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4: No Way!

“No way!” I shouted, wishing desperately for it not to be true; for the bane of existence called Trichloris to remain dead and gone like a bad dream. “There’s no way he’s alive. I saw him explode to a million pieces, remember.”

“I know,” replied Oliver as he stood up and pulled me closer for a hug. “But there have been rumors of sightings in the metapores and it’ll be unfair to just throw you guys into it without us being sure first.”

“By ‘you guys’, you meant me, don’t you?” I asked. I knew that I should be used to everyone fussing over me but I just couldn’t.

“We care about every one of you, Troy, that’s why we’re taking all these precautions,” Oliver returned. “But please, can you help me keep this between us? I only told you because I believe that you can handle it, the others might not respond so well and it’ll be unfair to get them worried if this turns out to be nothing.”

“Of course, Dad. I understand,” I replied and gave him a peck as he prepared to leave. “And also, thank you for trusting me.”

“Take care son,” he said when he got to the door. “Also, please help me watch after Stan. He may be a big pain in the ass but he’s…”

“He’s family,” I completed, smiling. “No worries, I would watch after him even if he wasn’t. Besides, he saved my life last year and I’ll owe him forever.”

Oliver gave me a goodnight kiss and I closed the door before leaning against the wall and sliding to the floor as fear washed over me.

Trichloris had entered into my life last year and he had made a mess of things more than I ever thought was possible.

He was an evil wizard who somehow invaded my mind and manipulated me into releasing him from a magical cell he had been locked in for about a thousand years. He wanted to destroy the world of magic and really tried to convince me to help him with it.

Thankfully, I was able to resist him; almost losing my life fighting him off if not for the timely intervention of Stan who helped me to finally destroy that damn epitome of pure evil. Or so I thought.

If Trichloris really was back, there was no doubt that he would be coming for Stan and I; and truth be told, I didn’t think I had the power to win another war against him.

“I have a surprise for everyone,” said Grandpa Blake as we were having dinner.

“What is it?” asked Stan with a lot of cheer on his face- good to see that he’d gotten over his row with Oliver.

“Well, first, Troy has to tell us why he’s been so moody all day long,” he said and looked pointedly at me.

“No, I’m not,” I replied immediately and gave him a ‘You’re seeing things that ain’t there’ look.

Truth is that I had- which you already knew- I tried very hard to keep my ‘Trichloris might be back’ fear to myself but I must have failed really miserably if Grandpa Blake had caught on to me.

“Maybe it’s because the schools are taking longer than usual to resume that got him in that mood,” Oliver offered, helping me out before Grandpa Blake had the chance to take me apart piece by piece- good one Dad. Not the truth, but not so far from it either.

“That’s what I thought too,” replied Grandpa Blake, much to my relief; but not for long. “And that’s why I’m happy to announce that the schools will resume the day after tomorrow.”

My heart increased in pace as that statement sunk in and I choked on my food, I never thought a day would come when I would be scared to return to Firewalt.

“Whoa!” exclaimed everyone as they shot out of their seats and crowded round me to help before I died of choking.

“Now, that wasn’t the reaction I was expecting,” said Grandpa Blake with a confused look on his face and I could tell that he was really starting to suspect that something was up; like for reals, this time. “Can I speak to you Oliver after the dinner?” he asked.

“Of course, father,” replied Oliver and that was the end of that situation.

But I couldn’t escape the looks that everyone was giving me and it wasn’t that of pity, I tell you. They all seemed to have come to the same conclusion; something was wrong and it involved Firewalt and me.

After dinner, I stayed back; partly because I was a little too full to stand up immediately, but mostly because I wanted to escape the questions that I was so sure they were all itching to ask.

I finally left the table when I was sure they were way ahead of me. But as I was about to enter the long corridor to my room, I heard whispers; Oliver and Blake’s.

“What’s going on here, Oliver?” I heard Blake ask.

“It’s nothing to concern yourself with, father,” replied Oliver.

“You’re concerned and that makes me concerned too,” he insisted.

“Okay, the thing is, there’s news that Trichloris might be back,” said Oliver.

“And who gave that news?” asked Blake, his tone suddenly an octave higher and I could just imagine his face contort in worry.

“The high council trackers,” Oliver replied and my heart resumed its wild beating again. I didn’t know who the high council trackers were but I knew enough about trackers in general to understand that news was never to be taken lightly.

“Don’t worry about it,” Blake eventually said with more calmness than I thought anyone could muster under this circumstance. “Your sons can take care of themselves. One is powerful and the other is talented, that’s more than any father could have wish for.”

“I know, Dad,” replied Oliver, sighing. “But anytime I see Troy, I can’t help but fear if the consequences of his power might manifest.” Wait a second, what Oliver just said doesn’t make any sense. What the hell does ‘Consequences of his power’ even mean? Like, was magic supposed to have consequences?

I realized suddenly that the whispers had stopped and that could only mean that the conversation was over and they would be upon me any time soon.

Quickly, I ran in the opposite direction and hid in a room until I heard their doors open and close. I opened the door, took a peep to be sure before I resumed the walk to my room; although this time with a heavy heart. I couldn’t shake off what I had just heard, especially the last part.

The feeling that there was something I was missing began to take root in my heart and I didn’t like it one bit. Blake and Oliver were keeping a secret, one that was deeper even than Trichloris’s supposed return; and one much more dangerous too.

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