When Push Comes to Shove, You Gotta Do What You Love. . .

Damir and Emby reach the actual magical academy at Mount Pon and begin to try to find a way to get Emby in. Their first tactic is to directly approach the secretary of the academy and request an audience with someone who could give her permission to join. Damir and Emby are given a card showing the faculty of the school, and they request an audience with the assistants to the dean. Both deny the request. Damir continues to look for solutions, suggesting that Emby (who looks quite tired) take a short nap. Damir waits for classes to end and tries to get into a classroom to talk to a teacher. He encounters a barrier that prevents his entry, and when he chooses to wait for the teacher to leave, the door simply slams shut in his face. He quickly runs over to another classroom and begs an audience with the teacher there. She is a teacher of transmutation and suggests that Damir request an audience with the head of her department, telling him that she will put in a good word for him because of his sincere story and lack of whining. Damir requests this audience and is told that he must wait until the next day to know the results. Upon learning this, Emby and Damir decide to get rooms at one of the two inns (The White Pillow, 30 lockable rooms, 3 sp per night, no food; The Visitors' Perfect Inn, 10 lockable and enchanted rooms, 1 GP per night, no food). Damir suggests the less expensive inn, being short on cash. He pays for his and Emby's rooms, but as they get the keys and head to the rooms, Emby lets out a shout of shock and surprise. She throws Damir into her room and onto her bed; due to the circumstances of this exchange, Damir suddenly comes to the realization that he has developed rather deep feelings for Emby. Luckily for Damir, Emby is too distracted by the bag of gold (which she thought was a bag of copper) that she had pulled from the dead orc in the ants' caves to notice the series of emotions (surprise, realization, shock, happiness, more realization, despair, and then back to carefully neutral) cross Damir's face. Emby freaks out a little about having this much money on her; she decides that she wants to stay at the other inn instead. Damir goes along with this, and they leave the White Pillow with a flimsy excuse about seeing some kind of rodent ("probably one of the first-years playing tricks"). Damir pays for a single room at the good inn; he has been reduced to nearly no money, so he does not feel he can afford two. When Emby does not follow suit and rent a room, Damir realizes she still intends for him to stay in the same room as her (she had suggested this after finding the bag of money), which makes Damir slightly uncomfortable; after all, he wants nothing more than to stay with her, but he must do his best to arrange things so that he cannot! Damir and Emby drop most of their stuff in their room and head out of the inn to begin searching for more information on the magical academy. Damir feels that if he knew more about the place he might know better how to work the system. On the way out of the inn, Damir decides to spend nearly the last of his money and try to rent a room next to Emby's; the innkeeper, unbeknownst to Damir, is a middle-eastern-ethnic spellcaster. The innkeeper reads Damir's thoughts; having figured out WHY Damir wants another room, he then refuses to provide one, giving the excuse that all are full. Damir sighs, squares his shoulders, and resigns himself to a night sleeping on the floor, too near Emby and yet too far away for his tastes. He thanks the innkeeper for his time, apologizes to Emby for the delay, and resolves to not think about how he feels about Emby any more; from now on, he must only think about getting Emby into Mount Pon until that goal has been accomplished. His resolve strengthened as best as possible, Damir then sets off with Emby to return to the academy proper and attempt to learn more about it. Emby later forces him to take his share of the damn treasure; Damir claims 35 GP as "his share."

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