OVER THE NEXT FEW DAYS, WILL DESPAIRED OVER WHAT HE HAD DISCOVERED. The Evil Eye, memories of his family and the masked men, all were images that invaded his mind whenever he closed his eyes, like an aching in his head after staring too long into the sun, blinded by what he could only call truth. The professors noticed his detachment from everything, they discussed it privately in the staff room, though none of their concerns ever motivated them to action. Andrel showed his anxiety, mostly over the mysterious Evil Eye symbol that he seemed to have a strong superstition over. Tayna on the other hand was cold towards Will through an irritation he couldn't understand.
After a draining hour of practice with wooden swords in Duelling, Andrel ran ahead of Tayna and Will to a meeting with Mrs Calibrase, leaving them to cross the courtyard in an awkward silence. Her mood drove him to such a point of irritation that he couldn't stay quiet. 'I have to know,' he blurted as they passed the loud, streaming fountain, the undine statue spurting clear, crystal water from her eyes, mouth and fingertips.
'What?' she asked, stopping a little ahead of him and turning, her books clutched studiously to her chest.
'I said, I have to know more about these people, Tayna. I know you don't understand but I -,'
'Of all people,' she interjected, stepping closer to him, 'I'm probably most capable of understanding you. However, you don't seem to understand the danger you're involving yourself with. These people are -,'
'Murderers, I know,' he snapped. 'They killed my family, and I'm guessing they would have killed me and Carmen and Karn'el if we hadn't been lucky...' he trailed off, thinking about his siblings, who, with self-ridicule he realised, he hadn't thought about for a while, though he knew nothing about them anyway. 'Listen, you might think you understand one thing, but what I know you won't is this: everything I thought was my life is suddenly fake. For years, I turned into somebody I wasn't, and now I have to revert back and it's more difficult than you can imagine. Nobody thought I would get my memories back, a little longer and I might have given up, but now that I have, I can't help thinking it's a...'
'A sign?' she said, offering him the word.
Will nodded. 'All I want to do is understand who I am, and even if it's dangerous, aren't I still allowed to try?'
'Well -,' she began to argue, but stopped herself. She sighed and smiled at him, 'yes, of course you are. I didn't mean it like that, it's just that...' she looked suddenly flushed of colour, her fingers whitening as she gripped her textbooks tighter, '...I don't want you to get hurt.' She span around and continued walking towards the building. 'Come on, we'll be late.'