Chapter XVI: The Elements and the Eye (1/13)Mature


Word caught of what had happened the day after, and Paradam had been forced to call an assembly to calm everybody down. All eyes were on the Elementals, full of worry and apprehension. The faculty had the same worries as everybody else, wary that the remaining royals would be the next to be taken. The presence of professors was much more noticeable out of class hours, patrolling all corners, and a register was enacted to make sure that all of the children were in the commonroom for curfew. Bosrold was charged with registering the Draíochta in Paradam's stead, and he glared at Will each time he answered to his name. He imagined the incident in Anala's room hadn't been forgotten. Will's involvement had been minimal, it had only taken a few expressions and innuendos from Anala to begin an argument, though she'd offered for Will to leave, something he eagerly obliged to. Bosrold had glared at him with eyes as narrow as blades, stopping him in the doorway to threaten him to never behave in such a way with Anala again, else he enact a punishment which involved him being "strewn up by his big toes."

His visit to Anala had not been fruitless, he still saw her in the weeks afterwards, and was filled with pride that he'd stopped her from running off. He was also inspired by her theory, and spent the rest of the month wary that any of his friends could be next.

It was clear that the professors wanted to distract the students from the frightening reality, and at the end of October, on Samhain night, a party was held. Each of the academies were given hampers of food, assortments of sweet and savoury delicacies as well as bottles upon bottles of raspberry punch. Entertainment was also held on the fields, games of croquet, circle games and even an obstacle course with netting, wooden walls and climbing bars, all enjoyed in the crisp autumn evening under a clouded, golden sky.

Will's time at the Sanctuary seemed to go through the same routine, even with the excitement and interest he felt, there was an overshadowing of dread, as if none of it would last. He awoke on the third of November with the sun glittering through the glass roof, waking him up slowly and comfortably. As he adjusted himself, he heard the crinkle of paper at his feet. Sitting up, he saw documents scattered across his bed and on the surrounding floor. Following his lead on the kidnappings, Tayna had shown him how to request archives from the library, a long process of checks and clearing that was granted only the previous day. He had spent his evening sorting through the register of the entire Sanctuary, highlighting the names of the Elementals as possible kidnap targets. He also highlighted Anala's name and Andrel's - when confronted, he admitted having neither involvement nor interest in the Tetractys, an organisation where his family was represented by his mother, Amistis. Will found out that another two Tetracyts families had their children at the Sanctuary, the Varnacs and the Orkens, but from there on, he was lost. There was nothing to suggest who would be taken first, or if they would be taken at all.

Remembering that he was at a dead end, he slid lazily out of bed, his legs still feeling weak. He gathered his clothes and changed, deciding he would pick up the scattered papers afterwards. However, when he pulled the curtains back, he was struck with the sight of Marinia standing in front of him, the papers piled on her arm that she was looking at keenly. She looked up at him with a satisfied smile,

'What have you got here, Will?' she asked smoothly. 'A strange bit of light reading.'

The End

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