Over the next week, Blessed and Cursed Ones did indeed start disappearing from my classes. Kirsten, the Blessed One with Crisstareenaywebdermotti as her patron, was the first to disappear. Laura was also one of the people who had disappeared, as well as other people who I didn’t quite remember.
While the disappearances were happening, the school had finally found a permanent principal. Our other principal was just an interim principal. “Please give Mr. Esakon a warm Cayshun High welcome!” said the student council member who announced during homeroom that day. As was customary when a new principal arrived, the students would be called to the principal’s office one at a time for introductions, discussions about our academics and extracurriculars, and anything else we might want to add—I highly doubted that anyone actually did add anything, except for some of the brown-nosers—with the whole process taking five to ten minutes. I honestly do not know why we do this; whenever I talked to the principal because of this tradition, the principal always looked bored, and I was definitely bored, too.
“Okay, class,” said Mr. Sifuhn. “As you know, we have a new principal and, well, you know the traditions for that. While we are waiting for the first call slip, let’s start learning more physics!” His pen was about to mark the board when a nervous-looking office assistant entered our classroom. He was probably nervous because of his tardiness; the job of being an office assistant was not particularly nerve-wracking. If anything, it was incredibly boring. When I was an office assistant last year, all I did was file papers and deliver call slips. Usually, the call slips were for students who the counselors wanted to see, though when the new interim principal came, I was delivering far more call slips and they were for students who needed to see the principal. “I-I’m sorry I’m l-late, Mr. S-sifuhn,” stuttered the student. “H-here’s the c-call slip.” And the student quickly disappeared.
Mr. Sifuhn looked at the call slip and said, “Megan, you’re wanted by Mr. Esakon. I’m sure you’ll give him a wonderful first impression of this class!” Megan smiled and, taking the call slip, strode off to the principal’s office.
“Now, would you all please open up your notebooks? We’ve got a very yummy lecture to get through!” said Mr. Sifuhn. I grabbed my notebook. It was only November and already the top of the cover was disconnecting from the spiral spine. I turned to a fresh page in the notebook, and started writing. I doodled more than I wrote, though. We were reviewing velocity, and I remembered a lot about it from eighth grade and from math class.
About five minutes into the lecture, Megan plodded into the class. There was something…different about her, but I couldn’t quite put my finger on it. “Oh, welcome back, Megan. Please do take a seat. I’m afraid you’ve missed part of a wonderful lecture on velocity—”
“I could care less about this physics crap, you [unprintable word]!” said Megan. Everyone gasped. “Uh, I mean, awww! I love learning about physics! But the principal was really nice, so it almost made up for those five minutes of that exciting lecture!” said Megan, cheerfully.
“O-okay, then.” Mr. Sifuhn looked at the door. “Oh, the office assistant isn’t here—never mind. Thank you!” he said when the office assistant arrived. “It looks like it’s your turn, Silvia!” Silvia stood up, gingerly held the call slip, and timidly walked over to the principal’s office. Class continued as normal.
I looked at Megan. She seemed like herself now, but those words that came out of her mouth before…they weren’t words Megan would say. The unprintable word was definitely a word that Megan, or any of the Extremely Blessed Ones with the CMN of a good god or goddess, was incapable of even knowing. If someone tried to explain what the word was to an Extremely Blessed One, the Extremely Blessed One would forget what that someone said right after the Blessed One understood what the word was. It didn’t matter how many times anyone tried to expose a Blessed One to, or even submerge him or her in, bad influences; the Blessed One would never lose his or her naivety. So how had Megan lost hers?
Maybe I was just overreacting. Maybe theology class was wrong, and it was possible for an Extremely Blessed One to lose his or her naivety. Or maybe I had just imagined the whole thing. I was having a hard time convincing myself of that, though.
I did become more and more willing to dismiss my worries about Megan as I noticed that no one else had been affected after coming back from the principal’s office. I then concentrated more on the lecture. Mr. Sifuhn had now moved on to a more interesting part of his lecture. THUD! His white board marker slipped. “Do excuse my clumsiness,” said Mr. Sifuhn. “I’m sorry I had to interrupt such an interesting part of my lec—ah, Jennifer? What are you doing?” Jennifer had just returned from the principal’s office and was now picking up Mr. Sifuhn’s blue marker. “Here you go, Mr. Sifuhn. Please go on with your lecture,” she said, smiling. When she noticed everyone’s surprised looks, she barked, “What?! I can be nice if I want to!”
That was completely wrong. She couldn’t even want to be nice. She was raised under the Influence of Jenisifydincneiwa, and she couldn’t escape from it.
Something was terribly wrong.
All of the Regulars were the same as they were when they went into the principal’s office, but every one of the Blessed or Cursed had changed. Was this what the EIS did to their Blessed and Cursed captives? But how could they defy the will of the gods?Mr. Sifuhn’s voice snapped me out of my reverie. “Anita,” he said, “it’s your turn to go to the principal’s office.”