The Last Guardian | Darkling Academy

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chapter four | the tall lady

Warmth covers me as faint whispers break through my foggy mind. Their words fall in and out of hearing as the steps repeat back and forth from where I am. I try to swallow the ghastly taste from my mouth but wince as my dry throat pleads for moisture.

Why is my mouth so dry? And why do I feel so numb? Every single one of my limps feel as if they aren’t even mine, but that of stone.

I inch my heavy eyelids open but groan as a bright blinding light assaults my watery eyes. I pull a numb arm up to my face, shielding myself from it.

“Maria, she’s awake.”

My breath gets stuck in the back of my parched throat. Why does that name sound so familiar?

“Good. Miss Jenereth, close those blinds on your way out.” a feminine voice commands with a thick Russian accent. Metal scraping against wood echoes around the room and then a few moments later a door being shut lightly.

A few moments pass before the lady with the Russian accent, Maria, says something.

“So, Miss Mikkelsen, how are you feeling?”

The voice is closer this time. I push my hands against the firm yet soft thing that I’m laying on and pull myself up into a sitting position. And then pull myself backwards until I fill something solid against my back. It’s not easy doing that when your body feels as though it’s solid stone, though.

“I can see that the Vamdrikes venom still hasn’t worn completely off yet. Just give it a few minutes and it should be gone.”

Panic founds my system. What the hell is a Vamdrike and when did it poison me? My mind goes back to the last thing I remember, which was being attacked. She must have injected me with it, but why did she attack me from behind like that? It was almost...animalistic.

I take in a deep breath as I try to calm my racing heart. Panicking isn’t going to help me right now, I need to have a clear mind to figure out where I am and how I’m going to get out of here.

Opening my eyes, the first thing I notice is the mattress that I’m sitting on. I move my fingertips faintly against the maroon silk sheets. Well, I’m definitely not at home, or even in Danforth. Everyone would know if someone in our small suburb owned something as expensive as these. You’d hear them bragging about it none stop.

My eyes travel across the rest of the massive room to find more expensive objects. Yeah, I’m definitely not in my hometown anymore.

The wooden floor glistens in the rooms duel light and the large raven coloured lounge on the other side of the room looks like it comes from somewhere of royalty. Numerous pricy items and artefacts that seem like they belong in a museum cover different spots of the spaced-out room. My eyes roam the space until the outline of a person comes into view right beside the bed.

My eyes widen as the women in front of me stares down at me, emotionlessly.

So that’s why her name sounded familiar. “I’m guessing you remember me?” Maria Novikov asks.

She looks different from the last time I saw her at the psych ward. Her wispy raven hair is now tightly pulled up into a slick high ponytail that highlights her high cheekbones and defined jawline. She’s also taller than I thought she would be. If I were to stand next to her, I’d probably only come up to her shoulders and given the fact that I’m taller than the average person, that’s pretty impressive.

She honestly looks like she belongs on the runway as one of those models. Although, that doesn’t take away from the fact that she still looks deadly, she just looks like a different kind of dangerous this time.

Maria arches a perfectly plucked brow as her piercing light green eyes stare me down, waiting for me to answer. I swallow again, forgetting that my throat is currently deprived of any form of moisture and as dry as my mom’s scones are.

She must notice because she precedes to say, “right, you must be parched.”

She extends her long slender arm out towards the bedside draw beside me and picks up a golden, elegant jug, and then the small round teacup beside it.

She pours the water into it and hands it down to me. Cautiously, I reach out my hand and take the cup from her. I bring the white cup with a gold stripe around the rip to my lips and down the water as maria puts her hands behind her back and processed to say.

“He should be here soon.”

My eyes snap away from the bottom of the cup and gap at her striking features as panic raises in me. Who is he and why does he need to be here? Just as my grip tightens around the dainty cup, I hear a door creak open from behind Maria. The tall lady tilts her head and glances behind herself and proceeds to step to the side, letting me see who ‘he’ is. Maria swiftly gestures towards the person with her hand.

“Hayden, let me introduce you to Mr Miradithas, the Principal of Darkling Academy.”

Their light brown shoes clacked softly against the polished floorboards as he walks up beside Maria. His dark brown eyes stare me down as I sit on the bed.

“I’m going to take a wild guess and presume you have quite a few questions, Miss Mikkelsen?” he says as he perks his thick brows upwards.

I nod my head faintly, not knowing what else to do. His full lips tug upwards as his glossy waves sway gently against the top of his broad shoulders.

“Well, we won’t get into that right now. We’d like to get you settled in here first before we unload all of that onto you, but if you would like anything answered in the meantime, you are more than welcome to ask your roommate, Bai.”

Bai? Roommate? Where did they even get the idea I wanted to stay here? Because as soon as I can I’m going back home...whichever way home is.

Mr Miradithas walks towards the nightstand next to my bed and pulls a single piece of paper and a glossy black pen out of the draw. With the paper slipped between two of his fingers, he tilts the paper so I can see it. My eyes glance between him the paper before I read what is written on the page.

I,_____________ , am a student at Darkling Academy.

“You don’t have to sign it right now, or ever, if you do choose to not attend our academy. But we do hope you choose, correctly.” Mr Miradithas says with a smile that would usually seem warm if it weren’t for the coldness of his eyes.

“You will also be given some time to mull it over, but you will only until midnight tonight before you must choose,” Maria says, not even trying to hide the threatening tone like the man beside her was.

I swallow and nod my head in a leisurely motion as my mind goes blank.

“We shall leave you now, but your roommate will be here at midnight tonight to bring you to my office.”
They both stride towards the door but Mr Miradithas turns around to face me again before leaving.

“We do hope you make the right choice, Miss Mikkelsen,” he says.

They walk out of the room and softly close the door behind them. All you can hear now is my heavy breathing echo throughout the room as my mind panics for an answer on how to get out of this place.

They did say I could choose to leave this place, but will they actually let me go home?

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