estirose: Hana waiting outside Milk Dipper (Hana Waits - KR Den-O)
[personal profile] estirose
Unbirthday Ficspam #8!

Summary: Ellen figures out how to get out of the dungeon without magic. It is, unfortunately, not the way her professors expected her to do it. (G; Small spoilers for the third exam, instructions quoted from the game.)

On AO3 here.


Long, Withdrawing Roar
by Estirose

"The exit to this dungeon has been hidden. You cannot teleport out of the level. You must use your magic wisely to find your way before you run out of energy."

Ellen listened to the instructions with a sigh. There had to be a way to do this without wasting magical energy, and she was determined to do it!

She went through the dungeon, checking out each wall with a firm knowledge of what could be an exit and what couldn't. Some walls, after all, could be eliminated because they just were unlikely to be exits. That left only a few walls, and she examined them carefully, one by one. Each had their own chips, their own defects, and Ellen was growing frustrated. She kicked at a wall, staring at a chip in one brick, and started pacing... only to realize that the same chip was in the same place on the same wall!

The other wall couldn't be an exit, so she had to have found it! But as she felt the wall, it felt like any other wall, as solid as anything.

There had to be some magical trickery here, a mind-affecting spell to make her body believe that the wall was real! And therefore, there had to be a way around it. What could she do, what could she do?

And then she blinked. If she jumped with her eyes closed, hit the wall... maybe her body wouldn't be fooled.

So that's what she did. Closed her eyes, jumped... and landed, much to her relief, on the solid floor of a hallway leading to a stairway. She'd been right! And she hadn't had to use any magic at all.

She climbed upstairs, knowing that she'd beat the test. She was even smiling as she emerged and found Professor Grabiner waiting for her.

"Miss Middleton." He didn't look happy, but then again, he never did. "You failed to take the test."

Ellen blinked at him. "But I got to the exit!"

"You did not use magic, as you were instructed to do. No merits, Miss Middleton. Be grateful that I didn't give you demerits."

"I can't believe this! I did get through the maze and found the exit without losing all my energy." She knew glaring at Professor Grabiner wasn't the greatest idea, but she couldn't help it.

"This was a test of your ability to apply your magical skills, not your mundane knowledge. Leave before I give you demerits for arguing with me."

"Fine!" She headed off to the room she shared with Virginia and Mary. It wasn't fair! She'd passed the test! Would it have made a difference if she'd cast truesight and made sure it was the correct square? Her way was better, after all.

But it apparently didn't make a difference. She was going to be punished for being too smart.

Pacing the room, she wondered what her roommates did, and how well they scored. And maybe they'd get together, protest the decision, and she would be rewarded for what she'd done!

In the end, she just had to make Grabiner see.
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