“Did any of you find her?” the Master asked frantically.
“She’s nowhere on the upper floor,” Keith shook his head.
“She’s not at the training tents. That’s usually where she goes to blow off steam,” Solana’s shoulders slumped dejectedly.
“Thanks for the spare key, but she wasn’t in her room,” Melodie handed the Master Celeste’s spare room key.
“Where else is there to look?” I wondered.
“I believe it is safe to assume that she is no longer on the Castle grounds,” the Master sighed.
I should’ve kept my mouth shut, but no. I was blinded yet again by the urge to find my parents. Celeste had every reason to abandon the Order. If my worst enemy was given special privilege over me, I would be just as angry.
I thought I had finally gotten over that ambition. For so long, I managed to move on from that pain in my chest. Solana was the stitching that sewed my heart together. Now, someone else was suffering from my idiotic crusade, and this time, the consequences were much more dire.
“We’re going to have to go out and get her then,” I proposed.
“You will do no such thing Elijah! It is already ID. We cannot risk any of you going out into the twilight now. Who knows how long it will take for you to return?”
“Master, we can’t just let her wander through the twilight!” Solana stepped up.
“None of you will be leaving until tomorrow, and that is final! I have already made enough mistakes tonight—”
“And you’re making another one right now!”
The Master sighed and leaned back in his throne, “What is more important, Elijah: the life of one, or the life of many?”
“Master,” Keith interrupted, his tone composed yet urgent, “If we don’t leave now, she’ll be even harder to track down. Elijah managed to hike all the way to the Castle from Old Tenebris in a day. Celeste will be able to cover half the distance in a Duscan.”
“And besides, Celeste’s health isn’t even the biggest problem,” Melodie warned. “Her pent up rage for you and Elijah could lead to some innocent bystander getting hurt.”
Solana agreed, “What would the Order be if we let one of our own run amuck—”
All four of us froze. The Master’s frustration emerged with the veins across his forehead and neck. His glare shot daggers into our hearts, petrifying us as a thin violet aura hugged his flesh tightly.
After a deep breath, his Essence returned to his body. “None of you will leave the Castle tonight. Any attempt to do so will be seen as an act of treason. By tomorrow’s Excitus, I will send out a search team to bring Celeste back to the Castle. Elijah, you will begin your training tomorrow, and the rest of you will carry out your Guardian duties as usual. Get some rest, all of you. I will handle Celeste.”
All of us wanted to protest. We couldn’t stand for this. The Master was making a terrible mistake by allowing Celeste to run rampant. The risk of going to find her, however, was too high. Treason? Really? That kind of threat certainly payed off for him though. It kept any of us from leaving the Castle, even if it meant that someone we cared about was going to get herself in trouble.
Still, guilt stirred within my spirit. This happened solely because of me. I had to be the one to fix, but...how could I do it alone? I wasn’t strong enough to do it by myself. But with some help…
I waited until we turned the hallway to say it, “We have to go find her.”