“Um, why are we heading towards the throne room?” I pondered as I passed by familiar wall ornaments. I followed Keith and Solana closely, mainly because one wrong turn down a corridor would get me lost in an instant.
“The Master should have your room number by now,” Solana explained.
“How do you expect us to guide you to your room if even we don’t know where it is?” Keith added.
I let out a weary sigh, “You acted like you knew where it was already.”
“That’s because Solana gets overly excited, all the time,” Keith rolled his eyes.
“Says the guy who ran to the lunch line yesterday and tripped. Seriously, what is your deal with seafood?” Solana rebutted.
“I enjoyed fishing with my Dad. Come on, a little nostalgia never hurt anyone.”
“No, not until you fell on Celeste, and she gave you an Essence Burst to the face. You’re lucky she’s out on a job, or you would’ve felt her wrath for a week.”
“Celeste?” I asked.
“She’s probably the strongest Green we’ve got. Her Essence Burst is insanely powerful. Keith can tell you that first hand,” giggled Solana.
“Shut up. My face still stings from yesterday,” Keith murmured as he patted his face softly.
“You mean like this?” Solana smacked Keith with the back of her hand, causing Keith to flinch in pain.
“Ow! What the hell!?” Keith held his face. He struggled to assert his anger without wincing again.
Solana and I laughed, even though mine was a bit shallow. This Celeste frightened me. If she could leave Keith in pain for this long, she was someone I did not want to cross.
We finally reached the throne room, but it was empty. Funny, I assumed the Master would be perched atop his throne, stationary all day. Instead, he was nowhere to be found. He must have other matters to attend to.
“Ah, you three,” a voice called from the distance. All three of us turned around, and the Master entered through the corridor behind us. He wore an amiable smile, which was very offbeat from his stringent glare when I fought to keep Wyatt by my side.
However, his smile was recognizable by the glint of astonishment when he shook my hand. His eyes sparkled with admiration that time.
“Oh, Master! We were wondering if you already had Elijah’s room ready,” Solana requested.
“Then you caught me at the perfect time. I just finished preparing it. Come with me, and I’ll take you all to Elijah’s new room.”
“Perfect! Come on, Elijah!” Solana smiled and walked towards the Master. Keith and I wavered for a moment, then continued towards them.
My sense of direction became entirely askewed. I had to thank the castle’s many winding hallways and constant meandering through other side halls and compact corridors. Solana and Keith followed in front of me, undaunted by the castle’s maze-like interior.
Finally we halted in a narrow hall, with doors scattered all the way down. Each room had a number, odd on one side, even on the other. Every door was evenly spaced from each other, about ten feet across. How big were the rooms?
The Master stopped in front of one of the doors, and called, “Elijah! Catch!”
He threw me the key, which I nearly dropped, given how sluggish I was. My body was begging for some rest.
I approached the doorknob, and inserted the key. I jimmied it around a little bit to figure out how it opened, then pushed the door open.
“Oh. My. Gosh.” I was stunned.