“This is your dining ha—!?” my jaw dropped.
“Yup! Big, isn’t it?” Keith replied.
“Big?” It was ridiculous. The ceiling rose maybe seventy-five feet from the floor. The wooden walls brandished the Order’s emblem over a coat of blue paint. Blue and white tablecloth covered the tables that stretched from wall to wall, leaving a partition in the middle of the hall, and two pathways between walls.
“What are we having?” Keith asked Solana. His nonchalance upset me.
“It’s pasta night, isn’t it?” Solana answered.
“Right, right. Come on Elijah, let’s get some food.”
I was too awestruck to respond, let alone move. Solana had to tug on my arm just to get me going again.
“Typical rookie reaction,” chuckled Keith. “I hope he doesn’t faint because of the food.”
“W-Why would I faint?” I wondered.
“You’ll know when you get the food,” he winked.
Luckily, the line dwindled quickly. All three of us gathered our food with haste, and sat at the table closest to the servery. The mess hall was nearly empty however. There was probably a hundred people for the sixteen long tables that sprawled down the room. At least ten of those tables were not being used.
“Say, where is everyone?” I asked, squeezing my legs into the mahogany bench next to Solana.
“Probably on assignments. The Master always has Guardians travel whenever there are clues related to the Solar Convergence, or when we’re requested. Most of the ones that do stay are trainees and their mentors,” Solana responded, pausing to take bites of her pasta.
“Hm,” I shrugged, lifting my fork over my pasta and stabbing it. I rose the pasta to my mouth and and tossed it into my mouth. “Oh! That’s why you said I would faint! This is amazing!” I yelled.
“You’re not going to faint, right?” asked Keith, but his expression was serious.
I should faint. The pasta had the perfect texture, with a creamy finish that blended beautifully with my tastebuds. “Do you have this every day?”
“Are you kidding? Who would want pasta every supper?”
“If it’s this good, I would let be my breakfast and lunch too.”
Keith and Solana laughed, “You say that now, but give it a week and you won’t say the same thing.”
“Completely off the topic of food,” Solana interrupted, “I’m sure you have a lot of questions still Elijah.”
“A lot is an understatement. My brain is completely fried.”
“Do you have any question for us right now?” Solana asked.
I thought about what to ask, or at least, what was most important to ask. Everything seemed especially important, and I wanted to just dump all of it on Solana. She could write a book for everything I needed to know, or wanted to know.
Finally, I separated a question from the rest, “Tell me about Essence a little more.”