Keith was right; he told us not to break anything, but with my eyes closed, that would be inevitable. I opened my eyes to royal blue carpeting that extended down this long hallway. The walls were made from a dark wood. If this place stood firm for so long, it was probably dark oak that lined the walls.
My migraine worsened. I wanted to be home now, in Old Tenebris with my parents, Wyatt, Mrs. Sands, all of them. Then I remembered, there was no turning back.
Not until I brought my parents home.
Wyatt was still taking in the surroundings. He looked like a kid who went to an amusement park for the first time, trying to understand how large everything around him was. Neither of us had stepped foot out of our hometown, and neither of us knew we would end up in a castle of all places.
The hallway seemed to be ending. An open doorway was a few steps away, and I could not see the ceiling in the next room. There were stairs, but wherever they led to was obscured because of the hallway ceiling.
“We’re here,” said Keith, who stopped in place, and waved us towards the room.
Solana began to walk past him, but Keith grabbed her arm, pulling her in to whisper, “Please don’t let them say anything stupid.”
“They’re not idiots, Keith!” Solana yelled, then muttered an aside, “I hope.”
“I’ll be at the front door for guard duty until dinner. Come see me whenever.”
Solana led us into an enormous circular room. Several halls converged at its walls, with two sets of closed doors behind the stairs. At the top of the stairs was a golden throne, clad with streaks of silver and cushioned with blue velvet.
There was a man sitting on the throne, with ginger hair and an obvious scar on his right cheek. His face was stern, and his arms were crossed. Maybe this was a bad time.
“Solana,” he addressed her with a calm intonation, which completely clashed with his body language, “how was your expedition to Crucani?”
“A bunch of cultists that wanted support from the Guardians. They even tried holding me hostage to do so,” Solana explained.
“Making an enemy of us,” he stroked his short ginger beard, “not the smartest of people. Were they Dwellers?”
“Some of them certainly were.”
“I would assume. No coherent person would ever think to antagonize the Order. So, tell me, who are these two?”
Solana turned to us and whispered, “Go on, introduce yourselves. You go first, Elijah.”
I nervously stepped forward, and took a deep breath.
“My name," I gulped, "is Elijah Oliveira.”