Kai scoffed, “How old do you think?”
Without thinking I blurted, “500!” The room erupted into laughter.
“You are amazing!” Zephyr says high fiving me.
I beamed at them, happy that the tension in the room dissipated. I looked over at Kai who was glowering at me. My smile slipped as he turned and marched out of the room.
“Come along.” Alvina nudges my shoulder before walking out of the room.
“Where are we going?” I trailed after them.
“The cafeteria, I’m hungry. We just came from training before we had to deal with you.” Clementine whispered behind me, making me jump. I forgot she was there.
“Training?” Images of Mulan, “I’ll make a man out of you” flashed in my mind.
“Yes! It’s so much fun, oh you’re going to love it!” Clementine giggled.
“I have to train?” I asked dubiously, the group stopped walking abruptly. I couldn’t stop in time and collided with someone. Sparks raced up my arm in a frenzy.
Kai turned around and glared at me, I stepped back, “All you do is ask questions? Haven’t you learned anything?”
I crossed my arms and looked him straight in the eyes, “Sorry if I don’t know what you know. This all new to me buddy, if I didn’t know would I ask the question? No, I wouldn’t.” A flicker of amusement flashed in his eyes before his anger took over.
“I don’t know why anyone would choose you, you look so weak.” Kai looked down at me with a superior smirk.
My anger flared, but before I could say anything, Alvina interjected, “As fun as this is, I don’t think it’s time to start peeing all over place and marking territory.”
“You know I find that comment very offense.” Clementine says as she mockingly glared at Alvina.
“Oh yeah, what are you going to do about it.” Alvina shot back barely able to hide her laughter.
“Very funny.” I said flatly rolling my eyes as anger left my body and I stepped away from Kai.
Sparks raced up my elbow in an alarming way as Kai grabbed my arm, “I need to talk to you later.” He whispered so quietly; I almost didn’t catch it.
“Uh okay” I nodded.
He let go of my arm, but the sparks remained for a couple more seconds before they faded. When they did, I almost wished they would come back because I now felt empty.
I cleared my throat and took another step back. Did I finally lose my mind?
“What is this? A very bad romance movie? Let’s break it up.” Alvina said as she stepped in between Kai and me.
“Come on, Twyla. I want to show you the benefits of being a Nox Knight in the cafeteria.” Clementine yanked on my arm.
I looked down at her, she reminded so much of a little kid. I couldn’t help but laugh.
“Sure, let’s go.” As soon as the words left my lips, I regretted it. She nearly pulled my arm out of the socket trying to get me to speed up.
We stopped in front of this majestic white door frame. I felt something land on my shoulder, it was a white petal. I looked up at the white flowers that hung from above. The petals began to shower down, this began to feel like a dream.
“That’s weird.” Clementine whispered as she looked at me.
“What’s weird?” I ask twirling underneath the magical flowers.
“Oh nothing, it’s just those flowers don’t rain down like that expect for royalty.” She mused, looking at me once more.
I frowned, “Royalty?”
“Ah…never mind. I’m sure it’s nothing.” She waved her hand.
Behind her hand I saw Alvina, Zephyr and Kai jogging towards us. When they reached us both Zephyr and Alvina began to frown but Kai’s eyes just widened.
Is it really that strange? Is it me or did the branches look lower than before? I placed my hand in the air and the branches wrapped around my hand, with a gasp I jerked my hand away.
“You are something else, Twyla. I don’t think we will be bored any time soon.” Zephyr commented before rubbing his hand together, “Let’s eat. I’m starving now.”
He entered through the doorway, as if nothing happened. I shrugged, maybe I looked familiar, mix ups happen all the time. I ducked my head to avoid the branches and followed Zephyr.
“Clementine didn’t you want to show me about that perk to be a Nox Knight?” I ask looking back at her.
She snapped from her daze, “Oh yeah!” She bounced towards my side.
I felt sparks dance around the back of my head, I sharply turned around to face Kai a mere few inches away from my face.
“Sorry, you have petals stuck in your hair.” He produced a white flower from my head, I blushed at the proximity.
“Uh... thanks.” I began to pull them from my hair, but I couldn’t bring myself to look away.
“I swear if you are about to kiss, I’m out.” Alvina says.
“Aw you’re mad that you don’t have a guy.” Zephyr said slinging his arm around her, “Don’t worry if no one will take you. I will.” There was something off about his tone, he sounded almost serious.
Alvina shrugged his arm off her, “I choose to be single thank you very much. Don’t worry, heaven will be dark before I even consider that.”
“I hate this new uneven number. Now I’m going to be fifth wheeling.” Clementine whined.
“Ha-ha, I think I would be the fifth wheel here not you.” I replied as I moved away from Kai and his weird sparks. I made a mental note not to be touched my Kai or touch him. I refuse to be a cliché girl with imaginary sparks.
“You better believe it, Kai is mine.” She teased back but something turned in my gut. It’s just hunger, I’m not a cliché I reminded myself.
A loud growl emitted from my stomach, “I guess I’m hungry.” Yup, just hungry. That’s why my stomach feels all twisted up inside.
“How long are you going to make a man wait for food.” Zephyr said as he placed his arm on his forehead, “I’m going to die of starvation.”
“Oh please. You ate breakfast, you can’t die from starvation.” Alvina replies as she headed to the back of the room.
I didn’t notice how big and quite the cafeteria was. The room was painted in a dark wood color. The tables and chairs where aligned in neat rows with eight chairs surrounding each rectangle table. But what caught my breath was the window wall that showed three beautiful green hills, that looked awfully like mountains. The sky outside was darkening with each moment, exactly how long was I unconscious? The air still smelled like breakfast but not a single dish was in sight.
I followed Alvina to the counter in the back. On it was a small red desk call bell, which she pressed several times. Suddenly this woman appeared, her faced aged with wrinkles. Her smile was almost toothless because her gums overshadowed them, but her smile reminded me of my grandmother. Her pink eyes swirled with happiness; I almost didn’t notice a horn jutting out of the left side of her forehead. I looked to the right side, hoping to see a matching pair but instead there was only a stump of a horn.
“Hello, Ms. Alvina.” She spoke kindly as she looked at Alvina.
“Myrtle, you do not need to call me that!” Alvina blushed as she shook her hands.
“Nonsense, you save my life when I was younger!” Myrtle said as she passed Alvina a plate of pancakes.
The sight of normal food made my stomach growl, Myrtle looked at me with amusement as Alvina laughed.
“Myrtle is the only one who makes normal food at Ravenwood. Myrtle this is Twyla Chantelle, the new Nox Knight.”
“Nice to meet you, Ms. Myrtle.” I smiled politely; I am not good with greeting new people.
“The honor of meeting you is all mine. It’s not often a new Nox Knight is chosen and it is not often that I can see their face before the unveiling.” She smiled her toothless grin and handed me a similar plate of pancakes.
“The unveiling?” I scrunched my eyebrows together, I silently hoped that it wasn’t some weird demon thing.
“Not here.” Alvina whispered to me as she turned her head around to look at the cafeteria, “Come on, the team are probably waiting.”
“Waiting? They didn’t get food.” I said as I looked for Clementine, Kai or Zephyr, who I swear was just here.
“We are full blooded Nox demons, usually we eat different food. There is a special diet we must stick too. So, we have food prepped in another room.” She chuckled at my stupidity.
I looked down at my pancakes, “Do I have to go on a diet.” She just chuckled again and walked away, “Where are we going?” I called out to her.
I turned back to Myrtle, “It was nice meeting you.” I offered a smile before hurrying to catch up to Alvina before she disappeared like the rest of them.
Alvina stood in front of the right wall adjacent to the Window wall. As she looked intensely at the wall, I frowned.
“What are we doing?” I eyed her and the wall at the same time. She was having a staring contest with the wall. I don’t know if she was mad at it, I silently prayed the wall wouldn’t start talking back to her. I have had too much weirdness for one day.
“I am waiting for Zephyr to let me in” Her voice increased with every word.
A small chuckle escaped from the wall, “I wanted to see her face.” It said in a tone that almost sounded like Zephyr.
Slowly the wall began to melt away and revealed a smiling Zephyr. Alvina shoved past him and I followed her. The moment I stepped inside the glass room; the wall began to solidify.
The room much like a mud room except it was bigger. It housed a single dinning table much like the ones outside as well as several couches and benches. I could see how isolated Ravenwood really was. There was nothing but mountains as far as the eye could see.
“Are you going to sit, or would you like to continue gawking?” Kai asked gruffly. I turned to him and sure enough he was sitting at the head of the table, typical alpha male type.
I rolled my eyes and sat across from him at the other end. The smell of the pancakes hits my nose for the first time and my stomach grumbled in delight.
I picked up the knife and fork and began eating. They tasted so light I though I was eating a cloud. I closed my eyes in euphoria, there is nothing better than food. No matter what any thrashy romance novel has to say to disagree.
“Don’t eat too much at once, you are going to get a stomachache.” Clementine says as she daintily picked up her spoon with this brown pudding with red streaks and placed it in her mouth.
A silence settled at the table for a moment before Alvina interrupted it, “You wanted to know about the unveiling?”
My mouth filled with the most delicious pancakes on earth, I nodded. I tried to swallow so I could speak but it end up going down the wrong pipe. I began choking, and couching. Kai slid a water bottle across the table with a look of horror on his face. I must look so uncivilized right about now, I can’t imagine what mom and dad would say if they saw this.
I grabbed the bottle and unscrewed it as fast as I could. I began to chug the water until the pancakes where washed down. When I could breathe again, I blushed with embarrassment.
I lifted the now half empty bottle, “Uh…thanks.” I said as I motioned at Kai.
“Anyways” Clementine clapped her hands to draw the attention away from me, “The unveiling is for new Nox Knights. I had to go through it last year.”
“But what is it exactly?” I asked.
“So basically you have to wear a giant veil over your face until the Triad Night.” Zephyr replies.
“The triad night? What’s that and how long away is that? How come I am not wearing the veil right now? Should I-“
“Slow down, one question at a time.” Alvina interjected.
“The triad night is used to honor the fall of Lucifer. On the first night he fell, we wear white to represent our inner goodness. On this day the Inferno Royal Family, comes to this mortal plane and we greet them at their palace. Most of the common folk camp outside of the palace but the aristocracy and the Nox Knights get to stay inside the palace with the Royal Family. On the second night we celebrate Lucifer uniting the demon race, so we have a big masquerade ball to honor it. The last night of we prepare for the royal family to leave so we wear black as a sign of mourning. That’s basically the Triad Night in a nutshell.” Kai says as he looks intently at me but all I could do was blink repeatedly.
That was a lot of foreign words mashed up into one huge lecture. All executed without a single breath, but it left me still confused.
“It’s basically a big three-night celebration for the Demon Royal Family. It takes place on the first three days of October.” Clementine clarified.
“Oh! So, what does that have to do with the unveiling thing?” I asked Clementine, I liked her version better. It’s easier to understand.
“For every new Nox Knight we have an unveiling right before the first night of the Triad Night. Before this the Nox Knight must wear a huge black enchanted veil over their faces, so no one may look upon the face until King Satan sees it first. It’s okay for other Nox Knights to see the newbies’ face. But once informed about this policy, they cannot show anyone their face until the ceremony.” Clementine explained.
“That doesn’t sound too bad. So, no other students can see my face either, right?” They all nodded.
“Okay so where is the veil?” I scanned the room looking for it.
“That’s the problem. We had this whole big introduction for you but after your meltdown we rushed over, and someone may have accidently left it back at the house.” Zephyr explained rubbing the back of his head.
Alvina scoffed, “That someone was you!”
“That detail is unimportant; we need to sneak you into the Nox House.” Zephyr said.
“We have our own house?” I smiled triumphantly. I felt so cool, having my own house and not a room. This school is amazing.
Then something dawned on me, “Where are the other students?”
“She finally asks.” Kai says shaking his head with amusement.
“Look at this place, it’s only one story but there is hundreds if not more demon teenagers that attend here. But not even one is to be found, why because this building is a prop.” Zephyr grinned at me.
“A prop?” I asked in confusion.
“The true classes take place inside the three mountains you see from the cafeteria.” Kai said with an all-knowing grin plastered on his face.
“Wait, what?” I turned to him.