It was the dead of night, and nobody was around in the halls. Cautiously, Eyiel snuck through the halls of the dormitories, trying not to alert her presence to anyone still awake doing late night work.
As she made it out of the dormitories and into the main building, she was able to quicken her pace, as the building laid empty. She hurried to the back of the campus, to the gates that lead to the forest. I wonder how long he's been waiting, she thought to herself, as it was hours after curfew. I got caught up reading that book and lost track of time.
She made it to the back gate, where Ardarrion was waiting, leaning against a pole with a locked case in his right hand. His eyes were closed, and he appeared to be asleep. As she walked up close to him, he spoke. "You're late."
"I'm sorry,"she said in reply. "I lost track of the time reading the book you gave me." A smile tugged at his lips, and he leaned forward off the pole, then opened his eyes.
"Quickly, then," he said, and reached into his pocket to retrieve a key. He inserted the key into the lock on the gate and turned it, and the gate swung free. Eyiel passed through it, followed by Ardarrion, who locked it behind them.
"Our time is more limited," he muttered as he took her right hand with his free left, and headed forward at a brisk pace, guiding her along into the forest. "As the night goes onward dark creatures become more prevalent, we need to get this done quickly or we will have interruptions."
They walked through the dark forest, barely able to see anything at more dense points from the lack of light. After a while, they came to a clearing, with some light from the moons illuminating the space. Ardarrion turned to look at her, and slowly led her into the center of the clearing.
They just stood there for a moment, looking at each other. Is he going to make a move, she wondered, smiling at him, or is he going to get this started? It's hard to figure out what he's thinking. After a minute of awkward silence, he lowered his head, and sighed.
"Once you put this on," he said while still looking down at the ground, "you cannot remove it. You must keep it on at all times, so you will have to alter your wardrobe to conceal it. Are you ready?" He looked back up into her eyes, and she nodded.
"Remove your shirt," he said, and he stepped around to behind her and began to open his case. Her face went flush at the request, but she nodded, and proceeded to remove her shirt, leaving just her undergarment.
"Careful," he said, as he gently pulled the straps of her brassiere down from her shoulders so the skin was bare. "It will be cold for a minute or so before it warms up. You will feel it pinch as it latches onto your skin." The device opened in the back, so he reached around her and gently laid it on top of her shoulders. She twitched from the sudden cold.
"Hold still, please." She nodded, and tried to hold still as he adjusted it. Cold, she thought to herself, and looked down at it. The plating of the device wasn't very thick, only about the thickness of a pencil. The plates sat just above where her breasts started, with the lock piece extending down between them a little ways as it ran along her breastbone.
Ardarrion pulled up her hair as he finished adjusting the placement in the back, and clasped the opening in the back together. He reached down into his case for the second piece, and Eyiel lifted up the straps of her undergarment to sit on top of the device so her arms had full movement range again. The second piece was thinner and soft, instead of rigid like the main piece, and attached on the right side to sit over her right shoulder. Several thin metal straps came out from the piece at intervals, which he wrapped around her arm and clasped. At the end of it was the wide bracelet that made up the endpiece, which he clasped a palmspan up her forearm from her wrist.
He walked back around in front of her, and she held up her shirt with some shame to cover her breasts. He didn't seem to notice, and fished out the book from his case. His mind's focused on this task, she thought, slightly dejected, no time for other thoughts right now. He produced from the pages of the book the key, which he inserted into the keyhole and turned.
She winced, as the device pulled on her skin while bonding to her. The feel of the cold, however, went away, and the pinching sensation soon passed. "The device is waterproof," he said as he returned the key to the pages and turned to another part of the book, "and has a regulation system to keep the skin underneath it clean. You can put your shirt back on now if you wish." She nodded, and after a moment more of thinking on the matter, proceeded to put back on her shirt.
Ardarrion stepped back, and held out his hand. Around her feet rose a spell circle, with writings unlike any other spell circle she had ever seen. "Repeat after me.
"Durch das Eis des Nordens."
"Doish das eyes des Nordens," Eyiel repeated, struggling to pronounce it correctly. Suddenly, several of the words in the spell circle burst to flame, then faded, leaving them with a blue color as they rotated around the center of the circle.
"Durch das Feuer des Süden."
"Doish das foyer des Suden." The circle continued to come to life, leaving more of the words a deep red now.
"Durch die Wälder des Osten."
"Durch die Wälder des Osten." Another section of the circle began to glow green, and the words began to spin faster.
"Durch die Städte des Westens."
"Durch die Städte des Westens." The spell circle began to ripple, and the words began to rise up off the ground.
"I, Eyiel, hereby accept the Oath of Order"
"I, Eyiel," she said, then hesitated. After a moment, though, she nodded, and finished her line. "Hereby accept the Oath of Order."
"Messerweiß, Ich bin dein Knecht. Nehmen Sie dieses Angebot!"
As she spoke the words, suddenly the words from the spell circle engulfed her, entering her body and entering into the device. She felt it become warm, as it came to life, and suddenly a presence spoke into her mind.
Oath accepted, came the thoughts, in her own internal voice but not coming from her. User Eyiel registration confirmed, Messerweiß activated.
What? She thought back, expecting some sort of response. Who is there?
I am the Messerweiß, her thoughts were replied.
"It's..." she said aloud. "It's talking to me."
Ardarrion smiled and walked up to her as the remnants of the spell circle faded away. "That's the mental interface. It will take a little to get use to it in your mind. Let's start simple, just to make sure that it's reading properly. Just try and focus on gathering the energy into plates, for now."
Eyiel nodded, and closed her eyes. She decided to go simple, and drew earth element energy. As it gathered, she felt a new energy flow, as the device began to sort the flow of the energy. Alright, machine, she thought to herself, let's see how this works.
She held out her right arm, and around it started appearing the energy plates, colored a light brown. They were taking random polygonal shapes, as she wasn't particularly controlling them into any specific flow. After a minute of doing this, she decided to try doing something with them, and so imagined them taking form. The device responded in her mind, and the plates of energy began to elongate, and take a form in her hand. She grabbed it out of the air.
"A sword," Ardarrion commented, impressed. "Interesting. So yeah, there's the basic idea. We'll do some more training on this later, that's good for now." She nodded, and dispersed the energy, and the plates shattered into the air.
They headed back through the forest, back to the gate. Ardarrion unlocked it and they passed through, and he locked the gate behind him. He took the book from his case, and handed it to her. "I don't expect you to be able to read most of this," he said to her, "but some of it is in our common language and so you can get some useful information from the instructions. When you're done with it, put the latch on the book, and it will automatically lock." She nodded, and looked into his eyes. He got a sly smile, and without warning leaned forward and kissed her. They stood in the kiss for a little while, and then Ardarrion ran off towards his office.
Well, she thought to herself as she walked back. One more day this week and then it's the weekend. The report isn't due until the first day of class next week, so I will deal with it then. She began to flip through the pages, looking for information to read in the moonlight. The section of the book where the key was stored was clumped together and couldn't be separated, so she ignored it and continued browsing the pages.