When his plate was finally empty, Shen decided to cast it aside for a while, placing it on one corner of his bed. He placed his elbow against one knee, allowing to him to rest his head against a balled up fist while he listened to Khaalida's points. His eyes seemed to stare past her as he listened, trying to envision the things she talked about. Even if most people did not earn his patience, he could still find the ability to sit and listen quietly for the sake of his friend, even if his body language reflected some annoyance.
Of course it was easy to see that even within the walls of the tower, people still shared much of the same weaknesses. Fear, rejection, ignorance, no matter the circumstances, they still found a way to present themselves. What course was there to really change that? Has the damage not already been done, by the ancestors of mages and ordinary man alike? It was just not realistic to think that centuries of segregation and rejection could just be reversed. All that could be done is to have faith that some day the world will open itself up to mages, leaving behind the others who would not be able to keep up. And if that did not happen in your lifetime, where better to leave your legacy than in the tower, high above those that choose or could not ascend from the ground below?
There was no real argument he could make to Khaalida that she would not just reject, and so Shen remained quiet during her brief rant. It would not be here, sitting around in his room, that he could convince her how much better life was up in the tower.
His scowl gave way to a look of surprise when Khaalida suddenly motioned towards her lip. He hurriedly licked his lips and rubbed them with the back of his hand, making sure to eliminate the mess he had made on his face. He glanced back towards his guest as she sat down once more, shaking his head. "I don't eat that many sweets," he protested. "And even if I do, I've earned every morsel." He inched himself back to the edge of his bed, picking up the plate and reaching to set it down on his desk. When he pulled back, he placed his hands behind him, leaning back as he looked back towards Khaalida again. "You weren't planning on staying in here all morning, did you? Won't little Ally get anxious?"
He let his head roll to one side as he made his jab about Alameth, and slowly swung his head round until a satisfying pop sounded from his neck. "Sorry, I shouldn't make fun of your friend. Not in front of you, anyway." He grinned cheekily as he let himself drop backwards in his bed, now looking up at the ceiling. "What is he up to now anyways? Still on the alchemy track or whatever?" His follow-up inquiry seemed to come reluctantly, almost forced. It just seemed like the right thing to do was ask about Khaalida's friend, even if Shen did not really care one way or another how he was doing.
As for his other question about Khaalida's plans for that morning, he knew that in the grand scheme of things it would not be a loss if he lost his morning to keep her company. Most of his physical and written exams have been completed for his track to magehood. After a couple more, which he was already well prepared for, he was to be assigned a mentor until the year's end. They would help him learn about the proper rituals mages are sworn to keep. Finally, he would be granted his magehood, his grand ascension, granting him nearly complete access of the towers' greater libraries and what they might bare. Any questions he could possibly have can be answered, with time and careful study. Maybe even those about Khaalida's unique powers.