Chapter 20: Unforgettable Shift
I couldn’t talk and I couldn’t speak, I just wanted someone to say that I wasn’t a monster. But nobody did and no body will. Madame Bultiaire allowed me to sit out of Combat II after taking a blow to the head. Kai kept shooting me worried glances, while Zephyr and Alvina tried to cheer me up. Clementine stared at me with an unknown expression. When we where dismissed, we waited patiently until Madame Mai came to greet us.
“Come on, this is going to be fun.” Nyra whispered.
I forced a smile, “You are right.”
“THAT’S IT!” Kai yelled as he slammed his bag to the floor and stalked over. Grabbing me by the shoulder, he begun to shake me, “STOP THIS!” He roared in my face.
“Kai.” Clementine tried to interject.
“SILENCE! I am your Dux; do as I command!” He roared.
I recoiled and whimpered. He stopped shaking me and pulled me into the hug. I let the warmth envelop me and squeezed tightly. I couldn’t stop the tears from flowing.
“You are not, you know.” He whispered and I looked up at him, “A monster, I mean.”
“But-“ I tried to explain what I had done to Sylvia, but no words can some out. I knew the words that I wanted to say in my brain, but they wouldn’t leave my mouth.
He chuckled, “My bad.” He let go, taking the warmth with him, “You can speak.” Everyone else let out a collective sigh.
“I will not be ordered around like some dog.” Alvina seethed as she pushed Kai.
“I know, I just-“ This time Kai looked like the one to be lost for words.
Zephyr smirked and wrapped a n arm around Alvina, “He just.” There was weight behind his words and Alvina grinned like a lion cat.
“He just.” Alvina confirmed and the pair began cackling like hyenas.
Kai let out a growl but his cheeks where tinged pink as he moved to the other side of the room.
“He just, what?” Clementine asking the question rattling in my mind.
“It’s nothing you children, would understand.” Zephyr teased.
Clementine and I huffed at the same time. While the rest of the group just laughed at us.
“See, you just needed your family to cheer you up.”’ Nyra giggled.
“I did.” I grinned at them.
“I suppose you are all prepared for class?” A cool collected voice rang filling the air with ice.
“Good day, Madame Mai.” Kai greeted.
“Good day, Kai.” She hummed as she walked past him towards the center of the room.
She stretched a long ebony finger towards me, “I believe we have not met yet.”
“Hello.” I greeted as I walked over towards her.
“For goodness sake child, why are you still wearing that ridiculous mask?” She snapped.
“But I’m not supposed to take it off.” I whispered.
Her cold laugh filled the room, “But you can when only Nox Knights are present. I may be a retired Nox Knight, but I am still a Knight all the same.”
“Anyone with the title Sir or Madame in this school are retired Nox Knights. Those who don’t aren’t allowed on this floor.” Kai explained from across the room.
Well how was I suppose to know that if no one told me. I pealed of the mask and greeted Madame Mai face to face.
She grinned, “Such a pretty face you have. A shame that you have to hide it behind that veil. But it is only for another 2 weeks ad five days.” She patted my back.
Two weeks and five days? I thought it would be longer than that. I’m not prepared to meet Satan or for everyone to see my face. I liked the veil, I felt more mysterious and I didn’t to try to look presentable.
Someone cleared their throat and I looked back at Madame Mai, “I’m sorry, what did you say?” I blushed and fiddled with my fingers. I missed the veil already.
She narrowed her eyes, “I don’t like repeating myself. But I will one time since you are new. I asked if you have heard a voice in your head?”
I nodded, “Do you mean Nyra?” She nodded, “I know that already. Nyra explained that we can talk to each other all the time.”
“Impossible.” She whispered. I scrunched my eyebrows at her, “Have you shifted?”’ I shook my head and she let out a sigh of relief.
I am even more confused than before, “Sorry, I must be frightening you. Connections between demons and animals are often very weak. To be able to communicate so early is astonishing and borderline impossible.”
“Did you know that?” I thought to Nyra.
“I’m a part of you. If you didn’t know that, how was I suppose to?” Nyra responded.
“I thought you had like an animal’s intuition or an owl manual guide.” I responded earnestly.
She scoffed in response, “So you thought, I was gifted with being all knowing? The dumb, we work together, and we learn together. It’s what makes our bond special.”
“It’s because you say things like this. That I assumed you where all knowing.” I defended.
“Are you talking to her right now?” Madame Mai asked excitedly. I nodded slowly. “Let’s see what you got.” She rubbed her hands in anticipation.
“Pardon?” I looked at her confused.
“I want you to shift.” She made a thumbs up, “Any time now.”
“How do I do that?” I asked. I didn’t magically know how to shift into an animal.
“Imagine becoming one with me.” Nyra explained.
“How do I do that?” I asked
“Feel the tattoo.” She whispered and I felt her presence on my shoulder. “Try to make it expand.”
What? How do I make a tattoo grow?
“Focus.” She chastised. I felt her feathers running down the sides of my arm. It was peaceful at first and then the pain hit.
“Ignore the pain!” She yelled over the sound of my cracking bones.
I watched my hand crack and mutilate. My arms began breaking and feather grew out of my pores. The skin from my legs receded and what was left was small talons. My nose began to crack and my jaw broke. I tried to peer down to see what was left of my face. My eyes where watering and my body ached.
“You are almost there!” Nyra yelled but it was drowned out by my pain
I can’t take this no more. This hurt too much, I need to make it stop.
The sounds of crackling filled the air once more and a loud bird shrill rang out.
“If you stop, it will be harder.” Nyra’s faint voice echoed in my head.
The pain was making my vision blurry. I took a step toward Madame Mai, but I crumbled to my knees instead.
I imagine putting up walls against then pain. I blocked the pain and I felt the pain stop. I let out a sigh of relief. I went to rub my hands against my face, but I had wings instead of finger. I thought they would disappear. I touched my face and felt the beak producing out of my face. I looked down at my leg and I still had the talons.
“Look what you did?” Nyra grumbled.
“Intriguing a half shift on your first time. I am impressed.” Madame Mai peered down at me.
When did she get so tall? I surveyed the room, either the word grew like in Alice in wonderland because I am delirious from pain or I shrunk.
“Change back.” I shouted but what came out instead was a loud shrill.
“They can’t understand you.” Nyra huffed.
“Will you help me?” I asked her.
“No way.” She huffed, “I told you not to stop but did you listen? No. No, you didn’t so how do I know if you will listen to me in the future.”
“I’m sorry, okay. It’s just the pain was to much for me to handle.” I reasoned.
She let out an exasperated sigh, she reminded me more of a human each time, “Fine.” I cheered, “Just imagine hitting the undo button.”
I tried but nothing happened, and I knew exactly what I had to do. I had to go through all the pain to reverse it. So, I put down my walls and the pain rushed in.
“I’ll protect you.” Nyra said and the pain didn’t feel as bad,
When I was certain I was completely human I sighed, only to realize I was stark naked.
I covered myself the best I could screamed. Where did my clothes go?
“Zephyr and I will leave.” Kai said looking at the ceiling and stomping out of the room tugging Zephyr along.
I was grateful for that but I still didn’t feel comfortable being completely naked.
“This is why you need to wear the Nox Uniform when you are up here. You won’t be naked next time” Madame Mai chastised and went over to my bag. She pulled out the brown package and handed it to me.
I opened in in a hurry. I didn’t look at it as I pulled it on. When the clothes where on securely I examined it. It was a black and red, which was no surprise. The first shirt layer was a fishnet red turtleneck. On top was a form fitting black hoodie except the sleeves stopped halfway and revealed the fishnet layer. The hoodie hung a little low, once again revealing the fishnet layer. The pant where also very form fitting but the best part was the pants had shoes built in. To tie the whole, look off was a red belt with a strap on the left side, which I can only s=assume was for my sword.
“We are coming back in.” Zephyr announced as he and Kai entered. Kai looked like a tomato and Zephyr was grinning from ear to ear.
I realized for the first time that everyone was already wearing the uniform except the guys had more of a manlier look with not fishnet.
“Now that’s over, I say we begin again.” Madame Mai’s voice rang out.
I groaned, I’m not sure how much pain my body could take.