Many thoughts clouded his consciousness as he waited for the ticking hands of time, which strokes its pattern in an endless orbit. The tick-tock rhythm had long turned to a lullaby of odyssean thoughts. Sleep was difficult, and until he had stroked his brow and felt the fluid, he never realized that he was sweating, a contrast to the dropping temperature.
He was staring at the ceiling but not actually seeing it. King Zack storms city Candanian and in few days he would invade the Heroes city. Matt felt the touch of fear as he flashed back on Leonard’s words. Maybe Zack wouldn’t seize control, maybe he wouldn’t destroy the city, maybe his reign would be the best in Anadan. Or maybe I’m just trying to believe my own lie. Matt sighed. This Zack had claimed he was in for the greater good, but from what Raz and the others had shown them, they had seen the wreck Zack’s policy produced. They had seen more to believe that the devil would return to his place in paradise.
Matt’s eyes compliantly went back to the small table clock, he had been waiting patiently for it, now it says 8:45pm.
Finally, the time he was waiting for.
He stood up from the bed and walked towards the table. He had not gone to bed in his pajamas and was fully dressed in black pants and T-shirt. He slides the little pocket knife that was resting on the table, into a space in his boot and picked up his H-board. He was determined to know what was going on with the world, and if the answers lie with the meeting between the school staffs and the inquisitor, he would eavesdrop no matter how dangerous it seem.
Matt activated his H-Board and slide open the pane of the window. The air in the academy was cold and harsh and the lights that line the whole place, made the night look like the stars in the galaxy. It glitters like the spark of light in water and stretches out the whole place, as far as any eye could see. It was beautiful.
Matt jumped into his H-Board and soared to the direction of Donald’s fountain, which was north-east from the Grays’ block. Until then, he never realized how much he missed racing. The last race he’d had was a year old, and even though it had been a spectacular one, he wished he could steer back the hands of time to those moments when they were still kids. Those days when they would soar in their board with neck breaking speed. Those days when every dangerous stunt was possible. Those days with Jeff.
The thought of Jeff brought Matt back to reality. Today was the last day, just a few hours away, he would see Jeff and Ema by day time. Hopefully.
Matt deactivated his H-board and jumped down gracefully. He had approached the Tulips tree, which was some steps away from the fountain, sitting in the middle of the compound of the teachers’ block. Better to stay in the shadows. He said to himself as he observed the cold night.
There were no guards visible enough for his eyes to pick out in the dim light of the moon. The building ahead was mainly for emergency meetings and gatherings, so it rarely harbors anyone. The cricket was singing somewhere in the garden and its song made Matt to remember a poem he heard when he was still tender.
Sitting in the dark I sing to myself
The cares of the world I lay by myself
I and myself shall sing and merry
My enemies might merry in anger
I merry in the dangers of the dark
I and myself sing and merry
Matt hissed and tucked his H-board underneath his armpit. He couldn’t fathom how the poor cricket, chose to sing in the dark, the time when its enemies were prowling around looking for their prey. Maybe it’s trying to prove to its predator that it was fearless or it’s just being foolish. Either way, Matt felt as though the little Cricket was indirectly conversing with him, to stand up to his defeat or to cower with the cold hands of fear.
Matt bit his under lips until he tested blood. He remembered Isaac and his forehead started throbbing again. He could still feel the impact of Isaac’s staff on his left eye brow, the skin painful but with no swellings. Campter had divided them in six groups and had made them spar. Matt had gotten Isaac. The boy was good and skillful, even with the skill Raz had taught him and Jeff, he had defeated Isaac with burning muscles.
The movement from the corner of his eyes made the thought of Isaac and the cricket evaporate from his memories. At first he thought it was the guard, securing this place, so he hid behind the tree, his clothe serving as a perfect camouflage. From the dim light of the moon he saw the shadow moving towards his direction, but it stopped when it got behind the wall and stoop. Its movement, precise and careful, too careful to be a guard.
Matt straightened however, when he realized who the shadow was. He could recognize those broad shoulders anywhere. It was Raz, and behind him was Sandra and Leonard no doubt. It was only when two more shadows came slithering down from their H-board, did he realized that Ham and Pinna were with them. All the partners in crime were complete.
Matt walked towards them, nobody was talking, except for Raz, in those whispering but yet authoritative tone of his. He said something about not using the touch light and disappeared in the night almost immediately, leaving the others with nothing but his shadow to pursue.
The party kept to darkness, silently avoiding the swimming rays of the fluorescence bulb, that drove the darkness to the corners of the compound. The night remained like a cemetery, its quietness in perfect line with the silent footfalls of the meandering party.
Matt felt his weight crushing the balls of his toes as his phalanges started to hurt, only God knows how long they have been tip-toing. He prays they would stop soon, for he was barley feeling his toes even though he had boots on.
As if his prayers were chiming in the hearts of his companies, Raz signaled the party to stop, they stood behind the wall and observed the entrance.
So far, there were only two guys standing at the door. Each in navy blue uniform, wearing a hard exhausted looks. They were armless and were staring ahead into the night, as if waiting for the sun to pulp out over the horizon and save them the weariness.
Raz moved again stealthily and the party followed his lead. They cut through a snaky bend and rounded the wall of the main hall where the meeting would be held. All the glass windows and curtains were closed, but the pane of the lateral side was slightly open, its curtains inclined in a right angle, in such a way that it paved way for enough murmurs to be slipping outside.
Matt and his friends clustered together around the window, too close enough that they could feel one another’s breath.
The inquisitor was standing in the middle of the circular settings with that pomposity hanging over his shoulders. He was still in his training jumpsuit, with the trend of gold running on each side, which marched the color of his eyes, beaming under the rich chandelier light of the hall.
The rest of the school staff were staring at him with a fraction of confusion, struggling to cover their faces.
“How did it happen” the inquisitor asked, with gaze on the marble floor. Until the principal started talking, it was hard to tell who the question was directed to.
“We found two boys dead on the day of the grand party. Investigations were carried out and we found these.” Abel Manim handed the inquisitor some pictures. “we don’t know how or when the Damned army got in, we just saw those scares on the bodies of the two students. So far the news of this incident has not escaped these walls, even the parents of both boys still sit in the dark on the matter.” The principal sat down with more frown covering his aging skull.
The hall was silent save for the sliding noise of the pictures, as the inquisitor watched them with a black expression.
“Keep it that way for now.” The inquisitor finally said. “What’s your status with the search for the Blaze, the one who has the slate of vale?”
“That met a dead end sir” It was Mrs Jessica April that spoke, her features remained unchangeable even from this point.
“Well, first thing first, you all are living testimonies to the current quaking of the world. The world is falling apart and would be destroyed as the prophecy foretold, unless we find the Blaze, he who holds the Slate of Vale.” Campter rehearsed, looking proud to be the one saying it. “after all these years of waiting, I think I have found the Blaze.”
His words brought new vibe on the face of the staff, they all lost their calm posture and the hall became noisy, everybody was eager to know who it was that would save the world from annihilation.
“He had escape the weak eyes of all of you. But I have seen him when all eye has failed, and now he would rescue the world from crumbling on our heads…”
“What is he talking about” Pinna whispered, shifting her eyes away from the window into the night.
“It all sounds strange and new to me. I wonder what they mean about Blaze and prophecy, this is a computer age for god sake, those words are obsolete.” Matt whispered, but shut his mouth when Raz shot him an angry glare. Campter was talking again.
“He is intelligent, strong and has great endurance. The Blaze and the one who would rescue Anadan, is no other person but Isaac Newman”
The hall erupted with delight and relief as the staff clapped their hands with joy, they admire Campter for his great effort in bringing to life, that ancient prophecy that had kept them on edge ever since.
All eyes went to the north wind as the rattling of chains accompanied the struggling feet whose face was covered with a black bag. the person that walked towards the awaiting staff, was naked except for the pants and chain cloths, which binds his hands and feet.
Campter walked towards the boy and removed the bag of his face. The joyful cries and happiness in the hall was immediately replaced with confusion.
The boy’s face was covered in dirt and sweat, hardly recognizable. Mat felt a knot in his stomach as the boy was force to stand before the staff. It was Isaac, his arch enemy. He hates the boy and would chastise him any day. But, looking at him now, clothed with nothing but chains, he felt pity for him, he deserves far better.
“What is the meaning of this?” Abel Manim the principal asked, letting go all formalities. His aging face was imbued with anger, bringing more crease.
“you should not forget who it is you are talking to” The Inquisitor move closer to the principal “You would sit down quietly Manim, or I will make you sit the rest of your wretched life in Ogred.” The voice of the inquisitor echoed through the hall as the principal sat down slowly, Matt could still hear it vibrating in his ear drum.
“For starters, this academy was build to educate our citizen, but its sole aim was to find the Blaze in every generation. So it has been since time immemorial. And that’s how life has been preserved. The Blaze is like a water that gives life to Anadan, without him…” The inquisitor was staring at Isaac now “…life would have been impossible.”
“According to legend, the Blaze is the one to stand up to darkness, what’s with the chains?” Mrs. Jessica April asked pointing a finger at Isaac.
“Those stories in your history books are sugar coated words to lure the Blaze into light. What ignorance dwell in the midst of the so called staff?” Campter smirk, looking surprised than ever “Anyway, you will all learn in no distant time.”
“What about the rest of the student” A fine lady asked. She was the history teacher and a good one.
“We infused them with the Happy-tech” The inquisitor said and ambled towards the window where the Matt and his friends were Hiding.
Immediately, they all stood up and blended with the night, away from the window, even as Campter slide the pane shut.
“Let’s get out of here” Raz said and the party followed his lead, soaring high into the air, away from the teachers’ block.