A Little Secret

All Rights Reserved ©

A Natural Rivalry?

Chapter 41: A Natural Rivalry?

✧Sasuke✧

“Uncle, why do we all have to go to your office?” I ask as we follow behind him. Andrew is walking next to me as he pats his chest and looks down his shirt for some ungodly reason.

“It’s like we’re in trouble or something,” Aaron sighed from behind.

“You’re not in trouble,” Uncle sighed and brought both his hands up to his temples and massaged them, “I just have to figure things out and keeping all of you in one place where I can keep an eye on you is best at the current moment. Andrew, there is nothing there, you can stop looking to find anything, soul lock leaves nothing behind.”

“How can you be sure? And how the hell do you know what it is? Is Mr. Sonnen-” Uncle stopped and turned around slapping his hand over Andrew’s mouth.

“Keep the rest of that sentence in your head until that door that is attached to my office is closed, understood?” I stepped back a bit from Uncle and Andy. Uncle was giving the look that dad gives me when I’m in trouble. Andy nodded and Uncle removed his hand from Andy’s mouth then continued walking.

Andy looked over at me with a shocked, yet blank look on his face. His head’s gotta be spinning right now. There’s so much that’s hit him like a tuck in just this past hour. I mean…do I try and help? “Hurry up, we don’t have all day,” Uncle called back to us.

“C-Coming,” I stutter and grab Andy’s wrist and drag him along.

“Mr. Zimmer can be terrifying when he’s frustrated,” Aaron muttered loud enough for me to hear.

“I know that look all too well. Dad use to give me that same look when I was in deep shit. I hope that Uncle is just frustrated more so than mad. I don’t want to know his temper,” I stare at my uncles back as I drag Andy long.

“Let go, my wrist is sweating. You’re to fucking warm,” Andy grumbled at me.

My eye twitched at his comment, “Oh, I’m sorry do you want me to make it hotter for you. You could probably go for losing a few pounds,”

“This is fucking muscle jackass, I can snap you like a twig whenever I want,”

“Both of you, shut…up…now,” Fuck when did uncle come back to us?

“Y-Yes sir,” Andy and I say in unison.

Uncle turned back around and walked away from us. He’s pissed, son of a bitch. What do I do? I know with dad, when he needs to vent or if I’ve done something wrong I get scolded. Uncle’s frustrated and tense. I know that he’s putting us through all of this, but he’s still family, I can’t help but want to try and help. I let go of Andy’s wrist and bring my right hand up to my mouth and start to bite at my thumbnail.

“Your nervous,” Gil whispered in my ear and I jumped.

“A-am not,” I hissed at him and he just smiled, “S-stay outa my head,”

“Sean says that to me all the time too,” Gil put his hand up over his mouth, “You sure the two of you aren’t related?”

“I think that’s a common thing,” I grumbled rolling my eyes but I can’t help but smile.

Gil stops in his tracks and his eyes go blank. I stop walking and wait with Aaron for Gil to come back, “What’s the hold up?” Andrew asked and I look over my shoulder at him.

“Give him a few,” I turn my view back to Gil and he blinks a few times and looks at me then starts smiling like an idiot, “Is that smile a good or bad thing?”

He brought his pointer finger and middle finger up to my forehead and tapped it before continuing to walk, “I guess you’ll have to wait and find out,” I watched his pull his bangs out from the ponytail that he has his hair up in and let them fall in front of his right eye.

“That’s not fair, come on, tell me,” I chase after him.

“Does it have anything to do with the conversation that we were just having?” Aaron asked, obviously wanting to know too.

Gil stopped in front of the door to my uncle’s office and pulled Aaron in closer to him and whispered something in his ear. A shit eating grin spread on Aaron’s face and he looked over at me, “This isn’t funny, just tell me already!” We walk into my uncle’s office and I shut the door behind me.

“Is Mr. Sonnen an elemental? And who else is an elemental other than these three?” Andy blurted out reaching out to grab uncle’s shirt and in a blink, he was on the other side of the room and walking over to his desk, “W-what the hell?”

“You and Sasuke sit down. The two of you are still recovering. I don’t need either of you blacking out from accidently locking your knees while you’re standing. Also, that’s called flash-step if you were wondering,” Uncle said rummaging through the papers on his desk.

“Flash-step is the ability that allows a time elemental to shift the time surrounding their body creating a small rift in time to get where they want to be faster,” I recited to Andy like I was saying it to my father.

“Very good Sasuke, though I’m not surprised that John made you study The Basic of the Elements,” Uncle said and pointed at the couch telling me to sit.

“Of course, you get fucking praised,” My eye twitches as I catch what Andy scoffed under his breath.

“Excuse me for explaining something to you. Why don’t you grow up,” I roll my eyes. I feel a chill run up my spine and it feels like daggers are piercing into the back of my head from my uncle’s desk.

Aaron and Gil sat down between Andy and me. “So are ya gonna answer my question or not Chris?” Andy asked leaning forward to look at uncle as he comes over with a clipboard and a red pen and sits in the chair that’s on the other side of the coffee table.

“There’s five elementals here all together. Six, if you include Sean, if the theory works out,” Uncle answered reading whatever is on his clip board and making marks with his pen as he read, “Sasuke, Gilbert, Aaron, Otto, and myself are the five.”

“Isn’t it kinda wrong for ya to be the boss here then? And Mr. Sonnen workin here too? I mean, the two of ya are goin’ after yer own kind,” Andy does have a point. Uncle looked up from the clip board and stared at Andy for a solid minute without blinking. He then went back to looking down at his clipboard.

“There are reasons and it’s a good thing Otto any myself are here. If we weren’t here and Aaron, Gil, and Sasuke were captured, they would more than likely be dead already. You wouldn’t be working here more than likely if I wouldn’t have run into you, and none of what has happened would have happened.”

It fell quiet between us as Chris continued to write on his clip board. Are we mostly waiting for Sean and Otto to get here?

“How are you feeling?” Gil asked and I look over at him.

“Who does that question protein to?” I asked.

“Both of you,” Gil looked back and forth between the two of us.

“I still feel funny, and it feels like I have a sunburn, but it doesn’t look like I do,” Andy answered looking at his arm.

“Other than the sunburn feeling, are you experiencing any other pain?” Gil questioned and Andy shook his head, “What about you Sasuke?”

“Come to think of it, I don’t feel that sinking feeling anymore,” I answer placing a hand on my chest.

“That means that the sinking feeling was your rare ability building up in your body and wanting to be released. Now that you’ve done that, the feeling shouldn’t come back. But if it does, it means that you can cross one thing off your list as to what is making that feeling,” Uncle commented and I look back at him to see that he’s pulling the papers off his clip board and turning the page.

“I guess that makes sense. But uncle, don’t you think it should have more so caused me to run a fever or get sick?” I ask tipping my head.

“Every prodigy gets a different feeling when it comes time for them to unlock their rare ability. Your father got that same sinking feeling that you were experiencing. As for me, it was more so the feeling of being alone,” He explained.

“Why do ya’ll get these feelings? And what the hell is a prodigy?” Andy asked and I looked over with him as my eye twitched from his question.

“Do you not read?” I questioned and he glared at me back, “Prodigy, a person, endowed with exceptional qualities or abilities,” I recite to him.

“Well aren’t ya just, little mister know it all,” He snarled at me with his piercing mint green glare. With his pupils like that it makes his glare a hell of a lot worse. “And last time I checked I didn’t ask ya the question pipsqueak.”

“I am not a pipsqueak, we’re the same height you jackass,” I retort.

“You’re still a pipsqueak in size,” He answered with a smirk.

“Why do you have to have to make this into an argument with whatever I have to say?” my eye twitching. I swear if Aaron and Gil weren’t sitting between us right now…

The door opens and I shift my gaze to the door to see who’s coming into the office. Otto walks into the office followed by Sean. He still looks like he has a bad sun burn, but other than that he looks okay. That’s a relief.

“Took ya long enough,” Andy commented and Sean gave him a resting bitch face as he closed the door behind him.

“Well some of us don’t have scales to protect ourselves from extreme heat,” Sean mentioned coming over to us and standing behind the couch with his hands in his pockets.

“Sorry,” I look away from him. I feel a hand on my head and look back at Sean to see him smiling back at me.

“Don’t be sorry, I was being stupid and thought I could get close while you were like that. Nothing bad happened and your rare ability healed your wounds, so we’re all good,” He reassured me messing up my hair even more and pushing a fair bit of it into my face. I need a haircut bad, “So what are we all here for?”

“First off,” I turn my attention back to uncle as he takes off the papers he was reading and holds them out towards us, “Here’s your paper back,” Sean walks around the couch and grabs the papers from uncle. His expression went from being somewhat excited looking like he just failed a test, “Your concept was on point, but you should organize your thoughts a bit more before you write papers. It would make your paper’s flow better.”

“You failed it, didn’t you?” I asked him resting my chin in my hand. I got an instant death glare from him.

“Technically I failed because I didn’t get mastery level,” Sean answered me.

“It’s because of your spelling, isn’t it?” Gil asked and by Sean’s expression it seems Gil hit the nail right on the head, “You could have let me proof read your paper before you handed it in.”

“I bet he did it last minute because he forgot about it till it was the night before,” Aaron commented and I looked over at Sean as he took the second stab from Aaron.

“He did that in high school too, but he’s always been pretty bad with spelling. Fuck, even I spell better,” Andy chuckled. And there’s strike three. I sigh and get up off the couch and wander over to him and patted his back.

“Gil’s amazing for proof reading and editing, if you ever need help he’s definitely the one to go to for it,” I smile up at him, but it doesn’t seem to help. He looks defeated. Geez, if this was an anime he’d probably have a little ghost coming out of his mouth or arrows stuck in his back.

“Gee, thanks, that just makes me feel so much better,” He sounds defeated.

“Either way, you’re going to take the makeup test, that’s on Friday when you get in,” Uncle said to Sean before standing up and stretching.

“What are these tests that you have to take anyways?” Andrew asked.

“It was one of the deals for Sean working here. He works here and I teach him about elementals and Amoura. More so elementals considering that the main goal is to wake his elemental gene’s up.” Uncle explained going over to his desk and grabs a few more papers, “Aside from that, Andrew, we’re going to figure what part of your family is the dragon half.”

“What do you mean by that?” He asked with a look of utter confusion on his face.

“Obviously, your part dragon, we just need to figure out how much of a dragon you are,” Uncle Chris stated.

“To do that we need some information from you. Then, if you’re willing, and we’re not saying that you should answer us right away, but we can arrange to take you to Amoura, if you’re willing to go that is,” Otto crossed his arms and shifted his weight to his left leg, “Of course you would also need to obtain permission from which ever parent is the dragon as well. If the parent that is a dragon was ban from Amoura for something it necessarily doesn’t mean that the ban has been passed down, but if that is the case then one of us would have to go to the roost and attempt to get the ban removed. That is, if you decided that you wanted to go.”

“Why so sudden? I’ve been livin’ in this world for twenty years and within the last fuckin’ hour I find out that I have dragon abilities, have them put back inside so I look fuckin’ normal again, find out that people I thought were humans are actually elementals, find out that pipsqueak has a stupid fuckin’ powerful ability, and now yer saying that I should go to what’s a ma calls it?” Andrew sounds a bit frustrated with all of this. I can’t blame him though; it’s a lot being shoved on his plate all at once.

“Amoura, for one, and two, why do you think we’re not having this conversation alone,” I jump when I hear uncle’s voice on the other side of Sean. I look over to see him put a hand on Sean’s head, “Other than Sean here, all of us live on Amoura. And the reason why we’re having this conversation now is because the dragon division goes after part dragon’s as well. You’ve more than likely heard of some of the things that these boys have gone through, and that’s after I could dull it down. You wouldn’t have the luxury if you were caught. You can’t control your dragon side. How do I know this? It’s because I’ve seen a half dragon before. The Legion of Myth’s headquarters is at the dragon division’s headquarters. The day I managed to sneak myself and Otto into the Elemental division they caught a half dragon. She was killed before she could even bring her scales out to protect her. The leader of the LoM decided that he wanted me to watch her death. She told me that half dragons are useless to them and they need a full dragon. That was right before I recruited you to join. I’m sure in four years their technology has improved quite a bit. I’m sure our radar should have blocked most of the energy wave that is given off when a dragon uses their powers, but I can’t say how much of it was blocked,” Uncles hand slipped off Sean’s head and he crossed he slipped his hand into his pocket, “This is very dangerous for you to be on earth now that you’ve activated your dragon side. In order to control it you need to be trained. Now that we have that out of the way, let’s start off with figuring out which of your parents is the dragon or at least half dragon. What are your parent’s maiden names?”

“Richard Wolfe and Sierra Vann,” Andy answered leaning on the arm of the couch.

I look back at Uncle Chris who’s looking over at Otto, “Do you think?”

“It could quite possibly be. From what I was told, she did spontaneously leave on the day of her inauguration,” Otto shrugged.

“Hua?” I ask I don’t even know that much about the dragon clans. I think that’s a class, though.

“Verath Vann, is the chief of the water dragon roost. He has a daughter named Sirath, but about fifty years ago on the day of her inauguration where she was supposed to take over as the new chief of the roost, she disappeared,” Uncle explained to us.

“Some say that she made a deal with a spirit to get her to earth. That’s all I know of,” Otto shrugged.

“If that’s the case and then that would make Andrew half dragon,” Uncle Chris turned his attention from Otto back to Andy, “You wouldn’t happen to have a picture of your mother on you, would you?”

“In my apartment I do, but in my wallet na, I don’t carry pictures in my wallet unless it’s an ID,” Andy answered, “I’ll bring the picture I have tomorrow for ya, but I don’t see how that’s going to help at all.”

“Dragon’s that are in human form have distinct characteristics, for example, how tall is your mother?” Uncle asked.

“She’s on the taller end, like five foot nine area.”

“Have either of you ever seen her?” I asked uncle and Otto.

“I think managed to catch a few glimpses of her. Dragon’s like to come to our festivals from time to time. They stand out from the crowd because they’re like high elves and they’re very beautiful in their human forms. We weren’t graced with one of the dragon’s presence at our winter festival. I wonder if they were there for the summer festival,” So the summer equinox has passed on Amoura. “Either way, for a standard human height for women that is on the taller end. For dragon’s she’s small. Even the dragon women can range around six-two, six-three,” Otto explained to us, “It’s also announced at the tournaments when we have special guests like dragons at the festival.”

“It’s been a while since I’ve seen any dragon’s come to our festivals,” Aaron spoke up.

“They’ve probably been busy,” Gil offered as an option.

“None of the water dragon roost has made an appearance at our festivals since the day Sirath disappeared,” Otto stated.

“So what do ya want me to do about it then? If my mom is this Sirath person, dragon, whatever the fuck she if, do ya think it’s a good idea to go, “Hey mom, ya wouldn’t happen to be a dragon would ya?” That just sounds like I should be placed in the loony bin. And on top of that, if the dragon division is as good as you say with their sensors, how do you expect me to fucking leave this building without being detected?”

“Soul lock may be able to do the trick. Just to be safe Sean you can go with him and make sure nothing happens. You don’t have to do it today, but you’ll have to do it soon. Dragons can’t make portals to Amoura, if they want to be able to make it there without waiting every thousand years for the day of reckoning then they need the help from either a spirit or an elemental,” Otto answered once more.

“If elementals can make portals then why the hell haven’t pipsqueak and the ginger twins up and left yet?” Andy asked.

“Again, I am not a pipsqueak,” I protest and Sean puts a hand on my shoulder to stop me from going after Andy.

“And we’re not actual twins, but thanks for the compliment,” Aaron smiled at Andy.

“It’s because they can’t make portals between the realms as of right now,” Uncle answered.

“He’s right, we haven’t been taught how to make them,” Gil added in, “Even though I remember all my past lives it doesn’t mean that I’m ahead of the rest. Skills like creating portals and obtaining my soul weapon all depend on who I am now,” He pushed up his glasses, “Besides, elementals don’t learn how to make portals until they’ve obtained their soul weapon.”

Andy just stared at Gil and blinked slowly with his mouth open slightly, “What the fuck are you talking about? Now there’s past lives involved in this shit? My head is spinning as it is.”

Gil laughed sheepishly and waved his hands in front of him, “Sorry, sorry, I know there’s been a lot of information that’s been thrown at you, I didn’t mean to tack more on top of that.”

“He was just making a point,” I sigh and cross my arms as I tip my head to the side and locking eyes with Andrew, “Ya know, if you were a bit more involved and talked to us more often you would probably know this by now,” I comment and I get smacked in the back of the head. I look at Sean and he just has his resting bitch face plastered on his face.

Uncle chuckled and I looked over at him, “I think I get why you and Andrew don’t get along all that well and are constantly bickering.”

“Why’s that?” Andy and I asked in unison.

“Because, water dragon’s and fire dragons have a natural rivalry with each other. Even though Sasuke is a moon elemental, his base element is fire. The legend behind how fire elementals obtained their element is a human saved a fire dragon from drowning in a river. In order thank the human the fire dragon gave the human the ability to wield fire,” Uncle Chris explained to mostly Andy and he does not look amused.

“That should have nothing ta do with how much this pipsqueak annoys the fuck out of me,” Andrew commented.

“I don’t do anything to try to annoy you so why do you fucking hate me so much?” I asked him.

“No reason,” He grumbled looking away from me. My eye twitches and I clench my fists as I inhale deeply.

“No, there’s a fucking reason and I want to know what the hell it is,” I storm over to him and grabbed his cheeks forcing him to look at me, “You fucking wanted a sparring match with me that turned into you fighting dirty and pulling out a knife. What is it about me that ticks you off so damn much?”

“You fucking want to know why?” He slapped my hand away, “Because you’re a fucking know it all, because you don’t know when to fucking give up, you’re fucking mister perfect, and you fucking take Sean away,” He stood up and got in my face, “It doesn’t matter what the fuck I do, you’re always two steps ahead. Can’t ya just fucking fall off that damn pedestal already and come back down to where the rest of us are. Stop fuckin’ takin’ things so fuckin’ seriously.”

“I’m not on a god damn pedestal, I’m just like everyone else, I make mistakes, I take life in strides. Yes, I know that I can be too fucking serious, I’ve been told that countless times that I need to loosen up. I’m fucking trying, I’ve been trying. When you have so much fucking pressure on you with your father being the headmaster of a huge academy and everyone is expecting you to do great in everything and anything. It’s hard to relax, it’s hard to try to want to me myself, and that goes with being around my friends,” I defend myself.

“My father is the fucking principal of our old high school; I know that pressure damn it.”

“You got away with practically everything.”

“Last time I checked, you got away with a fair bit as well.”

“You tried to fucking drown me you jack ass.”

“You shouldn’t have pissed me off to the point that I had to result to that.”

“You knew I couldn’t swim.”

“Last time I checked ya still can’t.”

I felt a hand on the back of my head and then my forehead collided with Andy’s. I stumbled back and grabbed my forehead and a headache rushed through my skull, “That’s enough from both of you,” Sean snapped and I opened one of my eyes and looked over at him. I didn’t even see Sean move from his spot.

“What the fuck was that for Sean?” Andy snapped at Sean.

“You both said what you needed to say to each other. Both of you have never really gotten along, but you two need to stop with this argument. You both have your flaws, but you both have your strengths too. You’re both my best friends and that will never change. I need you two to stop having such a fucking grudge against each other,” Sean bitched at the two of us.

I hold my forehead as I stare at Sean. Tears blur my vision, “What are you fucking four? Why the fuck are ya crying pipsqueak?” Andy asked me.

Why am I crying? “I’m sorry,” I wipe my eyes, but they just keep coming, “I can’t make them stop. I want to go home; I don’t want this stress. I want Sean to come with me. I don’t want to leave him again. I want to try to be friends with Andrew, but we just fight so much, even when I don’t mean for things to end up as a fight, they just do. I don’t know what to do.”

I felt a hand on my head and someone messing with my hair, I open my eyes long enough to see Sean standing in front of me, “The point of me yelling at the two of you get you two to stop fighting, not to put more stress on you,” Sean looked away from me as I continued to wipe away my tears, “You have to meet Sasuke half way, I don’t want you two fighting all the damn time. You can’t take everything he says as an insult. Most of the time he’s just trying to help with understanding something.”

“Well, maybe if ya didn’t sound so stuck up all the time,” Andy said.

“I do not sound stuck up. News flash, you do too, it comes with the territory of being a child of someone who you don’t want to disappoint.” My voice cracks.

Andy clicked his tongue and looked away from me. I looked down at the ground, “I’m sorry,” I look back up and at Andy, “I’m sorry for being an ass hole to you all these years. I still don’t like you all that much, but I’m willing to try to get to know you better…only because Sean has hounded me enough about it.”

I don’t know what to say…I never thought I would hear sorry ever come out of his mouth, let alone him stating the fact that he’s an ass. “Apology accepted,” Andy looks at me in disbelief, “We’re never going to move on if we don’t accept each other. Even if we argue I don’t want to hate one of Sean’s friends any more. It’s going to take a while and I know it will, but if you’re also willing I know that we can do it.”

“Are you channeling Jason right now Sasuke?” Aaron asked me.

I can’t help but smile at him and roll my eyes, “I can be cheerful and encouraging from time to time.”

“You should try to do it more often,” Gil added in.

Uncle coughed to get our attention, “As we were saying before your quarrel, I’ll give you two days to decide if you’re willing to go to Amoura. Considering you have some dragon in you passing through the portal will not affect you. At least, that’s what I’m assuming.”

“I’ll think about it,” Andy answered, the expression on his face is serious. I wonder if he’s just saying that to make uncle happy or if he is going to think about it. Though, uncle isn’t giving him very long to think about it and come up with an answer.

“Was there any other reason that you wanted us all in your office?” Sean asked.

“Not particularly. At the moment, this is the safest place for Andrew given the fact that we don’t know if the awakening of his dragon half has been detected or not. I would appreciate it if Andrew spent the night at your place Sean. If he’s detected and is a heavy sleeper, he would be dead before he knew it,” Uncle answered.

“I don’t care if he sleeps over,” Sean shrugged putting his hands in his pockets.

“Don’t I get a choice in this?” Andy asked and looked away.

“We have like a monthly sleep over thing anyways so why are you in a huff about this?” Sean asked. They have sleep overs once a month?

“You know I have a hard time when people fucking choose what I do. But fine, I’ll sleep over,” Andy grumbled not too happy.

“Then that’s settled,” Uncle commented, “Tomorrow, both of you are taking the day off tomorrow. No complaining. Otto and myself can take care of Aaron, Gilbert, and Sasuke,” Because that sounds safe…

“It’s really not a big deal for me to come in. I don’t mind,” Sean objected. Seems like he’s against the idea too. Glad I’m not alone with this.

“No, we’ll take care of them,” Uncle said in a more demanding tone ending the conversation right then and there, “Now, with that you’re all free to leave.”

Aaron and Gil stood up off the couch then we followed Sean out of the room after Andy stormed out, “I don’t like the idea of taking the day off,” Sean commented.

“We’ll be alright Sean, don’t worry so much,” Aaron said.

“I swear if they do fucking anything to any of you I’m kicking the shit out of them,” Sean grumbled as he took out the card to the room and swiped the card through the lock.

The three of us all went in and Sean leaned against the door, “You need a day off, though. You look exhausted and I can tell you haven’t been getting much sleep with those bags that are under your eyes,” I mention and he gives me a slight glare.

“I’m fine,” He quickly looks away from me and pushes off the door frame, “I’m going to go get you three food. And see where the hell Andrew ran off to,” With that he turned on his heels and walked away the door closed behind him.

“He’s not okay,” I sigh heavily sitting down on my bed.

“If he wants to talk about it then he’ll talk about it. Let’s not force him if he doesn’t want to,” Gil said pushing up his glasses.

“I know, I know, I have a feeling he’s more worried about Andy right now more than anything else,” I mentioned and rub the back of my neck.

“Mhm, you can tell in his voice and in his facial expressions that he’s worried and he doesn’t want Andy to be alone right now. Let’s be realistic, all of us would be the same way if we just suddenly learned something about ourselves that we never knew.”

“That’s true. The only thing we can do is support Andy the best we can, while keeping our sanity being stuck here,” Gil sighed crossing his arms.

“Ain’t that the truth,” I fall onto my back and stare up at the ceiling. It’s for the best that Sean sticks with Andy right now. It’s more important to make sure that he doesn’t get hurt or hurt himself. I just hope that everything will be okay and that maybe he’ll agree to go to Amoura with us, that way Sean won’t lose one of his best friends.

“I hope that Andy does say yes to coming along,” Aaron spoke up breaking the silence.

“Same,” Gil and I say at the same time. Hopefully, things go smoothly tomorrow, if they go and see Andrew’s parents.

Continue Reading Next Chapter

About Us:

Inkitt is the world’s first reader-powered book publisher, offering an online community for talented authors and book lovers. Write captivating stories, read enchanting novels, and we’ll publish the books you love the most based on crowd wisdom.