Nox Inferno

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Chapter 26: Explanation

My sharp pain from my legs, startled me from my sleep. I sat up really quickly trying to move my legs away from whatever is causing me pain. Blood rushed to my head causing the world to spin once more.

“Take it easy.” A voice replied and a hand rubbed my head coaxing me to lay back down.

When my vision cleared, all I could see was a bright white light. Is this what death felt like?

“Where am I?” I asked stretching my hand towards the light.

“In the Nox training level.” The voice replied and I frowned. I was alive?

“You think I would let you die just yet?” Nyra snapped, her voice bounced around in my head causing me to groan.

I rubbed my eyes trying to ease the tension in on the left side of my brain. I let out a giant yawn and blinked several times, I think it’s bedtime.

“Do you want to explain how you got these bruising?” Mama Fra snapped.

“There was a waterfall and Gabriel.” I muttered before curling into a ball.

Cold water rained down on me and I sat up with a start. My clothes began to stick to my skin and a small draft worked its way up. I shivered from the cold and wrapped my arms around my body to conceal the heat.

“You know, you could just light yourself on fire.” Nyra hissed. She was definitely mad at me. “You think? You could have died. I was so worried!”

“I’m sorry.” I muttered.

“Sorry won’t cut it. You have to explain.” Kai snapped, thinking I was talking to him.

“What’s wrong with my legs?” I turned to Mama Fra ignoring Kai’s worried slash seething gaze.

“You have severe burns. If that had touched Nyra, you could have killed her. How did you get them? Who is Gabriel?” Alvina responded instead.

I didn’t know how to explain it again, especially with Kai in the room. But thankfully I didn’t have to because Zephyr interjected, “Gabriel is a friend of mine. Or should I saw ‘was’. I am going to kick his butt.” Zephyr continued to rant about his fake friend Gabriel.

When no one was watching I sent him a grateful smile which he returned with a quick ‘this isn’t over’ expression. I gulped.

“But that doesn’t explain the waterfalls.” Clementine pointed out. Curses, couldn’t she have pretended not to hear that. All eyes turned back towards me.

“I don’t understand why you are hiding it. Isn’t it better to be honest with your them? They are your team after all.” Nyra scolded.

“It’s a part of the mountains that is covered in shrubs. There is a waterfall, remember the myth.” Zephyr piped out.

“You have been there?” My eyebrows shot up. Maybe he would know why the water burned me.

“Yeah, how do you think Gabriel knew where to go?” Zephyr shot me a look that said he was lying through his teeth.

“How could you not report this?” Kai glowered looking between me and Zephyr.

“Are you talking to me?” I pointed to myself, not sure who he was talking to.

“Both of you. How could you not report there was a waterfall in the mountains. The Angels could be hiding out there. Come on Zephyr, think.” He turned to me, “And you. How come you didn’t mention those bruises? What if they had gotten worse? How can I protect you if you won’t let me?”

“If they had gotten worse, I would have taken care of it. I can take care of myself, just like I always have. I don’t need people treating me like a child.” I snapped and stood up.

“We are a team. We look after each other.” Kai took a threatening step closer.

“If we where a team, then you would push me” I pushed him, “to do more. Not coddle me. Ever since I got here, I have felt like nothing but a burden. I am not strong enough to do things and when I try you coddle me instead” I pushed him again, “If you where truly my Dux, you would train me to be better. Not make feel like I am keeping everyone down!”

He grabbed onto both my arms to stop me from pushing him again, “You are still new to this. I coddle you because you have never known any of this up until two weeks ago. I decided to give you a break because you where so new. But you want me to train you, then fine. Tomorrow morning be up by three am. We leave at five, so it gives us plenty of time to train.” It took him a second to catch his breath, his face was turning purple.

“Thank you.” I growled out

“Your welcome.” He said with just as much force before storming out of the room. Clementine quickly followed him out the door and I felt my mood get darker.

I huffed and walked into the changing room trying to catch my breathe. I slammed the door shut and began to pace. Did I just agree to wake up at three in the morning?

“This is why we think before we speak.” Nyra chastised.

The door swung open and I looked up. Alvina grabbed me by the collar and hoisted me up into the air. My feet barely scrapped the ground as I struggled in her arms.

“I don’t know if it is because of some mortal pride or something else. But what the heck is wrong with you? You could have died, then when we save you from the brink of death you yell at Kai. Couldn’t you have been nicer. We are a team and you think you can do things on your own. That’s not how we work. We all have a role to play.”

“Really? Then what’s mine.” Her eyebrows went up in shock, “As far as I can see I am just in everyone’s way. What is my role?” I asked again.

“Alvina, put Twyla down!” Zephyr entered the room.

Alvina let go of me a twirled to look at Zephyr, “Are you going to explain why you lied out there!” She shouted.

“Not so loud.” Zephyr whispered.

“Or what? They will hear that you are a liar!” She yelled.

“Let me explain!” Zephyr reasoned and she crossed her arms waiting, “Well actually I can’t explain.”

“Why not?” She scoffed and shifted her weight from one leg to the other.

“Because it’s Twyla you need to ask.” He motioned to me.

“I’m waiting.” She turned to me.

It took me several minutes to explain everything that has happened since I came here. Every conflicting emotion and every weird dream I have had since joining the Nox Knights.

“What is this Gabriel’s last name?” She asked me and I shrugged. Come to think about it, I don’t know anything about Gabriel.

“Where is this waterfall?” She asked.

“I don’t really know the way. I sort of just found it, well Nyra did.” I fiddled with my fingers.

“I will help you out.” She sighed, “It’s just I was so worried. I had finally gotten another sister and I was scared to lose you already.”

She pulled me into a hug, “I’m your sister?” I grinned at the thought of having a sister.

“Of course, you are!” She giggled but quickly let go when Zephyr began clapping.

“Aw, isn’t this sweet.” He cooed and Alvina punched him the gut. I winced slightly; I don’t understand how she can go from zero to one-eighty like that.

“You realize, you do the same exact thing.” Nyra interjected.

“Um…Alvina, one last thing.” I didn’t want her to ask her to keep it a secret, but I didn’t want her to tell the whole world.

She crossed a finger to her lip, “I know, I will keep it under wraps.” She winked, “I have your food from earlier. I thought you might be hungry.” My hunger growled in agreement. I swear it’s like my stomach can hear what people are saying.

“Maybe it can.” Nyra teased.

“If my stomach could hear what I was saying. Then I would have to apologize for every weird thing or comment I have ever made as well as every off-key song I have sung.” I recalled dumb stuff I did with Adrian and Jasmine all the time.

“So, are you ready for a twelve-hour drive?” Alvina asked pulling me out of my thoughts.

“Twelve hours? Please don’t tell me I have to sit in a van for twelve hours straight. I don’t think I could do that.” I groaned.

“I don’t think anyone can. But don’t worry you can sit next to me.” Zephyr put his arm on my shoulders.

“Why would she want someone who drools to sit next too?” Alvina bumped into him and he put his arm around him.

“How do you know he drools?” I wiggled my eyebrows suggestively.

Zephyr went red and removed his arm from my shoulder before clearing his throat.

Alvina sputtered, “I have had to sit next to him before!” She argued.

“Is that all?” I asked with a wink. This is what we call payback for all the comments she made before about Kai and me.

“Yes, that’s all!” She said again but her face tinged pink. I think this is the first time, I have ever seen her blush.

“Whatever you say.” I shrugged and walked ahead. I couldn’t contain my smile, now I understand why she teased me so much.

“I do say!” She called out.

“So, where’s the food?” I turned to her and winked. I genuinely love to tease her; I think it’s going to be my new hobby.

“So, the student surpasses the master.” Zephyr said with a laugh.

Oh, this is going to be fun.

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