It was the middle of the month of Ascending Water of the 767th year of the reign of the Scarlet Empress. At the Four Lotus Academy it was raining. No raining is the wrong word for it. It was pouring great buckets. Within the walls of the school, on its grounds, about 20 young students were jogging through the rain. 14 years of age the students wore the red and white of the school. Standing under a small canopy a barrel chested man yelled at them to pick up the pace or they would have to do another set of laps.
"Ever notice...how the worse the weather is the more he keeps sending us out in it?" Huffed one of the students, a green haired girl by the name of Summer Emerald Snow. Beside her was another girl with short red curly locks by the name of Vel. Both girls were good friends, top of their swordsmanship classes and decently popular. Even though Vel was a patrician from the Realm and Summer was from the tributary of An-Teng the two girls had known each other since their first year at the Academy when they both were 8. "Well...you know what...they say. The secret to great teaching...is making your students suffer." Came the reply and both girls laughed a little at it before lowering their heads and slogging their way through the downpour.
"Mela's beard!" Vel swore suddenly. The two were heading back to their room after their fitness class had finished, both rather looking forward to changing into something dry. Summer turned her head looking concerned for her friend. "I didn't finish the assignment." Vel explained getting a blank stare back from the green haired teen. "Remember? The alchemical touchstone we were supposed to make!"
"Wow. Vel. Your doomed if you don't get that finished."
"You gotta help me then."
"What!? We don't have enough time for that!"
"Sure we do you know what you are doing." She said as she started to pull her friend towards where the supplies were kept. "You leave getting the ingredients to me and between you and I we can have it done in no time flat."
"But I don't even have my books!"
"We can wing it!"
Reseigning herself to her fate the two made their way through the halls of the Manse. It was pretty quiet as classes were still going on around the school. Summer watched with a rather disproving expression on her face as Vel produced lockpicks out of somewhere and went to work on the lock. Not much later there was a click and they were in. Collecting the ingredients they thought they needed they went to find one of the workshops.
Some time later...
"This is all your fault Em." Vel said to Summer, using the nickname that her friends used for her.
"My fault?! How is it my fault you are the one who broke into the supply room."
"And if you hadn't messed up with the Touchstone we would have gotten away free as a bird."
"You added too much purified water to the mixture."
"You added too much sandstone."
Both girls fell silent. They were on their hands and knees scrubbing. It looked like the room they were in had seen a burst of firedust. Close but not quite. Rather the two had fumbled their mixture and so when it was prestend in class the next day and used the thing had exploded in black ash across the entire room. Needless to say their teacher was not pleased.
"Completely your fault."
"Oh shut up."