Chapter 7-The fated beginning
I wake up at 8:03 and laze around in the bed for the next 10 minutes. Slowly, I manage to crawl out of the bed and go to the bathroom to freshen up. If my mother was here, she would be shocked for sure. She knows how lazy I am. To be able to get up at 8:00 on the day I don’t have college is an achievement for me. I mentally praise myself for getting up at 8.
But to tell you the truth, I know that I would be up early. I can never get proper sleep when I am at a place I don’t feel comfortable about. I am not used to this place. I woke up many times during the whole night. I can be a light sleeper when I want to be.
After freshening up, I take out black jeans, a white top, and a black leather jacket from the wardrobe. While I am in the middle of tying laces of black ankle boots, someone knocks on the door.
Knowing who it is, I don’t mind checking and directly open the door. On opening the door, I see a familiar face just like I expected, “What is your answer?” says Ada.
I raise my eyebrows at her eagerness. She went straight to the point. She even came here early in the morning just to get my answer. Is the answer that important? Deciding not to make her wait anymore, I give her my answer without any delays.
“Yes, I am willing to stay. But I want to know something.”
“And what that would be?”
“How will you take care of my family? It will be not easy to convince them. I want to stay here but I also don’t want them to be worried. How will you handle it?”
“Let me take care of that, I will make sure that they will not be worried. In fact, I have already made arrangements. I will also give them a weekly report about you if they want me to. Now, should we go?”
“Yes,” She gives me a wrinkled smile. But her expression is telling me that she knew I would accept her offer from the start. She turns around to lead the way and I follow her. In the middle of our journey, I decided to ask her a question I have been wondering about for a while, “Is my answer very important for you?” She has been very eager for my answer from the start.
Her steps falter for a second but she managed to keep her pace, “...yes, it is important.”
“...You need to find out about that on your own,” She pauses for few seconds before continuing, “We are going to the examination room to get a report on your physical training. Others have already arrived, we should hurry up.” Ada tells me as we step on the elevator.
The elevator opens with a ding and Ada leads me to the double door at the end of the corridor. She pushes opens the door to the examination room and lets me in first. The first thing that I take notice of after entering the room is the abundance of hi-tech equipment. It has various types of instruments and machines. What are they even for? It is not an examination room it is more like a laboratory. The more I look at those instruments, the scarier it gets. I should stop looking at them imagining stupid and weird things. My imagination is running wild again.
On looking around the room, I find some people are already in the room. Two girls and three boys are at one corner of the room. Girls are twins and one boy has blonde hair, the other has strawberry blond hair and one standing in the corner has black hair. They must be the new members. I am not planning to join them, I never mix well with a crowd.
But who would have thought that they would come forward to introduce themselves? The twins are the first ones to come forward and introduce themselves, “I am Mariah and this is my twin sister Sarah.” I didn’t understand who is who so I only nod at them and introduce myself. “Hello, I am Nadya”
Seeing girls introducing themselves, boys also come forward to do the introduction. As soon as the introduction is done, we all hear a shout, “Okay, guys, listen to me”.
We turn to look at the bald man who is calling us. He is wearing a lab coat, he is the one who will conduct the tests. He sees that he has gained our attention so he starts explaining about tests he will be conducting on us. Ada stands by his side throughout the lecture.
Halfway through I lose interest and start taking interest in other things. I can’t even understand what he is telling. Just conduct the tests, what I will do after understanding these tests? It’s not like it will be any of my use. Till the end of his speech, I focus on our surroundings rather than his words. They make us sit on the chairs outside the room and we are called inside one by one.
Each one of us has to through the tests for an hour. I was the second last one. We were not allowed to eat anything before the tests. Ada gave us a short break of half an hour to have our lunch. After the physical tests are completed and the short break, we were called to another room to give a short interview. Cai and Ada asked me five questions before letting me off.
By the time the tests and interview are done, it is already 8:30 pm.
Once the tests are completed, we all gather in the hall on the third floor, Ada comes back to address us. She looks at each one of us before saying, “The test and interview are over. In fact, we had already decided on your duo before you all came here but we wanted to make sure that our choice is right so we conducted a short interview again. And I am happy to inform you that I am not disappointed. We have finalized your duos. You all can proceed to the auditorium. The welcoming ceremony will be starting soon.”
Ada leads us to the auditorium. I enter the auditorium, which has 1000 seats attached to the ground. The auditorium is made in a slop-like manner with the stage at the end of the slope, I am standing at the top of the slope. It allows everyone to look at the stage without any difficulty. Red velvet curtains are on both sides of the furnished stage.
Mariah, Sarah, and other new members are sitting together in the middle row but I take a seat in the back row. I feel more comfortable here. I inspect my surroundings, almost all of the seats are already occupied, there is noise all around the auditorium because of the constant chattering and whispering of the people.
I lean back on my cushion seat and observe Ada who is talking to staff near the stage. When she notices my gaze, she sends a smile my way before going back to talking. She looks happy, I wonder why?
While I was busy observing Ada, I didn’t notice when but Liana, Alva, and Elodie have already taken seats beside me by the time I notice them. “When did you....” I trail off. Liana is on my left and Alva is on the right. Elodie is sitting beside Liana. Are they too good at doing things without getting noticed or I was too immersed in observing Ada?
Alva notices that I am looking at them so starts the conversation, “We wanted to give you some company, you were sitting alone away from other new members. By the way, why are you sitting alone?”
“I didn’t want to sit with them.”
“Oh. Anyways, I knew you would join us. So, who is your duo? Did they tell you?” Alva says excitedly.
“No, they will announce it directly at the ceremony.”
“I see, I was hoping to become teammates. I will be glad to have a new friend and someone I know. I don’t want to be with strangers.....” While Alva tells me about what she wants in her sequence, a girl takes a seat beside Alva. I give our new companion a quick glance. This must be Alva’s duo, Natasha. Alva told me about her yesterday. They look comfortable around each other.
Soon the door of the auditorium is closed and the lights are dimmed. Most of the people are seated but some are standing on the sides due to lack of seats. Cai is the one who takes the stage. As soon as he glances around the auditorium, the chattering and whispering noises die on their own. He must be a strict one to get such an extreme reaction.
He gives a short introduction before telling them about new members. He gives a very short introduction about all of us, he ends it by telling them how happy he is to receive new members. Once he is done, Cai hands over the mike to Ada and she starts calling out the names of the new members without any further ado. She calls out every new member’s duo, sequence, and power type, followed by a short introduction.
One by one she calls out all the new member names followed by their partner names, I patiently wait for my turn. I am kind of nervous and excited on the inside. They didn’t even reveal my duo’s name. I wonder who would it be? Would it be a girl or a boy? I do hope it’s a girl.
As new members are called on the stage, we all give them applause to welcome them so I follow suit. When will they call me my name? Just then I hear my name,
“Nadya, sequence 13, power-fire type and partner......Prince Ryouhei De Val Fransich.”
As soon as the name of my duo is out of her mouth, I press my lips together to not let out a snicker. What was that name? Prince what? I have never heard such a name. It is a weird yet cool name but it’s too long for me to even remember. If I am not wrong, the name ‘Ryouhei’ is Japanese. My reaction changes instantly when I notice the reaction of people around me. The whispers are growing louder and louder, and there is no clapping sound this time. Why are they so shocked that they forget to even clap? What is going on? Even Alva, Elodie, and Liana are looking shocked.
Though I am curious to find out the source of their reaction, I can’t hold Ada off for long. Slowly and hesitantly, I get up from my seat and get out of the row. All the eyes turn to me when they see me coming out of the row, they must have figured out that I am the one who is being called on the stage. I ignore the eyes of the audience and start walking towards the stage. Everyone’s reaction is confusing me.
I climb the stairs of the stage and stand beside Adrian. I throw a glance around the auditorium to see who will stand up to take their place beside me but no one is getting up. Why is no one getting up? Is my duo not in the audience or he is not getting up intentionally? I decide to wait for another one minute and if he doesn’t come by that time then I will not look for him.
Ada doesn’t wait, not minding the whispering which is still going on, she calls out the name of the next member.
Suddenly, I hear the sound of light footsteps on my right before he comes to standstill. I don’t turn around to look right away. It’s him? Is it my duo? I think it’s him. He must be in backstage, that’s why I never spotted him. Slowly, the whispers in the auditorium die down as well. Almost everyone is looking right behind me, no one is even paying to names that are being called out. Seeing this type of reaction after the entrance of my duo arouses my curiosity.
At last, I turn to look at my duo. My eyes widen due to shock, my beating heart gets faster and my mind goes blank. I freeze at my spot. Why? Why is it him? I don’t know what to think of him. I take in a shaky breath and look at his face side profile before taking another look at him from head to toe. I may have forgotten his face but how can I forget his attraction, connection, and aura. How can I forget those feelings I felt when I saw him for the first time?
But this time he is real, it is not a part of my dream. So he was not a product of my imagination nor he was not someone who I was on the streets, he was a real person. Someone who actually exists.
And at last...he is here. He is here in front of me.
I wanted to meet him ever since I saw him in my dreams. I knew I will meet him once in my life but I didn’t know when. And now it is happening, after two years.... In fact, I did not recognize him at first but I am unequivocal that he is the one I saw in my dream.
While I am still looking at him, all of a sudden he also turns to look at me, he must have felt my stare.
Our eyes meet for the first time in real life. His eyes widen a little as well, his response is very much similar to mine. Why is he shocked to see me? His eyes wander around my face before stopping at my eyes. He keeps eye contact as I notice his eyes becoming abstruse. What is he thinking now?
We both keep eye contact for few seconds at most but strangely it feels like hours have passed.
At this moment I don’t care about being seen by hundreds of people. I don’t care if we both are at the stage. I open my mouth to say something but nothing comes out of my mouth. I don’t even have anything to say. What should I say, ‘hi’? Would such a greeting be okay? It’s not like we know each other, I have only seen him once in a dream.
We both flinch when we hear Ada’s voice. We both turn to look at Ada. I notice she is congratulating us. I didn’t even notice her, from when was she calling us? I give her a polite smile in return. I didn’t hear what she said before so all I could do is to smile at her. Satisfied with my reaction, Ada looks at Ryou. I couldn’t see the reaction of Ryou because he is standing behind me. But I think he gave her a nod.
I am planning to call him Ryou. Ryouhei as a name is too long and complicated for me. I thought of calling him the prince but I soon dropped the idea. That is weird and strange. I don’t even know if he is a prince in real life or his name is ‘prince’. But if I take in the long formal name and the reaction I got from the audience. I think he is a real one.
He is a prince. And it also means the person I saw in my dream was actually royalty. Somehow everything is difficult to believe.