I got lucky that Keith entrusted us to eastern Old Tenebris. My old home was in that direction. I could find Wyatt myself and get his grandmother and him out of the city.
“Solana, can you get these people out? I have to go get Wyatt.”
“Go, Elijah. Just don’t take too long. This fire is spreading fast.”
“I won’t, I promise. I just need to know he’s safe, that’s all.”
Solana kissed me on the cheek and waved me off. I darted through the streets, whizzing by panicked civilians. I turned from street to street until I found a small adobe house, untouched by the inferno. Wyatt’s house was unaffected, allowing me a moment of relief.
However, as I approached the brick house, the sounds of glass shattering grew louder and louder. Someone was yelling angrily, and for a moment, I almost didn’t recognize it.
I was shivering. How could I be shivering when all around me, Old Tenebris was being consumed in fire? Then I remembered it. I felt the same way not too long ago. It was…
It was when I bumped Celeste on the way out from the mess hall.
“Celeste,” I mumbled, gathered myself, and snuck around to the back window.
She was there in the kitchen, shards of ceramic crushed and jammed in her hands. Wyatt’s grandmother hugged the corner of the room below the cupboards, and in front of her stood Wyatt, arms open, drawing blood on his right arm. The bravado he wore was convincing, but a hint of fear escaped from a twitch in his left eye. It was subtle, and part of it was hidden behind his hair, but it was something I learned to spot whenever he was pretending to be brave.
“I’ll make sure he pays! I’ll make sure Elijah understands what true pain feels like!”
Multiple possibilities ran through my head, until a certain idea popped into mind. However, I wasn’t sure if it would work. No, it had to. I didn’t have time for another option.
I stared down at my hands, and watched as my alabaster Essence poured into them. I tried hard to recall the day I met Solana, and how she channeled her Essence into her fist to knock out that bear. I needed to mimic that if I wanted to help Wyatt.
My Essence quickly rushed to my fist. A tsunami of light undulated around it erratically, begging to be distributed throughout the rest of my body. It wasn’t perfect, but it would have to do.
I winded up for a punch, and then threw my arm into the glass, shattering it on impact. The shards blasted across the kitchen as my Essence blasted from my hand, flying in every direction. I jumped through the window and stood between my two friends.
“Celeste…” I held my arm to keep Wyatt back.
“Look who decided to show up!”
“Celeste, why would you do this?”
“You’re seriously asking me that? You know why! Don’t act stupid!”
“Elijah!?” Wyatt took a step towards me. “What are doing here?”
“Evacuating town, and bringing Celeste back to the Order. Are either of you hurt?”
“Nothing major. I’ll be fine.”
Mrs. Sands picked herself off the ground, sending me a worried glare, “Elijah, your hand.”
I looked down at my glowing fist, which was now tainted with blood and impaled by glass. Strange. I didn’t feel any of it. Maybe my Essence was shutting down my pain response. Hesitantly, I plucked the remaining pieces out of my hand. All I felt was an acute pinch.
“It’s nothing to worry about.”