“How was training?” Keith greeted us when we arrived at the dining hall.
“A few broken ribs, arms, and legs. He’ll live,” Solana replied, “He just might be getting the hang of it.”
Keith raised an eyebrow, “There’s a Green in the castle?”
“Um, I’m here,” Melodie approached the table quietly, scaring Keith.
Keith twisted his body around to face her, “Oh, hey Melodie! I thought you left on your next job already.”
“I was going to, but the Master wanted me to wait until Celeste returned. I’ll be leaving tomorrow.”
I decided to enter the conversation while fiddling with a piece of chicken, “Where are you going anyways Melodie?”
“Tomorrow I’m heading to New Perfi City to help fight a pack of Rogues. Apparently the Guardians that went are being overwhelmed by their forces, and they think having another healer would really help.”
“Rogues are Essence users that broke ties with the Order, or never made the connection in the first place,” Solana explained happily. Her demeanor changed completely after training finished for the day. “Well, that last part isn’t entirely true. We only really use that term for anyone who acts against the Order knowingly.”
“Ok, but if they’re being overwhelmed, why wouldn’t they send you to New Perfi immediately, Melodie?”
Melodie's mouth opened, but Solana intervened, “Come on, Lumberjack, the Master doesn’t want to endanger his prized trainee. White Essence is hard to come by these days.”
The gears began to turn. Apparently I was more important than an army of Guardians.
But I still had another question, “About what you said earlier, what exactly do you call people like me?” I wondered.
“Oh, any Guardian who has not been discovered by the Order is called a Hidden,” Keith answered, “But that term has been long defunct, mainly because we rarely find Hiddens these days.”
“Hm,” I hummed with curiosity, “When’s the last time you found one?”
Solana shuffled through her memory for an answer, “Oh man, I don’t even think we were born when the last one popped up.”
“Maybe that’s why Josef was sent to scout Old Tenebris,” Melodie murmured.
“No, he’s going to Old Tenebris to escort my friend back home,” I rebutted as Wyatt crossed my mind again.
Melodie frowned, “I remember him telling me that before he left, but he also mentioned something about the Master ordering him to scout the city to see if Guardians can reoccupy it.”
My head rattled, “Did he say how long he would stay in Old Tenebris?”
Melodie shook her head, “I don’t even think he knows when he’ll be back. I hope it’s soon. It’s the first time the Master has let him leave the castle. I’m worried about him.”
It irritated me that I wouldn’t know how Wyatt’s doing, either until Josef returns or Wyatt writes to me personally.
“You know he has no idea about you and Josef, right Melodie?” Solana remarked.
“What? Is there something I should know?” I asked gullibly while scanning Melodie’s concerned expression.
“Oh, no wonder he looked so confused,” Melodie giggled. “Josef is my boyfriend.”
I sunk in the information, “Oh. That makes sense now.”
Solana smacked me on the head, “Alright Lumberjack, finish up. We’re leaving for Timorba in ten.” She turned to Keith and Melodie, “Any of you want to come?”
Keith put his open palms out, “Not tonight, I have to do a nightly round of the castle before I’m relieved.”
Melodie pouted, “I would, but I still haven’t finished packing for tomorrow. I need to make sure I’m ready to leave by tomorrow morning.”
“Ok, come on Elijah, unless you want to wear that outfit for the rest of your training,” she pulled the back of my tunic.
“Alright,” I said, agitated by her teasing. Besides, the only real reason I wanted to go to Timorba was to hopefully find something related to my parents.