The dark mantle of the night shrouded the sky in darkness, tiny specks of light were blinking at us every now and then through the thin sheets of passing clouds. The wind was whistling words of danger and precariousness in our ears. The night was silent and still, devoid from any sounds, even life.
"Do you hear that?" Kirana asked me, leaning past my body to look out the window. Her breath left traces of vapour and fog on the surface of the cold window pane. She squinted through the night, trying to catch the owner of the sound.
I rubbed my eyes and stretched in what little space was left between the window and Kirana. I glanced at the clock and read it was well past one o'clock in the morning, I looked out of the window and noticed the haze that had settled over the horizon. The scratching and silent, muffled jumps reached our ears and we both jumped to our feet. "They are here," I whispered, reaching to unlock the window and pushing it open.
I figure emerged onto the roof of the house adjacent to ours, a heavy bulk on his back. Its feet shuffled as he tried to find his balance and swayed toward us.
"What took you so long?" I asked, wrapping my arms around the bulk's chest and pulling him through the window inside. Kirana took hold of his legs and with some effort we laid the figure flat on the floor. A strong stench of alcohol permeated the room, an odour so strong that even the gusts of winds couldn't take away.
"Try bypassing the guards of a club without id," Ian retorted, climbing to the windowsill and jumping inside. He flexed his arms and straightened his back, he then closed the window. "I found him pretty beaten up on the alley, there were white traces of lights on his hand. I think he had some heavy drinking or he was drugged."
"I'll get a towel," Kirana said, walking toward the restroom.
"Hallucinogens?" I suggested, looking at Daren's exhausted sleeping face. "Glad you found him before Shyran knew about it. He would've been really mad and stressed, especially when we leave tomorrow morning."
Kirana came back and knelt beside Daren, wiping his face from the grime and dried yellowish liquid. "We can take the grime off his face, what about his odour?"
"Never mind it," I said, rubbing his fingers. I recalled when the flashes of white light illuminated the darkened midnight sky, white lightning. Kirana, Ian, and I crept out of bed and made a plan to get Daren back from his nightly escapades. Our suitcases were made for our departure, Leargon was to come tomorrow and take us away to the still-unknown academy. I looked down on my arm and contemplated the soft blue mark that had been slowly stretching and swirling around it in this past week.
The morning was finally here, everyone was downstairs waiting for the mysterious owner of the academy. I walked through the halls and peeked inside each room breathing in, for what may be the last time, the fragrances of the house. Slowly, I walked down the stairs, running my hands over the wooden railing and found Shyran at the base of the stairs. His expression was impassive, his hands on his hips. I stood before him and wrapped my arms around him in a warm embrace. His arms went around me and held me tight, whispering wishes of happiness in my ear.
Leargon arrived, it was the sight of spectacular man, powerful both physically and emotionally. Shyran introduced us with a bitterness in his voice and helped us carry our things to the van in which he arrived.
"I am sure you are going to enjoy and learn a lot from the Academy," Leargon said, waving a hand above him, "I think you want a formal farewell, I'll wait in the car." He stepped away and walked to the car, shutting himself inside it.
Shyran looked at Leargon with a face of discomfort, he sighed and turned to us. "Take care," he said, "please don't act rashly. There is always a home waiting for your return. Boys, take care of your sisters. Girls, make sure these two don't get into unnecessary problems." He wrung his hands together, clearly not comfortable with farewells. He gave each of us a hug and watched us marched to the van.
"We will miss you," I said, giving him a last good-bye before getting inside the car. Shyran stood on the sidewalk watching as the car was pulling away from the driveway and into the deserted morning street. His figure was still standing there, wary, and diminishing as we moved away from him until he was only a blur.
"What kind of academy is?" Kirana asked, she was siting in the passenger's seat.
"A very special academy that serves an important role," Leargon said, tipping down his hat casting a dark shadow over his face.