My Ranking Points
W&W Chapter 8
I know I haven’t been giving Devyn any screen time but once the fighting starts, I promise he’ll get some! I really do! But in the meantime… fun times at SoCS?
“Who here can tell me the law of Biconditional Exchange?”
Three-quarters of my Remedial Studies class raise their hands. In the back row of the classroom, I flip slowly through my notes, trying to hide the fact that half of them are just question marks. Not my fault that Devyn, though patient, is the slowest teacher of Veritarian this side of the Endless.
Luckily, my teacher is about a thousand years old and as shortsighted as King Alfred the 162nd, who marched his army straight into a hurricane and perished on his thirteenth day on the throne. (I actually enjoy history sometimes.) He calls on a student in the first row, who answers, “P if and only if Q is logically equivalent to P if Q and Q if P.”
I fight to keep the sounds in my head long enough to draw it out. P double arrow Q, double arrow—wait—parentheses around the first part—okay, parentheses P arrow Q, downward pointer, parentheses—
My head snaps up. “Yes, sir?”
“Can you answer the question I just asked?”
“I…” I feel my face heat up as the entire class swivels to look at me. “…No?” A few people laugh. “Apologies, sir. I’m taking notes.”
“What, right now? While I’m talking to you?”
Mother, give me mercy. He does know I’m a knave, right? I get a momentary urge to simply walk out of the classroom, but I suppress it. “Apologies, sir,” I repeat, and sink lower into my chair.
When class is over, he asks me to stay behind. I sigh. I’ve spoken with him five times already. Each time, he told me he can’t help me if I’m going to write my notes in a primitive language, and each time, I told him with all due respect, sir, that I’ve scraped his vomit off the floor of the Blue Falcon and I’m going to write in whatever language I **** well please, thank you very much.
Now that Wysel’s back, though, maybe I’ll finally be able to get some help. My notes from the beginning of the year are filled with his neat handwriting in the margins. His spelling is just awful, and the notes are full of odd colloquialisms and Veritarian words sprinkled in, but at least it makes sense.
But today, instead of the usual “Let me see your work,” Sir Levret starts off with, “I’d like to show you your last exam.”
“Aren’t you handing them back tomorrow?” I ask.
He ignores the question, instead giving me a sheaf of papers that I recognize to be my most recent test. As I flip through it, my stomach sinks. Almost every single question is marked wrong. Not to mention the last two pages, which I didn’t have time for.
“You don’t belong here,” Sir Levret says. “Don’t you agree?”
“I’ll try…” Some force makes my mouth grind to a halt. “I won’t try harder, sir.”
He clears his throat, then plucks the exam out of my hands. “Unfortunately, you won’t have the chance. It’s the will of more than a few of your teachers that you no longer continue in their classes.”
“What? What did Lady Maline say?”
“Lady Maline was outvoted. You are expelled from the School of Chivalry and Strength. You have the rest of the day to pack up your belongings. If you refuse to leave the premises, you will be forcibly removed.” He gestures to the door. “Good day.”
“What?” Aveline screeches. “That’s ridiculous!”
We’re sitting cross-legged on the floor of Aveline’s room in the castle. Aveline is hugging a stuffed bear to her chest that Devyn bought her for her fifteenth birthday. At the moment, I’m tempted to take him away from her before she rips Alfred Tarski 195th in half.
“They shouldn’t be able to do that!” Aveline says.
I sigh. “And yet.”
“It’s unfair. What could they be thinking? I’ve seen you figure out Resistance plans like they’re nothing. You’re smart, Mari. You deserve to be at this school.”
I snort. “Yeah.”
“I’m serious. This is an outrage! I’m taking it up with the queen.”
“You can’t take all of your outrages up with the queen.”
“Oh? These 45 letters rejecting my proposals say otherwise.”
“Key word here rejecting.”
“Well…” She splutters for a moment. “They shouldn’t be able to do that!”
“But they did. And honestly? I mind. You were in any of my classes, Avi—you saw just how badly I was failing. I have to admit, I feel better. Maybe SoCS is less than I can handle.”
Aveline looks like she wants to keep arguing, but eventually she bites her lip and says, “If that’s how you really feel.”
“It isn’t.” The more I say it, the more sure I feel.
“Okay.” Aveline sounds reluctant. “I’ll at least try to get you a pass onto campus. Or I’ll try to get off-campus privileges. I don’t want to have lunch without you.”
“Oh, please. Just eat with the logical researchers. They literally worship you.”
She throws Alfred Tarski 195th across the room. He hits the wall with a muted squeak and falls on his face. “The logical researchers are weird!” she complains. “They’re almost always talking about math, or theory, or other things that have no practical application and that I don’t give a single negation about!”
I blink at the sudden influx of information. Aveline has a habit of talking fast.
Finally, my brain finishes processing it all. “What about Isel?” I ask.
Immediately, a defensive expression comes over her face. “What about Isel?”
“Didn’t the logical researchers have something to do with her disappearance?”
For a second, Aveline is stunned. Then she leaps up. “Right!” She runs over to the small desk by her bed and places a new piece of paper in the center. I walk over as she dips her pen in the ink well. At the top of the page, she writes OPERATION ISEL – IN PROGRESS.
There was couple of times where she told the truth, like when she told Aveline that she felt better and also that she couldn’t take up all her problems with the queen, but apart from that it was great!
Actually, I was hoping someone would catch that! Marisa says she HAS to admit she’s feeling better, and Aveline CAN’T take up all of her problems with the queen. Both are examples of technically-lies which fudge around to sound like truths. I mentioned before that Marisa tries to talk like a knight as much as possible, and this is the result! (Although yes the second one is kinda iffy.)