4/4 into the school year
I was running behind Xavier, when we both saw the scene. The bloody scene. Xavier ran to him immediately, but my feet stopped me in my tracks.
Nothing ever goes well does it? Nothing ever has and this new year hasn’t changed a thing.
2/4 into the school year
The beginning might’ve been okay, but the middle just brought everything back to reality. Like that time I read that magazine.
It’s nothing unusual, I love reading magazines, but the contents this time weren’t as I expected.
Unlike still coping Xavier, I purposefully read the magazines that sometimes featured Edmund’s family business. I wanted to have news of my old friend. And usually it was good news, praising the new heir or his father being saved from near death.
But this time it was more gossip than anything else. And it didn’t harbor anything good.
It seems in the last few months Edmund had been seen less and less, and when he was he never looked completely there. Always looking tired. It got so bad that his dad publicly told him to get over it, and since he’s been seen even less. A lot of people are throwing ideas around, that him and his girlfriend can’t conceive or that he’s suffering from a depression.
Flipping through the pages, and reading that news…I started to feel a little lost. I’d grieved over Oliver, but never Edmund. Never seemed right to, he didn’t die he just moved away…and cut away all contact.
It reassured me, the idea that he was doing good, that the smile in the photos was genuine, that he was a lot happier away from all that had happened here.
But he wasn’t, I know this could all be just gossip, that in reality he’s down with some sort of sickness…but I knew then and I know now he isn’t doing good. None of us are, we’re just coping. And not all for the same reasons I’m sure.
I remember actually feeling ashamed back then, like I’m feeling now, for letting myself get caught up in the events.
1/4 into the school year
It was that first save that really got me fired up. We were only a few weeks into the school year and Traz and his Talent Troupe had already done their first attack.
Olistan, another student who approached Xavier at the bar during the very first week of school, had actually stood up to a group of bickering students and told them exactly what he thought of the whole situation. It was pretty inspiring for us and I caught wind of their next possible victim in my cooking group.
So Xavier, Xenia and I sneaked out of our respective dorms and made our way over to the victim’s dorm.
We had to stake the place out for two hours before we finally saw what we came here for. Traz and two of his friends, heading for the dormitory.
We’d all nodded at each other, our plan already thought out.
Actually we’d spent the whole summer thinking on how we wanted to approach this. According to Xavier’s experience with one of the Talent Troupe’s ‘teaching moments’, they weren’t afraid to use violence. So we took self-defense classes. But those were just back up plans, since two months wasn’t enough to be able to fight against them. And either way violence wasn’t the road we wanted to use for this.
Instead, we decided to take a more ‘goody two shoes’ approach if you will.
Since they were sneaking around at night, with masks on and making sure to make the least noise possible…it was only logical to assume they didn’t want their presence to be made known.
So for that first save, and the several that followed over the months, our plan was to basically catch them in the action and call them out on it. Threaten to call the police or yell out their presence to the neighbours. Basically, we threatened to tattle tale if they didn’t go home.
And well, the first save was a complete success! They were completely taken off guard and had taken off without much protest. After that, they did their best to make sure no information could be leaked out, but their next targets were easily predictable.
I remember Xenia would get really into it after the third or fourth save. She’d mock them and tease them when they knew they’d been caught. Which is probably why one of them tried to take a swing at us at some point. But apparently that’s where Traz drew the line. We haven’t seen that one guy since.
Yup, the beginning started off ideally. Then, I guess Traz got tired of getting caught half the time, because he came up with his stupidest plan yet, near the end of the school year.
3/4 into the school year
Olistan was with us at that point, and I swear if he hadn’t joined our team we wouldn’t have heard about Traz’s idiotic little plan.
Apparently, since we were predicting most of his targets – which was causing us a lot of sleeping time mind you – Traz had decided to choose a target that hadn’t done anything to deserve being attacked. Or actually targets.
But he was keeping the info tightly under lock. Or well he thought so. There was a guy who claimed to be from the Talent Troupe, but everyone ignored him because he lied most of the time anyway. And we’d personally never seen him at night. But Olistan, for some reason, had decided to listen to him for once and what he was saying actually sounded legit this time.
Seeing how Olistan was actually paying attention, the guy tried to gain something from all the info he was leaking. But he didn’t want cash, since his family was already loaded with dough, no, what he wanted was this really weird and complicated dish one of his family’s cooks used to make for him as a kid before the cook died in a boat accident.
So, naturally, Olistan knew me, his cook friend, and assured the guy I’d make him that dish. And when Olistan told our group what he’d done, everyone immediately agreed, all thinking it would be simple enough to make.
They really didn’t realize how hard all those ingredients were to get, and not to mention how expensive they were! And the guy wanted the dish to be presented in a peculiar fashion, and he’d told Olistan that if it didn’t taste perfect he wouldn’t spill a thing. So yeah, I was expected to make a perfect dish, from a recipe I’d never heard of before that came from a guy’s memory from when he was twelve years old.
Xenia and Eina jumped on the opportunity of helping me make such a complex dish. And I was really happy at the idea of having some help too!
But…these days putting the two together in a room made it impossible for them to be productive in any sort of way. So I was left on my own, and after a few tries I managed to get a dish that tasted good and looked good as well.
I was unbelievably stressed out when I had the guy taste the dish, but a little excited at knowing his reaction. How good was it really? After all the hours I’d put into it?
He seemed to like it, because once he’d finished he told us everything we wanted to know. He told us the dorm and the date. And he told us they were planning to kidnap all the natural students in the dorm, tie them up, put them in a van, and carry them a few kilometers off all the while lecturing them on what other naturals did and on what they could’ve done but wouldn’t do now. And then they planned to drop them in a muddy ditch to leave them to walk back home on their own.
Why had he decided to tell us everything? Seems he had a stubborn cousin in that dorm, whom after having being warned claimed he was a tough guy and wouldn’t get kidnapped.
Afterwards, I asked him why he hadn’t decided to make the dish for himself considering he’d known it by heart for years, he proceeded to tell me he’d lied. He’d actually done a google search on the most complicated and expensive dishes out there and chosen one of those.
It’s really hard to tell with this guy what’s true and what’s false, but he was definitely right about who and when.
I wonder if there was any way we could’ve prepared ourselves in advance…to avoid this from happening. Or maybe it was just karma from all our lucky wins?
I stumbled to a stop behind Teo, clamping my hands over my mouth, stifling a cry.
No…no it can’t be!
How? Everything was going so well…the year had begun on a happy note!
1/4 into the school year
Especially since Eina and I had become closer. We were already pretty good friends last year, and we only got closer this year. But…it didn’t feel close enough to me then. I’d come to realize I wanted to be more than friends.
So, when Eina brought of the news of Teo’s breakup with Sam – something she seemed adamant on keeping me updated about – I decided to confess. I asked her out.
It took her a few moments to understand I was asking her out on a date and not just to hang out, but I was pleasantly surprised to see her accept.
She admitted to not having really considered the option before, but now that she was, she was more than willing to see if we could be a couple.
It sort of made me realize then that if this didn’t go well there was a chance I might lose her as a friend, but I didn’t have anything to worry about.
0/4 into the school year
Not that I’m the only who got an upgrade in their love life. Not that Xavier would ever admit it, he continuously insisted he was just a friend.
But please, we were all waiting for those two to hook up. Then maybe Xavier wouldn’t look so deflated when Edmund was mentioned. Of course, he assured us he was ‘over it’ every time the subject came up.
It was at a bar that the two met. Eina, Xavier, Lem and I had decided to go celebrate/prepare for the start of a new school year. Teo didn’t want to come and Lem spent most of his time waiting outside the girls bathroom to either spook them out or ask/beg for a number.
So really, it was just us three at the bar for most of the time. And I have to say, I didn’t expect Xavier to have such a liking for alcohol, or such a high tolerance for it.
I find it a little amusing how it happened. I’d personally already heard of Olistan. I knew it was his first year of university and that he was quite openly gay. As in, he tended to go after most if not every guy he met. Not that he ever seemed very serious about any of his targets.
All I really saw was Olistan spotting Xavier from the other side of the room, grabbing a stool and dragging it over to his side. And then Xavier taking a good five minutes before realizing Olistan had sat beside him to talk to him.
Olistan probably had a cheesy pick up line prepared, but he seemed to find it more amusing to see how long it would take Xavier to notice. And when Xavier did, Olistan burst out laughing at him. A blushing Xavier shot back a comment that made Olistan laugh even more and for the rest of the evening they were talking and teasing each other like they were old friends.
We didn’t see Olistan again until after he gave his little speech against the Talent Troupe. It’s only after, that him and Xavier really started to become good friends. It’s also when we told Olistan about what we were hoping to achieve, and invited him to help us out.
To which he enthusiastically said yes.
But…we shouldn’t have asked him to join.
2/4 into the school year
No that wasn’t the problem. We weren’t prepared for the eventuality that’s all.
The successive wins made us over confident. Annaliese’s visit certainly didn’t help our egos.
Halfway through the year, she came to visit us at the university to see how we were doing. Apparently she found her long lost brother, but he was badly injured so she’s spending all her time patching him up and making sure he makes a full recovery.
She and Xavier had a pretty intense talk the first day she came over. I didn’t hear anything, but Annaliese clearly had some scary news to tell Xavier. Probably concerning what happened to them when they went on that trip to Legacy Island II.
We’re not dumb, it was pretty clear with Xavier’s attitude that something pretty big had happened.
Annaliese didn’t stay very long, but she listened to us tell her about the situation here and she happily gave us advice. She also taught Xavier a few new spells that could come in handy. Stuff like making your voice louder, locking doors from a few feet away and making a small ball of light.
She praised us a lot though. While we told her everything we’d done so far she kept giving us positive feedback and I guess that really boosted our ego.
That must be it then. Everything had gone too well and it came back to bite us. Though we kept stopping his excursions, Traz never seemed to get angry. Above all he never wanted his people to fight back or harm us. Xavier would tell us that’s because he still considered us his friends, and he didn’t want to hurt us. It was just a game to him.
4/4 into the school year
Well then I guess he got bored of playing.