24.4: The One at Fault

I wracked my brain for memories, any remnants of the Castle and the Order before I joined a month ago. Solana and Celeste waited for something to resurface, but nothing appeared in my mind. Whatever memories of the Order I had from back then were wiped.

“I was born here? In the Castle?”

Celeste nodded, “Elijah Oliveira. Son of Eve and Samuel Oliveira. I can’t forget that. Not after what I’m about to tell you.”

“So, our parents left to Old Tenebris. Your mother wanted to visit her family, so our fathers followed her. But when Eve got to her old home, it was nothing but rubble. Hysterical, she began searching for the family she left behind, until eventually…”

“Celeste?” Solana worried.

“Give me a second,” Celeste sighed, then continued, “Your mother found her sister, Aurelia, in an alleyway on the far side of Old Tenebris.”

Aunt Aurelia. I remembered her vaguely from stories Mom used to tell. She and I never did meet face to face though.

“Aurelia told Eve how these people broke into their house. However, they weren’t ordinary burglars. Aurelia described one of them as being able to bend and reshape weapons in their hands. The other could send a blast of glowing light out of his hands. I think you understand what I’m getting at.”

“Rogues,” I answered.

Celeste agreed, “Aurelia had been out in the twilight for a week and a half. Not long enough to fully become a Dweller, but still, it was quite some time, especially when the twilight in Old Tenebris, as Josef mentioned, is a lot stronger. My father was reluctant to let her stay in the Castle, but both Samuel and Eve were so adamant on bringing her there.”

“And so, all four of them returned to the Castle, alerting the Master that Rogues were occupying Old Tenebris, and asking for his blessing to allow Aurelia to stay at the Castle for a few days. What a fool the Master was back then.”

“Why? What was so wrong about letting Aunt Aurelia stay?”

Celeste shot me a frigid glare, “Although your aunt was only recently exposed to the twilight, it was powerful enough to corrupt her. A Guardian approached her one day in the mess hall, and out of instinctual fear, she...she stabbed him. Another Guardian entered the fray, looking to subdue her, but then…”

Tears hastily poured from Celeste’s eyes, “Eve intervened, knocking the Guardian across the room with her Essence. It was now a battlefield, with Aurelia, Eve, Samuel, and my father against the rest of the Castle. The Order considered it an act of treason, forcing all of them to flee. The four of them searched the Castle for you and I, until they found us in one of the classrooms on the upper floor. Eve and Samuel pulled you out of the classroom, while my father kissed me goodbye.”

Celeste winced at the painful memory, “I asked him where he was going, and he told me that it didn’t matter, that he would return in a few days. And I believed him. I foolishly believed him. So I let him go, thinking he would be alright, even though deep down, I knew something was wrong.”

“The five of you fled to Timorba, but a few Guardians easily surrounded them just on the outskirts of the city. Treason is a heavy crime in the Order, the consequence being life in prison. Unless, you were to attempt to escape your sentence. Then, the final sentence would be death.”

“And for some selfless, idiotic reason, my father decided to distract the group of Guardians that wanted their lives. He attempted the most difficult technique known to us Greens, the Essence Shockwave, in order to fling back the crowd. And instead of your family helping my father escape, do you know what they did?”

She paused for a moment and scowled at me. Tears continued to stream down in her mixture of exasperation and anguish.

“Your parents lifted you up and ran. They left my father...they left him behind to die. All because of you. Because you were so much more important to them. You’re the reason that my father is dead.”

The shock of her words shredded my organs apart. My eyes grew bloodshot, and my mouth gaped widely. I didn’t have the capacity to cry anymore. Doing so would send Celeste into a fury. Either way, I had no right to cry. Celeste was the only one to be hurt by what my family...no, what I had done to her.

“I hope that finally answers your damn questions,” Celeste stood up immediately and stomped out of my room.

The End

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