“Congratulations, Elijah. You are officially a member of the Order of the Guardians,” the Master extended his hand to me. “You are the first White we have had for three centuries. Wear that title with honor, and make the Order proud.”
I shook his hand, “I won’t let you down, sir.”
“As an official member, you may or may not be called upon to complete certain tasks, or sent to faraway locations in order to investigate the Solar Convergence. Seeing as we are shorthanded here at the Castle, I might have to send you off to places before your training is complete. Fret not, because I will certainly send someone to assist you. I could never leave an inexperienced Guardian unattended in the field. Any questions?”
I shook my head uneasily. The thought of leaving the Castle before my training was done worried me, especially after what happened in Timorba.
“I will be taking my leave then. Feel free to browse the archive, as well as our extensive library of information and references. You know where to find me, should something arise.”
The Master turned and walked out of the library, closing the door quietly behind him.
Solana and I now stood solitarily over the archive, a smug smile plastered across her face.
“Well? What are you waiting for?”
“What do you mean, ‘what am I waiting for’?”
“Aren’t you going to look up your parents in the archive?”
I had nearly forgotten about that after the Master explained my duties as a Guardian. Although those duties should have been at the forefront of my mind, my priority was searching for my parents.
I stared at the behemoth of a book. Where would I even begin to look? There were at least seven hundred pages between my registration and the beginning of the archive. I sighed heavily, while Solana patted my back.
“You remember that trick I taught you in Timorba?”
“The one I used to find the motel? What about it?”
“Your parents left traces of Essence in that book, right?”
The gears began to turn. Without Essence, I couldn’t imagine all of the page-turning I would have to do to find their registration.
“Last time, you had a catalyst to guide you to your parents’ Essence. However, it will be much more difficult. At least the Essence is in the immediate vicinity, so I won’t talk you through too much of it. Just concentrate like you did back in Timorba.”
I held Solana’s words in my head and began to concentrate. The image of their faces was blurred once again, but I could feel it...their warmth as they held me in their arms, the kindness that resonated from their hearts. My parents, although seemingly faceless, were branded into my memories.
“Good,” Solana said, nearly breaking my concentration, “Now channel your Essence into the book.”
Without a word, I hovered my palm over the book, letting the Essence spill into its pages. Suddenly, the parchment began to flip. Page by page, my Essence browsed the archive until finally, it stopped.
I pulled the Essence back into me and leaned against the podium. I still lacked the endurance of the average Guardian, but at least I was making progress.
“Is that them?” Solana peered over my shoulder.
As soon as I could regain composure, I read through the page that my Essence landed on. On the left page, a very familiar name caught my eye:
Registration Date: 67th; 3115 Post Solus Concursum
Birthdate: 67th; 3105 Post Solus Concursum
Birthplace: Timorba City
“My dad...was born into the Order? How? He never once mentioned the Order around me. How could he keep such vital information from me?”
I looked beside his name...my father was a Yellow. I had not met any Yellows in the Castle yet, but Solana did mention their ability to empathize with others. That must have also meant that he was an expert on concealing them.
I shook off the thought. Surely there had to be a reason, and I would find out when I see his face again.
On the next page, a few names lower than my father, was another name I recognized:
Registration Date: 135th; 3117 Post Solus Concursum
Birthdate: 249th; 3105 Post Solus Concursum
Birthplace: Old Tenebris
My mother was born in Old Tenebris. She was a Hidden, like me. I chuckled at the thought that I was following in my mother’s footsteps. I shifted my focus towards her Essence. She was a Green. I could imagine her acting just like Melodie, with her kind, warm touch healing those who need it. Or perhaps, she was fierce like Celeste. Her Essence Burst was probably quite powerful. I hoped that wherever they were, I was making them proud.
I decided to hover two fingers over the imprints left behind by my parents. I pressed down on them at the same time, curious if it would allow me to see both of their faces simultaneously.
When I did, all of the beautiful memories replayed in my head. In front of me where my parents, smiling happily, their faces complete. My father wore a determined smirk that contrasted the warm, hazel glow in his eyes. My mother wore her teeth so compassionately, contrasting entirely with the two dark brown spots above her cheeks.
To see my parents’ faces after so long...after the emptiness in my heart drove the memories of their faces away…
Tears streamed down my face as I slumped to the ground. I wanted them to be in front of me, not just a picture in my head. If I could see them just one more time.
Why? Why did you have to go?