Headsup: Yeah it’s a short chapter….XD, and not that much happens it’s more of a build-up for the next one. (I kind of ran out of time but shhhhhhhh it’s a secret)
I gathered all the interesting teens in the training room. Interesting might not be a good word here because it doesn’t include Tristan.
Ok, I gathered all the worthwhile teens here. Basically I gathered all the cool teens except Tatiana because she’s just a big meanie.
Masak is here for obvious reasons; he’s only the best thing ever.
And he’s crazy tall and that’s always a plus in any mission we do.
Ara is here and she’s also tall, but that’s not a positive thing because we’re the same age and we’re both girls. But Ara is a real badass and she spends a lot of time with Niko – dare I say they are friends? Or maybe just beat up buddies.
Either way she also needed to be in on this.
Tristan is really limit. Like you know, on a level of limits he’s on the limit of the limit level. He’s at least 4 years younger than I – I know just a kid – but he’s taller than me. And he’s just kind of a brat, I always have to chase him out of my library or else he’ll steal things.
But he’s also done a lot of things with Nikolas, so there’s probably some kind of friendship there. He says there is anyway.
And me? Well I’m the mastermind behind this, I have to be here.
I don’t know Nikolas that well, like we hang out but he’s all over the place and I’m very here you know. But I think we get along pretty well – I mean enough that I actually care whether or not he’s happy.
And well Masak really cares about that so.
“My friends, I have gathered you all here to talk about Nikolas. You all saw the news like I did right?”
Tristan nodded. “Yeah, his father died didn’t he?”
“Good to know you’re civilized enough to keep with the news Tristan.” I said. “Well, new news everyone, the funeral is today.”
“Yeah, that was also on the-”
“Tristan, am I the leader of this group or you?”
“Er, well you are, but maybe I can be second in command or something?” Tristan asked.
I considered his proposition. “Well it’s not the right time to decide on a second in command and you’d have to go against Masak.”
“He’d probably win too.”
“That’s nepotism.” Tristan remarked. “I call for a true vote. Isn’t this a democracy?”
“Ok, ok, we should get back on track.” Ara butted in.
“Ara is right! Stop getting distracted Tristan. This isn’t about you.”
“My friends, I think we’ve all noticed a reduction in mood in the active puppy that is our new member.” I said.
Handsome tall Masak nodded. “He’s been dragging his feet and looking lost in his thoughts.”
Tristan chipped in as well. “We played video games this morning, and I beat him. It’s cause for worry.”
“He hasn’t yet come for his daily beating.” Ara added.
“Good to see we’re all on the same page. Here’s what I uncovered.” I leaned in to whisper to my teammates. “His family is a big stew pot of misery.”
“No wonder then. Not only is his father dead, but now he has to go to a funeral full of dislikeable people.” Masak said.
“Dislikeable indeed, half those people were all on you-know-who’s side. Including the guy who died – I mean his dad.” I said. “I wouldn’t want to go there. Sounds really draining. But that’s exactly why we all should!”
“Are we going to crash a funeral?” Tristan asked a little too excitedly.
“Yes! But no.” I corrected. “We’re going to go with Niko.”
“Eh Bianca, Niko might not be very open to that.” Ara said.
“It’s okay, I thought of that. Here’s what we’re going to do…”
No one’s POV
Philip Credant was imagining a world where he’d gotten a son who could be taking care of these menial chores. Papa Philip was an old man – picking up trash tossed over by wild animals could be dangerous for his back.
At the very least, his granddaughter’s newly found father could be promising. Now if only he didn’t have to be in Ridgevalley saving the world from criminals. Philip would personally much prefer him mowing his lawn.
The stink emanating from the oddly colored cat at his feet seemed to classify it as the culprit.
“Shoo.” Philip waved, but the cat let a small bit of its tongue stick out. The realization of what this cat could be hit him suddenly, and he considered his options.
He could on one hand risk death by trying to catch a wild cat, or he could go ask his incredible wonderful very capable wife to take care of it.
After all, he was already on trash duty.
“A vicious wild cat huh.”
“I completely understand why Ashe told us to be careful. The thing looks downright evil.” He insisted.
“I’ll go tell her her cat showed up.” Crystal said. “Can you get Dot’s cage meanwhile?”
“That I can do.” He said, giving her a peck on the cheek before heading for the storage.
Ashlynn’s grandmother felt slight in shame in going to wake her up. True, it was just a nap, but her granddaughter had been growing increasingly tired and plagued with bouts of fatigue in the last month.
Just earlier the two ladies had been outside meditating and talking about the power growing inside the teenage girl, and she’d fallen asleep mid-sentence.
But, as peaceful as she may be sleeping, it didn’t change that she’d much rather be woken up to hear about this cat she’d warned them about.
A green magical neon cat – that seemed to strike a chord in Crystal’s memory. And so far it didn’t bode anything positive.
The familiar sounds emanated from my violin like a soothing echo.
I hadn’t picked it up since the trial, but my chaotic mind needed it. Usually I played to help sort out my thoughts. This time I was hoping to just block most of them out.
I just don’t know how I’m supposed to feel about this whole thing. The wake is this afternoon – at home. Well, my old house I guess.
The whole family will be there.
The living room in the dragons is the only place where it felt appropriate. The place is so clogged up that it serves to block some of the sound from my violin.
People I haven’t seen since the trial are going to be there. Will they all place the blame on me? I whine and my dad gets taken away and my pa dies. Should I be blamed?
I can’t believe pa is dead.
It all fell apart so quickly.
All I know is a heart attack did him in. I wonder how Nikita feels – with this happening right after she left his side. At least she’ll be there, that’s one more friendly face.
A clapping sound echoed suddenly, and I turned to find my grandpa who was grinning at my performance.
‘You’re pretty good.’ He signed.
“I’m rusty that’s what I am.” I snorted as I put away my violin. I could hear all the wrong notes I was playing, but I’d need to play more often to get rid of them – and well there are a whole ton of things more interesting to do here.
Grandpa waited for me to close the case before he signed something else.
‘We don’t have to go if you don’t feel up for it.’
Ah yes the wake. Grandpa had insisted he’d come with me – which I was kind of grateful for. If only to keep practicing sign language more.
I hopped onto the couch, dusting off some hair on it.
There was a part of me that wanted to jump on the idea – there’s no doubt it was going to be a painful evening. But this was still my pa, I didn’t wish him dead – on the contrary! I wanted to go pay my respects and if that meant having to face my family, then so be it.
I took in a quick breath. “Nah I still want to go. I’d feel worse if I didn’t. It’s about time I stopped hiding from them.”
James nodded and pulled a brown watch out of his pocket. ‘Terrance caught me on the way over.’
The last time I’d been with Terrance, we were cleaning Oscar of his rust and dirt. I’d mentioned I’d lost my watch. A real fucking shame too! I tossed it on Zac’s couch and we searched and searched, but we couldn’t find it. Terrance picked up on it and insisted he had a watch lying around somewhere that he could tweak back to functional.
I hopped over the couch and clipped the watch on.
I mean, it was interesting. Felt weird not to have my cold metal watch on though.
‘If you wanted a watch,’ James started again. ‘We could’ve gotten you a real one. We’ll go shopping soon so we can choose one you like.’
With odd timing four people pooled into the room in the attempt of what could’ve been a graceful entrance.
“We’re ready Nikolas!” Bianca announced from her position.
I almost snorted loudly at the scene. “Ready for what?”
“Going with you to the funeral of course!” Bianca affirmed.
“What? No, you really don’t have to.” I immediately replied. I mean it could be kind of cool – but nah this is a family affair, I’m not going to drag them into this.
“No, no, you don’t understand see,” Bianca said, walking around Tristan. “We have a very special mission to do all 5 five of us. To help you decide where you want to specialize in your missions.”
“And it’s like right after the wake, so it’s just easier for everyone if we go with you. Saves travel time.” Bianca insisted with a determined nod.
I looked at the others, who shrugged at me with smiles – apart from Tristan who nodded seriously.
I see what they’re doing, but I smirked anyway. “Can’t argue with that logic.”
Dot sniffed at the prisoner curiously, sometimes flinching back when the cat twitched an ear. She’d taken unofficial guard duty of the colorful feline.
Her hesitance and caution just served to support Nikolas’ warnings on it.
After grandma had caught it – pretty effortlessly – we’d all gathered at the dining table where grandma had spilled several of her books onto it.
The sweet aroma of crinkled old paper surrounded the table like a bubble as we dug through them in search of references on neon green cats – as well as searching for a specific book grandma had in mind.
I tried to resist yawning, but I was past tired. I’ve been increasingly tired in the last few weeks – it always feels like there’s a large weight on my shoulders draining me. I shook my head and stuck to my task.
At some point my best friend Kathrine stopped by, so we dragged her into our research session. Papa Philip tried to participate, but heh, he’s never been one for flipping through books.
Finally, my grandma let out an exclamation and slapped a book in front of us. So far we’d gotten just wisps of information. That colorful cats had been seen more often before the Witch Wars and that they were considered a terrible omen. Someone had even written a warning saying to run if we saw one.
“This book,” Grandma began with a grin.
“Has exactly what we need. I’ve already read it several times. Papa Philip and I found it in the burned library of what used to be a powerful witch’s house.”
“What does it talk about?” I asked, doing my best not to prematurely open it.
Grandma slid it over to me. “It talks about curses.”
My eyes widened at the term. Curses, powerful spells invented by the Whitelight witch family ages ago. Curses in and of themselves have only one purpose – to kill.
So why did it need to be explained in a thick book? If I could summarize it in one phrase?
“You think it’s a curse?” I asked in a low voice, as if it could hear us.
“Unfulfilled curses come in the form of a colorful cat.” Grandma explained.
“I thought curses were powerful spells.” I said.
“They are which means this is probably an old spell. Now the question is, why is it here?”
“Could one of you be cursed?” Kathrine asked worriedly.
I shook my head. “Somebody would’ve died already if that was the case.”
“Brings forth a lot of questions, but maybe this book will have an answer. Maybe you’ll see something I didn’t.”
A lot of questions were indeed swirling in my mind.
Wondering whether the cat was simply lost. Going from Ridgevalley to here…
Nikolas had also mentioned to not go into astral around it because it had intent to kill – which is why I hadn’t dared to check even if I was curious. But he specified that it was trying to kill him. Could he actually be the target of the curse?
But then again the moment he’d touch the cat or vice versa it should’ve theoretically killed him. I think.
I clearly don’t know enough about curses yet.
“Alright we’ll go set up outside, call us if you need us!” I said, dragging both the book and my best friend off the table.