Terra (The Vulgri Hybrids Book One)

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Chapter 4

| Lia |

I kept my silence during our drive to our building. I was looking at the blue crystals that decorated the Syren Building.

“Hey, Lia...” Cassy spoke up. She gave me a sideways glance.

“Yeah?” I asked, my eyes following the design of the crystals as it went spiraling up to the top of the building.

“You met him again last night didn’t you?” she asked.

I chose not to answer. One downside of having a twin was that I could never hide anything from her. She would always feel if there’s something wrong with me.

“Do you remember when we were six and you peed on the bed making both our clothes wet?” Cassy continued, her smile teasing.

“Hey! Where’s that coming from?” I nudged her shoulder.

“And pa was carrying and hugging you so you would stop crying?”

I bit my lower lip to stop it from trembling. It’s too early in the morning and Cassy was already trying to make me cry.

“Ma was telling you that it was okay and we would just change the sheets. But you wouldn’t stop crying because you made me wet too and the smell was funky,” she chuckled. “And then I cried too because you were so upset. That’s when you stopped crying because you didn’t want me to cry.”

“I was horrible, wasn’t I?” I said solemnly.

She shook her head. “Nah, you were adorable. You know, I cried last night... for no reason at all.”

“Oh, Cassy... I’m sorry.” I removed my seatbelt and hugged my twin. God, I love her so much.

She patted my head with her right hand, the other still on the steering wheel. “That’s okay. Maybe things will turn out well and after all of this, you can go to him.”

“He’s a distraction, Cassy. We could just end up hating each other.”

“Well, you could choose to love him now, hate him later. If you know what I mean.” Cassy wiggled her eyebrows at me.

“Shut up!” I pushed her shoulder, chuckling.

“Hey! Driving, remember?” Cassy chuckled.

I frowned and adjusted myself on the seat. “He’s familiar though. Like I’ve seen him somewhere,” I mumbled.

Cassy paused and knitted her brows. “You’re right. I think I saw him somewhere too.”

I sighed. “Nevermind, let’s not talk about him anymore okay?”

Cassy just shrugged and continued driving. We went separate ways when we arrived in the Ilwani building. I was still feeling bummed that we had separate classes.

In the middle of one of my classes, a woman in a formal business attire excused me from our professor. “Miss Hague, you’re needed in the headmaster’s office,” she said when I was out of the room.

I recognized her as a Suuri, a race that humans think of as vampires. From our research though, they do drink human blood as their main diet, but they’re not immortal. Also, they have the ability to shapeshift and if I could remember it right, their current king was a bear.

“Cassy?” I asked the Suuri woman. I followed her through the bridge that was connected to The Circle, the dome-shaped building in the center of the academy.

“She’ll meet you there.” We passed numerous hallways, her heels clicking on the tiled floor. We reached a large double door with a HEADMASTER’S OFFICE spelled on top.

“Go in,” she ordered, her face completely professional, and her voice void of emotion.

“Thanks,” I murmured.

I found Cassy already seated in front of an elderly Ilwani male. His hair was a light shade of grey and was perfectly slicked back. A male Lawin was stationed at the back of the old man’s right, and a female Syren on his left.

I took a moment to admire the Lawin’s wings, its feathers a midnight black in the middle and tapering to a light brown at the ends. His expression was stoic and the minute our eyes met, I lowered mine down. I knew the Lawin race to be trained soldiers, the best fighters, swordsmen, archers, and shooters in the realm. With the advantage of their feathered wings on their backs, they could be formidable opponents. Once upon a time, I wished I could fly but alas Ilwani doesn’t have the power to make themselves fly in the sky. Well, we could float a little but that was just lame.

I sat on the chair across Cassy, taking a feel of the headmaster’s powers. I couldn’t feel anything from him though, making him all the more dangerous.

“Welcome to Mesina Academy. I am Casper Lucas, the headmaster of this school. How are you liking the academy so far?” His smile was warm, honest, and friendly, but I’m not too easy to trust.

“It’s pretty chic. Facilities are awesome,” I started to say. Cassy gave me a warning glance to which I just shrugged.

“I’m glad it is to your liking, Miss Levina. You are...” he trailed on, looking at both of us expectantly.

“Nathalia. She’s Cassandra.” I tilted my head to my twin.

“Right,” he adjusted his hold on the paper that he was holding and peered at it, tracing the words as he read. “It says here that your mother is Hazel Levina, a retired member of the Capricorn guild. How is she? We haven’t heard from her for a long time.”

“She is dead, Sir,” Cassy answered. I sent a silent prayer to Ilwa to spare us from this lie. Hazel was very much alive. Oh Ilwa, don’t kill the crazy woman yet.

The shock was obvious from the headmaster’s face. “Dead? How? When?”

“Fire, Sir. Six years ago. It was too much for her to suppress,” I said, sporting the best poker face I could muster. We practiced these lines a billion times before so this should be a piece of cake.

Casper’s face fell and he looked genuinely sad. “That is terribly unfortunate. And you only knew about the academy just a few weeks ago?”

“Yes, Sir. We found our mom’s old things when we were looking for answers as to why we have certain... abilities. She never told us what we are. We thought we were humans,” responded Cassy.

Casper nodded, appearing greatly sympathetic. “Hazel always wanted a normal human life. And who were you with when she died? You were what... twelve years old?”

“We were sent to social services, Sir. And yes, we were twelve,” I answered, my heart aching at the truth hiding behind the lie.

Casper peered back at the paper. “Oh yes, it says here you were in Holy Trinity Orphanage.” Sighing, he turned back to us with a kind smile. “Don’t worry, now that you’re here in Mesina, you can forget the past and start a new life.”

I will never forget.

“Alright then, there’s something you would need to do before we can officially include your names in the Ilwania registry,” Casper continued, revealing a square-like device that resembles that of a topaz gemstone. He placed it carefully at the center of the table.

The Spectulus. Hazel told us about it but this was the first time we actually saw it.

Cassy and I continued the act, knitting our brows together in confusion.

Casper smiled and pointed to the device that was just a tad bigger than my hand. “This is called a Spectulus, we use it to detect the amount of mana an Ilwani has, which is an important detail that must be included in the registry. You just need to put your hand on it,” he gave us an encouraging smile. “Now who would like to go first?”

Lia, tell me what you just learned today.

To hide my wolf ma in front of other people.

What else?

Control magic.

And how can you do that?

Imagine a big tree. Make it small.

Very Good Lia. I love you.

I love you too ma.

I took the first move and placed my right hand on the device. It emitted an iridescent effulgence, tracing the outline of my hand before it displayed a number: 5. Cassy followed after me and had a similar result.

Casper retrieved the device and placed it at the ready hands of the Syren woman. “Thank you very much for your cooperation. Hazel was a five too but if you train further, there is still a possibility that you can increase your mana capacity to a six. But don’t fret, guild masters are on the seven range so five is not a bad number,” Casper said reassuringly.

We nodded our heads in polite understanding.

“You may return now to your classes.”

Glad that it was finally over and we did rather well, I stood up and went to the door, feeling jovial at our little success. Cassy was following right behind me.

A girl with scarlet hair and a strikingly beautiful face was waiting for us outside. “Follow me,” she said, using her chin to point toward an empty hall.

Cassy and I looked at each other before turning on our heels and went after the red-head. Must be the anonymous person in contact with Hazel.

The girl stopped in a more secluded area before turning to face us. “I’m Lana George. I was the one in contact with Hazel. How did you do with the Spectulus?” she asked.

“Five,” I answered.

“That’s good. You did well,” she gazed at both of us before rolling her sleeves up. “Now give me your hands.”

What is this? Spectulus version two?

Cassy and I obliged. She gripped both of our hands and closed her eyes. The moment she touched mine, I felt a vibrating energy, almost electrical, passing from her hand to mine. When she opened her eyes, she focused on me.

“Meet me at the library this afternoon. I’m sorry but come alone for now,” she gave Cassy a single nod before leaving.

When she was gone, I turned to Cassy and rolled my eyes. “Can’t she be any more cryptic?”

She chuckled. “Just meet her later and tell me what she has to say afterward. Hazel said we could trust her so let’s do just that.”

“Fine,” I said. “It’s not like I have a choice.”

Cassy scrunched her nose and knocked her fist on my forehead. “You’re such a baby.”

I stuck out my tongue and laughed. “Well, you love me.”

Grinning, Cassy shook her head at me. “That is true.”

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