Chapter 56: "Why Are We Here?"

The elf nodded patiently as she listened to Erulastiel's story. As she retold of her brush with death, the girl's eyes became as dark and overcast as her wings. When she was done, abruptly finishing with a bitter note, Aliryia laid a soft hand upon the Dark Leader’s shoulder.

"The house has used me as its instrument, as it were, and even I know little of its secrets..." the latter muttered.

"It's okay, Sister," Aliryia said, watching the others carefully as she spoke. "This house seems to serve a purpose. Be it housing us, or something other that we have not touched upon yet. Look at this, a house with so many secrets to be uncovered!”

“Well, it’s not fair that you’ve been used. This place is just a building, it shouldn’t do that, you know,” remarked Maine.

“Sister!” Aliryia reprimanded, but Eru shrugged the hand off and wandered to one of the windows of the room, where she pensively stared out at the dark woods from where she had come.

“She’s right, though. We’re here now, using the house, but still being used by it. What is our purpose?”

The girl spun around, fury in her eyes.

“What are we suppose to do here?” she cried.

“Wow, Eru, relax,” said Alkrya.

“No, she has some point,” Maine said; “it does feel as though this place is trying to tell us something, or instruct us to do something. Whose idea was it to take a ‘tour’ after all this time?”

Aliryia flushed, raising her hand a little, meekly.

“There,” continued Maine, “how do we know that she isn’t trying to trick us?”

Aliryia couldn’t help but, blushing a brighter pink, snap at the insolent girl.

“Excuse me? I have done nought but-”

“Oh, don’t start.”

“Girls! Stop it!” Eru commanded. Her steel-hard voice instantly put a stop to Aliryia and Maine’s argument.

“I’m just saying we should be careful who we trust,” Maine retorted.

“No, Maine. I don’t think so.”

Eru closed her eyes, sighing deeply as she quickly thought of a way out of their situation. It took her a minute to realise that she was still holding the dagger, grasping its hilt tightly downwards as though she was the one destined to make a kill. In fact, she felt tough enough.

“I say we carry on the tour, we carry on doing what we have been.”

“Are you sure?” asked Calea.

“Yes, I’m sure. We might find more, we might see why the house has given us these things, or who that stranger was and what this dagger is. I say that, once we finish the tour, we gather all the girls together to see what they’ve found. There was more in that satchel, wasn’t there? Why didn’t we inspect it more thoroughly?”

“Like that book…” Aliryia heard Maine mutter beside her. The others moved away, oblivious.

“Will there be a time when you tell them?” Aliryia whispered as she and Maine slowly walked away.

“No,” the other responded, still bitter, “it doesn’t matter.”

“It will be found out. The others will ask questions, especially when later comes to gathering clues. They’ll know of it soon.”

“But you won’t tell them.” Maine glared.

“You know what is right in yourself…” Aliryia gestulated to the air.

“I wish you wouldn’t-” Maine began, before the two of them had reached the opposite door to the room, which the other train of girls were inspecting. It was made of a pretty dark wood, little signs scripted into it.

Erulastiel had her hands tightly on the ornate lock, but, with a sigh, she turned to the rest of the company, shaking her head.

“It’s locked.”

The End

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