“Your mother was a healer. And the last one of them. Yes, she was a healer and one of the most powerful healers.” Father said.
“Was she… the Snoutband…”
“Yes. She was abducted by the Snoutbands. But… but we don’t know what happened to her. We tried… but…” Father stopped. Well, anyone can get emotional in such situations. He wasn’t crying. Perhaps, he was feeling guilty because he couldn’t find her. He continued, “But we tried. I, myself visited the Snoutband camps, but I was not able to find her. Maybe she didn’t survive. I’m sorry, son.”
I didn’t knew what to say at that moment. My mother was dead.
“But… but you said that… that we were going to meet her soon.” I said.
“Sorry, son, but I tried everywhere but I failed. I… I am really sorry.” Father said.
“We tried to find her, lad. It’s just that the Snoutbands are very cruel and they crave for power. She leaded an army of healers. But they were failed by Bestial. That brutal and ruthless beast. I wish I could have killed him when he was younger.” Mr. Renaux said. Ameline was just listening. Her face showed no expressions. Then she turned towards me and I saw the same question in her mind.
“Who is Bestial?” She asked.
“It’s not the correct time to tell you kids about that beast.” Father said.
“Well, even I agree on that.” Mr. Renaux said.
“But… but I need to know who… who killed my mother.” I asked. Rather demanded. I felt the anger. I kept in dark for so many years that my parents weren’t my biological parents. And now, my real mother was not alive. You see how anger dominates in these situations!
“Son, listen, I know what are you feeling. But you need to understand, we can’t tell you everything at this point. Because you’re not prepared. It may risk your safety. And I don’t want to lose you. Please. Patience is what you need to practice.” Father said.
“Ameline, child, will you please take him to the school? We need to talk on some important matters.” Mr. Renaux said to Ameline. She appeared calm. As if, she had known this all along.
“Yes, dad. Advik?” She got up. I had no choice. I followed her back to the cube where we had our lunch, before this news came to me as another shock.
“Here, drink some water.” Ameline passed me the glass. I sipped little water. Then I saw my own reflection in the water. Something disturbed in the water in the glass, sending small ripples towards the edge. It was a teardrop. But why was I crying? And that too, for a woman whom I hadn’t even seen? Though she was my mother, I never really knew her. I came to know about my real father a day ago and how was I supposed to know my dead mother? There was so much that I didn’t knew. Perhaps, that’s why I was crying?
“Please control yourself. You’re making yourself vulnerable.” Ameline said.
“You… you don’t know how it feels. You get to know your father a day ago. And then you come to know that your mother is dead. You are sent to away from the people who love you and have to go to some stupid school. You don’t know how it feels.” I said. I wasn’t crying anymore but I was feeling more and more anger.
“Yes. How should I know? Right.” She paused. Her face turned red. Well, I wasn’t the only person angry in here. She continued, “I saw my mother and brother die. They were mutilated in front of my eyes. If my father wouldn’t had saved me, I wouldn’t be listening to your stupid talk. At least you had parents, though not real. I was always alone. Mother dead, brother dead and father a deputy mayor, who scarcely spent time with me. Still think I don’t know how it feels?” Anger is a very strange thing.
“I… I am sorry. I shouldn’t have said…”
“No need for your sympathy. Keep it with you.”
“I think we should go back to school.”
“Oh really? You are not in a state of attending anything. Go to your room and have some rest. Come on, I’ll drop you there.” She said.
We left the restaurant in a few minutes. She dropped me at our team house. She was still furious at me. I didn’t dare to talk to her. The team house was at the southern end of the school. She said she’ll be training me to control my thoughts from tomorrow. And she went. Where I didn’t knew? And I never asked. I searched for my room on my Speculo. It was on the fourth floor. The structure for the building was similar to the other buildings in the school. I took the elevator to the fourth floor. My room number was 812. I opened the door. It had an Iris recognition system. And to my surprise someone was already there on another bed.
“Hi” He said from the end of the bed adjacent to his, while untying his shoe lace. And he fell down from the bed.
“Ouch!” He got up and came towards me, “You must be Advik. I was waiting to meet you.” His voice was funny-kind-of. He smiled a lot. We greeted each other.
“How do you know my name?” I asked.
“The whole school knows you. You are our Mayor’s son.” He seemed excited.
“Oh. Y-yes. I am.”
He shouted loudly. “You are him. Oh great, oh great.”
“SHUT UP. Yes I am the son of Mayor but what’s so special about me? Do I have wings or horns?”
“Sorry, I am… I was just excited to see… to meet you in person.”
“Okay. But please don’t shout.”
He was just watching me as if he hadn’t seen a human in a while. Suddenly, the door opened. Another boy with long hair, parted to one side and which covered half of his left eye.
“Charlie, will you please stop entering in this room without permission. I don’t know how you do this but you will not enter in this room without my consent. Is that clear? Now, get out.”
That weird boy left the room. Still he glanced at me while leaving the room as if I was going to disappear as soon as he leaves.
“He is quite strange, I know. He is a great fan of yours.”
“Uh… but why?”
“His family believes that you are going to kill all the Snoutbands because you, like your father, are a powerful seeker. His dad was a healer. He was just a kid when his dad was killed by Bestial.” He sighed. His tone was gloomy.
“I… I didn’t knew it.”
“So are you, a seeker?”
“Well, I’ll know that soon.”
“Yeah. Better soon. I’ve heard rumors that the Snoutbands are hiring Bestial once more. They are unto something.”
“You know about Bestial?”
“Not much. Just that he’s a professional assassin. Cruelest ever. But he is not one of the Snoutbands. Rather he was grown up in Elder. But he turned evil. He works for someone as long as they provide for his needs. No one has seen him, ’cause the ones who’d seen him they… they never survived.”
“Do you know why did the Snoutbands hired him?”
“Well, my mom said that they want to kill someone. No not your dad. Bestial will never kill your dad.”
“Actually, your dad had taught him seeking skills and I guess he still regrets it. Bestial respects him.”
“What! I… I didn’t knew that.”
“What would’ve you done if you knew! Don’t blame your dad. He was a teacher of seeking skills in the school. He has taught many students. Bestial was his favorite. But he betrayed him. And every one of us.”
“Betrayed? You mean that he joined the Snoutbands?”
“No. He killed the previous Headmaster of this school.”
“Your uncle, Mr. Felix. He was a healer. He was abducted and severely tortured. They say, Bestial removed Felix’s heart with his bare hands, while Felix was alive. You can imagine, how Bestial is. These are just rumors.” One more shocking revelation. I had an Uncle?
“I… I didn’t know that.”
“I don’t think your dad would’ve told you about this. He is a very strong man. Despite all these losses, he’s still so steady. As long as he is our mayor, I don’t think that we need to worry.”
“Then whom does Bestial wants to kill?”
“I guess, not all healers are dead. He must be after the last ones. The remaining healers.”
“Are there any?”
“I don’t know man. You must ask your dad. But I don’t think he will involve you any of this. You haven’t even completed DIGITS.”
“Maybe, you are right. Anyway, what’s your name?”
“Oops! I forgot to introduce myself. I am Ocean Walder.”
“I think you don’t know. I am Ileana’s brother.”
“Wait. How? I was at her home a day ago. I didn’t see you.”
“Really? I was there all the time with you.”
“No. There were just Mr. and Mrs. Walder, Ileana and…”
“Aha! And Einstein.”
“No way.” I was terrified by the thought that was lingering my mind.
“I had transfigured into a dog that day. It was itchy, though.”
“I just told you, transfiguration. Not every seeker can transfigure. One in ten thousand has the ability of transfiguration. “
“So, you were Einstein. I still can’t believe it.”
“Don’t worry, you weren’t the only one who didn’t knew. Even my parents didn’t. My sister told them that one of her friend had sent Einstein for a night’s stay as she was going out with her family. But your dad knew. He told my dad later on. Then there was a havoc. Dad told me to stay outside the house that day. Also, he read your and Ileana’s conversation of that night. She doesn’t know about this.”
“But why did you hide this from your dad? Do you know your sister thought that I told my father to complain about her to Mr. Walder.”
“I am sorry for that. It’s just that dad doesn’t scold her much. But that day he did so, maybe she lost her temper. Transfiguration is banned in our house. You know, Mom’s rules. Also, I am very bad at controlling my thoughts.”
“Are you senior to me?”
“Yeah. By one year or three terms.”
“I think I need some rest. Today was tiresome.”
“Right. I am exhausted too.” Then he jumped into the bed adjacent to mine.
“Wait, are you… “
“Oh. I forgot again. I am going to share this room with you.”
‘No. This is all a dream. This can’t be real.’ I thought to myself. But, reality seemed to contradict itself. I dropped in the bed. Ocean was fast asleep within seconds. And on top of that, he was snoring. I looked outside the window. It was getting dark. My Speculo beeped. A message:
Need to talk. Tonight at dinner time in Palazzo Ristorante. And don’t you dare to tell about this to my brother.
‘I think I don’t deserve a normal life’, I thought.