said he shouldn’t come, but also thanked him for being brave and strong in front of the other students. Brave and strong. Mihail wasn’t sure if it was a compliment or not, but he twisted open the potion. When he spoke, it was still a bit rough, a bit breathless. “Thank you, you’re too nice. Ah, bottoms up?”

By principle, Mihail didn’t hate anything, but he certainly was not a fan of potions and was eagerly awaiting the day that some phenomenal chemist released potions in wildberry and hydromelon flavors. As he took slow, painful gulps of the potion, he watched the professors congregate and just knew it was about him. He had a certain knack for making everything an emergency, everything about him, after all. But it was normal to talk about troublesome students, and the professors all liked him. Maybe there were just touching base.

Then, catastrophe number three: due to this morning's activity, they were going to be splitting into two groups, those who were ready now and… the slower tour. The Mihail group.

The only thing that kept that lava (or breakfast, a pill approximately the size of a keese eyeball, and the stamina potion) from erupting from Mihail’s mouth was Luka. When Twyla made the announcement, he immediately looked towards Luka with pleading eyes. Luka, who had stayed with him thus far, who somehow knew how to make everything feel better. Luka, who would jump at the opportunity to dive right into the research excursion.

Luka, who announced boldly that he would be staying behind with his friends. Mihail grinned, all of the lava settling back in his stomach.

“Thank you, Luka,” he said, still a bit raspy, perhaps not even loud enough to be heard.

Mihail was happy enough to wait in the stable with the rest of the group, sipping on Goronade as his medicine and the stamina potion began to work their magic. Well, he tried to sip on Goronade. Teak’s fishy fingers all over his face made that kind of hard, but he was happy to entertain him as she checked his temperature and --

There went the fingers up Mihail’s nose, which caused him to give a small sneeze. Hopefully, it didn’t gross her out too bad, and he just tried to laugh along.

“Oh, Teak, you’re a blessing from Hylia, but I’m going to be just fine,” he assured her, muffled as her fingers began exploring his mouth. Okay, this was officially weird. Were her hands clean? The thought worried him just a little bit, and he wrapped his hand around her wrist to delicately pry her off. “Thank you a million, though!”

Mihail prepared to turn his attention to Luka, to awkwardly defend the two of them from Miss Vanilla indeed not stealing Luka’s spotlight, but then came the commotion, and then came Orville.

And the smile immediately fell from Mihail’s face.

In the ideal world, Mihail was not the jealous type, but this wasn’t the ideal world: this was along Death Mountain after an asthma attack, and Mihail did not like Orville for the sheer fact that Orville, as it was, got to, in so many words, spend the night with Luka after Mihail bailed on the study group due to a fake headache.

Whatever, though. Mihail told himself that he didn’t care, that he was above disliking Orville for such petty reasons. Mihail wasn’t above much of anything, quite honestly, and he continued to stare the pair down intently, folding his hands together to hide the frown that threatened to curl around his lips. Goddess, he did not like how Luka looked at Orville. Why didn’t he look at Mihail like that? The lava that started burning up his throat this time was not that of anxiety but of anger, of jealousy. Goddess, this was a terrible feeling. Oh, Goddess, Goddess, Goddess, maybe he should have gotten up and walked over there, clasped a hand around Luka’s shoulder and said he was beginning to feel a little lightheaded, his vision was getting a bit spotty, would he mind walking with him to get some more water? He just had to ask Luka -- he didn’t want to burden anyone else.

But then he caught Luka’s eye, and he was reminded that intruding like that would be petty and terrible. Orville was injured, for Hylia’s sake, and there Mihail was, once again, making everything about him.

He quickly redirected his attention to Amri and the twins. When he glanced out of the corner of his eye, he saw Luka bringing Orville over and smiled politely. “Welcome back, you two,” he said with a forced smile. Did he always sound so high-pitched? Ugh, dear Goddess. He gave Orville one last glance before trying hard to focus on Teak and Tulle and telling himself that everything was fine.
* * *
Mihail was over-the-moon to be riding with Luka, partially because he adored Luka and knew he was in good hands with him and partially because he could rub it into Orville’s face if he so desired. All of that jealous anger went away, though, once Mihail was actually on the ostrich, gripping tightly onto Luka out of fear that he would go sliding off.

Mihail was a lucky man, but the nerves about the ostrich luckily allowed him to hardly even misinterpret it when Luka called himself a ‘smooth riding.’ When Luka had the ostrich start prancing, he held back a yelp. It did feel nice, though, to be with Luka, so close to him that Mihail could perhaps lean into him, rest a head on his shoulder. He wasn’t going to do that, of course, not yet, but the thought was in his mind.

“In good hands!” Mihail exclaimed, just a little shaky. He was not going to fall, and he knew that. Luka wouldn’t let him. He was, without a doubt, in the best hands.

As the group started up the mountain, Mihail, despite struggling to breathe at every other point in time, found himself comfortably blabbering. First, he commented on how strange the sky looked up in these parts, which turned into a rant on how the sky would never be as pretty anywhere else in Hyrule as it was in Kakariko Village. Then he just started talking about home: about his sister, about always offering the sweetest, plumpest apple at the shrine. His tangent somehow led him to talk about his grandfather’s yearly hoedown. “Oh, you’ll have to come next fall! It’s the best party in all of Hyrule, because no one throws a rager like Kuran Tanabe. And maybe I can teach you how to dance like he taught me!” If he felt up to it that day. Admittedly, Mihail couldn’t dance for very long, for obvious reasons, but he always did try to push that limit.

By the time he had made it to talking about his grandfather, Mihail had allowed his chin to rest on Luka’s shoulder, and he didn’t know what to be more embarrassed about: the incessant talking or the misplaced affection.

At least he could comfortably apologize for the talking.

“But tell me more about the badlands,” he asked. “Are they like up here, up the mountain? You’ll have to forgive me for not knowing, I’m not sure if they’re as high up as the mountain, I’m not very good with topographical maps. And parties! How do you celebrate? I bet as not as hard as my grandpa goes. But tell me everything!”
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