“My friends, I have the first assignment for you!”
As soon as Novus Wizword uttered the words, someone knocked on the door.
“Who else could that be?” the Headmaster exclaimed in a small voice. Then he turned to the door and added, louder this time, “Come in!”
The door opened immediately and Le O’Capri the leopard jumped into the room.Le bowed graciously and froze in his pose. O’Capri was from an ancient family of Italian knights (hence such an unusual name) and had the reputation of being the most courteous creature in the entire Academy.
“O’Capri, speak up, don’t keep us in suspense. What news have you brought us?” Wizword inquired anxiously.
“Thank you, my lord,” O’Capri said, still bowing. “My lord, the news is anything but good. I’d rather say it’s alarming. A student of the Magic Speech house has disappeared a few hours ago. He is neither in his room, nor in the study nest. We have also checked neighboring branch-houses, but he isn’t there either.”
“Is it possible that he has violated the charter of the Academy and left the borders of the Magic Tree?” Novus asked.
“No, my lord. Our guards wouldn’t fail to notice it. But no one saw him leaving.”
“What if he is just hiding?” Luna asked shyly. “Maybe he was playing hide-andseek and doesn’t know that the game is over.”
“Oh no, miss Luna. Let me note that nothing like that ever happens to children. Children always know when the game is over. If we were talking about an adult, I could presume he was able to go on playing alone. But children never do things like that. This is something else.”
“Well, my friends, I have the second assignment for you,” Novus told Luna and Astro.
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