‘An eye? Are you serious?’ he gawped. ‘A real eye?’
‘Well it’s not from a teddy bear for sure -,’
‘It’s a spell,’ Tayna interjected. ‘Not much use unless you want to see something when you’re somewhere else,’
‘So…who’s eye is it?’
Andrel and Tayna looked at each other as if their eye contact was a coded language. Without saying a word, they nodded in agreement and said, with an acrimonious roll to their voices, ‘Valda.’
‘Who’s that?’ he asked whilst listening for sounds above them where the enchanted eye was hiding somewhere.
‘Don’t forget Marinia,’ added Andrel, Tayna nodding in assent. ‘I bet she has something to do with this,’
‘Who?’ Will repeated, this time clearly showing his irritation at being ignored.
‘Marinia and Valda,’ Tayna said, twisting to face him rather lackadaisically. ‘They’re sisters, twin sisters, and they’re trouble on a stick,’
‘A long, pointed one at that,’ added Andrel,
‘Why, because they can take off body parts?’
‘It’s because of their family name. Mellicit, as in the goddess of Spirit from which those gremlins descend from,’
‘So they’re Elementals?’ Tayna and Andrel both nodded. ‘And they live here too?’
‘Unfortunately,’ they said together, their voices identically despairing.
‘You don’t like them?’
‘I wouldn’t say that at all,’ Andrel answered in a light, sarcastic way. ‘We just think that they’re void of all worldly decency, compassion and honour,’
‘You stole that from Arlamus,’ said Tayna undoubtedly,
‘So? The fat-head had it nailed down.’
Continuing to listen upstairs, Will asked his most burning question. ‘Any idea why they’d want to pull out an eye?’
‘If I had to take a wild guess,’ replied Tayna, biting her lip, ‘you,’
‘Me?’ Will looked at them incredulously. Andrel made the decision to move quietly up the stairs, light on his feet so his weight wouldn’t echo on the metal. Tayna and Will followed. ‘Why me?’
‘Marinia and Valda are at least attentive,’ she said. ‘They know what happens around here before the faculty. More than once they’ve been the ones to tell the faculty. If any rumours are going round this morning, it’ll be about you. The armoury blabs, and Anala isn’t exactly a locked vault,’
‘More like a “payment upon entry” one,’ Andrel remarked as they neared the top of the stairs, his voice hushed and his eyes forward on the top floor.
‘They’ll want to see you for themselves before everybody else, so I bet they first thought you’d be around here,’
‘So where are they now?’
‘At nearly nine in the morning? In detention. They work fast.’