220 Days Until Promotion And The Uncertain End (part 3)
They were sitting upon a hill for what was a late lunch and early dinner. Star campus towered above them and above her campus were the monster sky scrapers of Valaria. Star Campus was far different than the main city, Heia realized with their small tour. It was a multitude of school houses, shops, libraries, and homes. It was its own functioning town inside of Valaria proper, and made mostly for the Stars. Their world was green, beautifully constructed, nearly free for them, and ultimately safe. Whatever anger and jealousy Heia had to the Circles of Valaria was minor to the wrath she held towards the Stars.
“You still haven’t heard from him at all?” Karly asked Endwin about Evester who sat close enough to her that if she looked, perhaps she would notice. Heia watched as Evester didn’t even bother to look up as he ate his food. Karly continued. “He put out that strange message. Everyone saw it.”
“He also provided a lot of dates, death tolls, and attack locations.” Endwin answered with a shrug. “But otherwise, no one knows where he is.”
“You have to admit that he was rather hot with his long hair.” Kim cut in with a laugh, to no one in particular. It was to this comment that Evester perked up and Zeydar’s eyes did as well. Kim then added, “And no. I don’t know where he is.”
“Liar.” Endwin glared at her. Heia thought the glare was more playful than true, and his tone more lax than direct. He didn’t care where Evester was, is what he was trying to tell them.
“If I did, do you think I’d break EverDanger code and tell you?” Kim winked. The others all laughed with it not truly knowing what EverDanger code was. Heia knew it now, and knew that Kim never would break code and neither would Endwin, for what it was worth.
“Come with me.” Zeydar’s voice came across the wind in a light whisper, cutting off much of the laughter. Turning, Heia watched as Evester looked to Zeydar who now stood a bit away. When had he gotten up? Heia wondered. Evester then looked to her, with a nod. She was to go with him too, not that it mattered that she hadn’t finished eating yet. Taking her food, she stood ready to go.
“We’ll be back.” Evester spoke as he stood, telling the others who had heard the whisper that it was the moment of truth. They were going to see what “Aether” and Zeydar’s relationship was. Somehow they’d fake it, Heia just wondered how.
“Both of you?” May asked looking to Heia.
“I need the defense.” Evester smiled to her. “I’d rather not get into another screaming fight. I’m not here for that.”
“And you said he wouldn’t remember you.” Hester laughed.
“There is the memory erasure spell. He had threatened it.” Evester shrugged. Heia wasn’t sure why the information sounded so weird coming out of his mouth. His tonal inflection made it seem like something he wasn’t supposed to know? Based on the way that Graceon, Hester, and Endwin were not surprised, Heia figured that it was probably information that high classed Circles knew. Because he was not a high classed circle in this identity, his only way of knowing would be Zeydar. That was why he had used a tone of apprehension. Or perhaps, Evester was just bullshitting again.
May’s eyes narrowed. “Memory spells don’t work on him. You didn’t know that?”
“It wasn’t exactly something we talked about.“ Evester answered, without blinking. Then the acting began, he looked back to Zeydar with a look of indignation, that was there for a second and then dropped away.
“It was something that I only discovered after the collapse of Arcadia.” Zeydar had approached them in the time it took. May’s eyes went wide and then she dropped her gaze. Zeydar put his hand on Evester, and began to pull him away. He was rather impatient, Heia understood. “Now come Aether.”
“Yes. Yes.” Evester groaned and Heia followed after the two of them. Under his breath Zeydar whispered what seemed to be another language. Spells? She had never heard spells being cast before, but she felt it. She felt how the world seemed to grow a little heavier, and the sounds around them grew muffled and then silent. It was as if they were in their own world, and the air felt wrong. Heia wasn’t sure she liked magic before, and then, she was certain there was something wrong with it.
“I’m assuming that if she is here, she knows who you are.” Zeydar spoke without looking to them as they walked a bit further away, but he did let go of Evester.
“We just going to walk and talk?” Evester’s facade had broken away. He, too, knew that whatever spell was cast, was cast for secrecy.
“Sitting is boring, and I’ve been sitting or laying down too long for the last six days.” Zeydar answered.
“Exams?” Evester asked. It was the only answer that they had been given earlier.
“You don’t know the half of it, but yes.” Zeydar’s voice was more chipped, like he was hiding something. Something Heia did not want to ask about.
Apparently, neither did Evester. “What are Superior exams like?”
“Cut the noise Evester Igilistal. Why are you here in Valaria and why are you looking for me?” Zeydar’s words cut into Evester’s smile that struggled to stay up. Zeydar’s eyes bore into Evester for the smallest of moments before he continued leading them away with walking.
“You tell me what Class 1 is first, and then I’ll tell you.” Evester priority list became apparent then to Heia. He wanted as much knowledge on the files as he possibly could, and details he didn’t know. Zeydar had that information.
“For Stars we have five classifications. One is the highest, five is the lowest. Military mages come from all classes, but the higher ranked ones are class 2 and Superiors is a classification reserved for Class 1. All class 1s graduate to become Superiors, for our numbers are so low.”
A society built on the power one was born with innately? How different than her own, Heia realized. How frustrating. They lived secluded in their own world, where their own system, and with the only available magic the world had to offer. No wonder they were so full of themselves. They probably believed the world revolved around them.
“Why are you here?” Zeydar asked again.
“The Yasloughve Project sent me to find you.” Evester said the words that Heia hadn’t accepted the first time he told her.
Zeydar stopped walking, “Are you serious?”
“I disappeared to find Heia. She’s an X from LakeLost.” Evester pointed to Heia. Heia gave Zeydar a nod before she went back to eating. She watched as Zeydar studied her and then looked to Evester once more.
“An X, a Circle, a Star. Why does the Project need us?” Zeydar seemed to believe it a lot faster than she had. Did all CloudCities believe in the Project so fully? Hadn’t they been the ones to take it down?
“You believe me?” Evester was surprised as well.
“The Towers fell. Aralax came. The Catastrophe was predicted and we did not heed the warning.” Zeydar shrugged. “The Uncertain End is coming, was what your father left us with when he disappeared and you did. He’s assumed to be dead, but not you. You weren’t at the house when the attack went down. You were at a party and there are hundreds of eye witnesses to that, as well as cameras, and footage showing you going home. But then you disappeared at home.”
“Didn’t know, you kept tabs on me.” Evester seemed more worried than anything else. There was a connection between them that seemed to span more than just EverDanger fame. Zeydar had recognized Evester when most of the world could not. Why?
“I didn’t, but after the collapse of Arcadia, I was searching for answers and your disappearance seemed like you were on a path to figure out how to solve this issue. An open safe that had your finger prints, but had not been found in the initial investigations? You had something and it is that something they are searching for.” Zeydar looked Evester in the eyes. It had to be Evester’s eyes or perhaps a magic signature that Zeydar recognized? But would that not meant they met in the past? When, Heia wondered.
“The way to save our people. The Space Program.” Evester gave the confirmation that he had the secret information.
“The Space program?” Zeydar’s breath seemed rushed when he said the words, as if they held far more impact than they should.
“We can’t save the planet. But we can save our people by evacuating and protecting everyone until that evacuation can be completed.” Heia wasn’t sure Evester noticed the hitch in Zeydar’s composure, with his further words.
“An X, a Circle, and a Star. You because your father had the notes, and your mother is in charge of the Council. An X to help convince the X’s to trust us in everything we have done to them and a Star, class 1 and a Superior, who can push the Superiors to help protect in the evacuation as well as… Interesting.” He seemed to have more information than either of them and in his logic their purpose made sense. In a world where Heia actually was a good public speaker or could convince anyone to trust her, perhaps it did make sense. She’d failed at home when her gut told her otherwise. How was she supposed to convince billions of X’s to trust those who had dominated them for years?
“We still need to find my father to get all the details.” Evester went on.
“You know where he is?”
“Unfortunate. Well I will do what I can to help, but I’m not going to leave Valaria with you, or what ever it is you have planned.” Zeydar continued walking. “As a Superior, I have a duty to my people.”
Heia saw Evester’s smile drop. Whatever pleasantries and willful ignorance Evester was clinging to, dropped like flies. His fury was abundant, from the thousands of questions that he had not gotten answers to. From the hundreds of secrets that Zeydar had. They still, did not know how Zeydar had seen through the disguise or how Zeydar knew Evester. Evester’s voice came out harsh. “You don’t get a choice. We have to do this to save the world.”
Zeydar turned back to him with a bright smile and a taunting laugh, “As if you actually believe in saving the world.”