Part 1: Chapter 19
I had no idea how to go about this. What was I supposed to say to get the orb to fill me with the memories that abandoned me? It lay on the table in front of me. I sat opposite the thing, on the couch facing the windows, staring at it. For some reason, I was extremely frightened by the orb; more accurately, what was inside the orb. I knew that I had put some of my memories if not all of them in there, and now I was facing the inevitable. I had to know. I needed to know who I was.
Sighing, I picked up the globe. I pulled it to my heart and cradled it in both hands. I waited for the images to flow, hoping that I wouldn’t be scared of what I saw.
I saw myself holding the orb and speaking the phrase or the incantation. I remembered why I did it. I wanted to become Mallie, of the Night class. But I couldn’t do it with my current memories intact. So I summoned the essences within the globe to cleanse my mind of everything that was holding me back. It had done what I had asked it to. The orb wiped my mind clear, making me a blank slate. It made me into Mallie, of the Night class, because that’s who I woke up as. But I was someone else as well. And I needed to know who that someone was.
Even though I saw what was happening in my mind, I felt tears fall down my face.
“Who am I?” I whispered to the orb.
The air shifted around me. I saw myself standing upon the archery grounds. It was daylight, and I was firing arrows into targets at over five thousand feet away. I would aim and shoot. One of the Shapers near me would run out to check where it landed. They always returned with the small target, an apple or a pear, that was hidden around the countryside.
The scene changed. I was standing upon the western grassland, performing exercises with the Shapers. I stood at the front of everyone. I knew all the movements by heart. I performed them with quickness and grace. I was perfect in comparison to them all. Soon, we were sparring with each other, but I dodged everyone that attacked me. I swiftly stepped out of the way, ducked at the precise moment, and even jumped up to do a flip in the air before I landed without a sound several feet away from oncoming enemies.
The scene changed. I was down by the riverbank, alone, using Air magic. I made the currents swell around me. I sent them to break trees in half. I caused the water from the river to swell up forming a majestic fountain of rain that fell around me, but didn’t touch my skin. I caused the clouds to roll away or form up in front of me. I used the Air magic so I could float up and pass my hands through the cotton-like forms.
The scene changed. I was alone on the grassland, facing the Moon Shrine. Several animals stood with me. A white panther was on my left, a black one on my right. We crept forward before the Shapers charged towards the Shrine. I stayed back to watch them and fire arrows at my targets.
The scene changed. I was walking down the main hall, in a school uniform. Only my crest was different. There was a sun on it, no crescent. Daylight streamed in, highlighting my features. I glowed, literally. A girl walked up to me. She turned and put her arm around my shoulders, smiling. I recognized her as Mirabella.
I didn’t understand. We were friends once.
We both walked in step down the hall. Together, we looked liked the queens of a great empire. We ruled the hallway. The other students parted before us and bowed their heads to me in respect.
Caiden appeared next to us. Mirabella reached up to kiss his cheek. Caiden kissed her back on the cheek, smiling at her affectionately. I was smiling at him, with a faint glint of tease in my eyes. He reached me and tried to kiss me on the mouth, but I broke apart from him, turned around in the hallway, and flounced away, leaving him to stare longingly at my back.
Conversation began to reach my ears now.
“What are you going to do today?” Mirabella asked me.
“I thought about skipping again. Mother asked me to try to stay in class, but she hinted to me about how I should seek other forms of education. I can’t help that I know everything there is to learn about Shapers.” I sat comfortably down upon an oversized couch in the meeting area of the Day dorm. The room contrasted from the Night class area; it was filled with red and gold where the Night dorm sported darker colors.
Mirabella took the seat opposite me. “I have an idea. But…” she giggled mid-sentence, “you might think it crude and unbecoming.” She smiled at me.
I eyed her. “What is it?”
“Think of it like a dare,” she teased.
“You dare me to what?” I asked, piqued by her sentence.
“You should become a Night student,” she snickered.
The smile disappeared off my face. At first, I looked disgusted. But before too long, my features twisted into a deep look of thought.
Caiden approached us and sat beside me. He reached over to stroke my neck, but I caught his hand and swatted him away. He stared over at Mirabella. “What did you say to her?” he asked.
“I only told her my idea regarding her extracurricular activities.” She was eyeing Caiden with an eyebrow raised.
“Oh, what did you suggest this time?” he asked, clearly unimpressed.
I shifted my body so I could stare at him eagerly. He met my eyes. I had his attention. “I’m going to join the Night class.”
Caiden’s eyes went wide with shock. He was upset with me. He glanced over at Mirabella, fury swelling in his eyes. “You actually told that to her?”
She looked taken aback. “What? It was your idea, if you remember? Besides, it’ll add some spice to your love life.” She laughed and tossed her golden hair.
He glanced back at me. “You can’t be serious. I’m not even allowed in that part of the school! How do you expect me to go along with this?”
“Oh stop it, Caiden,” I told him. “It’ll be extra fun. I mean, can you imagine how many rules I’m going to break? How many you’ll break for me?” I reached up with my fingers to trace the hairline around the side of his face down to his ear and then I stopped before I reached his neck.
I knew I hit a soft spot, because his eyes glazed over as soon as my skin touched his. He swallowed before he said anything. “Even so, I won’t be in any of your classes. I won’t see you at all, except during the day.”
He still tried to argue my decision with me. “Well, I think some time apart will do us some good. Besides, you’ll want to be nearer to me more. I think it’s worth the effort.”
He caved as he stared into my eyes. I had him hooked. He wanted to share in this adventure with me. I smiled and stared at Mirabella. “It’s settled then. I’ll just go have a talk with the Headmistress.” I was satisfied. I was going to become a Night class member.
The scene shifted again. This time I was standing in my current dorm. Caiden was in there with me. I was wearing one of the Night class uniforms. I looked upset and he was trying to calm me down.
“How am I supposed to do this every day?” I picked up a glass figurine and hurled it across the room. It shattered into a million pieces.
“I think that’s why it’s called a challenge,” Caiden calmly responded to my fierce question.
“I can’t do this. I can’t pretend to be Trayen and Isla’s friends. They’re so mediocre. All they do is blab about mundane topics. They have no sense of self-awareness. Isla’s style is blech.” I made a disgusting noise. “Trayen is so shy. He doesn’t ever speak up for himself. I always have to come to his rescue. No wonder they’re the scum of the Night class. I’ll be amazed if they even graduate at the rate they’re going.”
Caiden stood silent and still as I let all my frustration out.
“I can’t even do some of the stuff they want me to do. Use Earth magic to cloak myself; I can do that without it. Air magic, the form of magic I’ve been gifted with, I have to hold back and not go too far, just to make it look like I’m insufficient and ignorant and incapable. I can get away with History easily. I already know it! No wonder I’m the top of the class in there. I fall asleep all the time because I’m bored. I can’t do archery, the one thing I excel in, and so now I’m stuck with using a silly sword. I hate swords!” I picked up another glass figurine of a cat and threw it to the floor. That one shattered as well.
Caiden frowned, but he didn’t move.
The other me paused and tapped her foot. “If I’m going to do this right, I’ll have to use a memory charm. That’s the only way. I need to wipe my mind clear of all this pettiness. I need to forget stuff. Maybe I can store my anger in it.”
“Did you ask Branella for the memory book?” Caiden asked me.
I shot my angry eyes in his direction. “Yes, and she denied it to me. She said it wasn’t what I was looking for.” I sighed, getting control of myself once more.
Caiden knew that I was calming down again. He came over to me and pulled me into his arms.
I still pouted, clearly wanting more attention from him.
He reached down and tried to kiss me, but I pulled myself out of his arms and flounced off.
He stopped following me.
I halted in the doorway to my bedroom and stared at him lovingly. “Coming to bed, sweetie?” I asked in a sultry voice. I was unbuttoning the cardigan I wore slowly while my eyes raked his body.
Caiden stared straight at me, a smile beginning to form on his lips. I smiled wickedly and disappeared in a flash. He followed after me.
The scene changed again.
This time I was standing before the Shrine of Essence on the northern boundary of the Arena. I recognized this landmark, having passed it several times since I awoke with amnesia. No one ever stood Guard here, because all of the school watched it at all hours of the day, even if it was a fake Shrine. I was hidden in an alcove, as I sneaked across the short trip to the door. It swung open when I touched it.
Inside, resting on a velvet cushion was a glowing orb of green and white. I reached down and picked it up, holding it to myself. I smiled, happy that I found what I was seeking. I tucked the orb into the bag I carried, and I deposited a fake orb back into its resting place. Satisfied, I left the Shrine. No one noticed me coming or leaving.
The scenes disappeared and I was sitting on the couch in my dorm once more. The orb was still in my hand. The memories were gone, but they lingered on the edge of my mind.