220 Days Until Promotion And the Uncertain End (part 5)
Heia was at a loss of words trying to understand what Zeydar meant by ‘he couldn’t because of his oath.’ He could tell from the blankness in her eyes and the way her mouth quivered for the smallest of moments. However, she too knew that she was too easy to read and hardened her expression in seconds, to guard herself from him. Zeydar thought of how oddly endearing it was. Was her honesty from having to grow up in a world that he’d never know? Her expressions bled her truth at all times, and he appreciated it. Even her voice told him of her deeper thoughts. “Magic?”
“In theory the oath keeps me to the orders of the Superiors as a whole.” Zeydar answered with the only answer he had come up with in the hours since he had sworn the oath. He could still feel the swell of the magic in his body. A taint to it, that he could not name, was ever present. He needed to look more into it.
“If they told you to stop us?” Evester asked seeming to understand that the magic was what stopped Zeydar.
“I would have to, by my oath. That’s why I will never tell anyone who you are.” And while it was true, that he felt the magic would control him, Zeydar knew the control was placed for different reasons than he was implying. Zeydar also didn’t want to be away from Sweet Dreams for too long. He had magic that needed to be controlled and until he had read enough in the texts, he would not be able to trust himself off of it.
“Is there a way to break it?” Evester pressed on.
“Maybe…” In all honesty Zeydar wasn’t sure if the oath was going to keep him beholden. He had felt some magic tie him to the tablet, but he felt as if that tie he could easily break or overpower if he so wanted to, with enough time and control over his magic. At least… at the time of the oath he had, now he felt more restrained by it. Perhaps it would be easy to break once he was without the Dreams. He’d need to read about it and study his own magic to be sure. “I need to go through the texts to understand it more. Now that I’m a Superior, I have more access to all.”
Evester’s expression darkened and pride swelled within Zeydar, a sick pleasure from the fact. Evester had needed him and in the event that the Superiors backstabbed him, he had a fall back plan. Everything was working out for Zeydar for once, and it was a beautiful feeling, the pleasure of being correct and having control. It was a wonderful day indeed.
“We don’t have time. Can we break it?” Evester’s impatience, however, was beginning to goad at Zeydar.
“Time? If we break it, then all the Superiors are free to do what they want.” Zeydar lied insead.
“We don’t want that?” Heia asked instead of Evester, who was at a loss for words in his anger.
“We never want that.” Zeydar wasn’t sure if the other Superiors were beholden to the same oath as he was, and if they were — if this were not some sort of magic placed on only him to control him, but rather on all Superiors — then to break free, would be chaos. Zeydar directed his next question to Evester, needing more details on Evester’s unease. “What time?”
“Two hundred twenty days until the Uncertain End.” Evester reported the date with slick words that hung in the air like a death threat.
“So soon?” The number startled Zeydar. Why hadn’t Evester told anyone? Then Zeydar remembered that the Superiors were on their way to trying to leave on their own, with a deadline things would not turn out well. The Project had known all, and it must have known that too. Or perhaps Evester’s father and mother had suspected it.
A star, a circle, and an X, Zeydar thought of once more. An odd combination that made sense in practice, for uniting their people. Yet Zeydar knew it was not just by title either. Zeydar was a true Star at Class Zero. Heia had no trace of magic making her a true X and Evester had a trace making him a true Circle. True to their markings, true to their people, and united by the Project. “Will we make it in time?”
“We have to.” Evester answered. “Which is why we need you to come with us. The Project says so.”
“What else does the Project say?” Zeydar had not felt nervous before, but now Evester’s anxiety bled into him. There was more to it than just the end of the world.
“That in less than twenty days Valaria will fall.” This news seemed to catch Heia off guard, and left Zeydar with a sinking feeling in his stomach. The last time a Tower had fallen. Memories bubbled in his mind of things best forgotten. Zeydar’s breath quickened as he banished the thoughts trying to focus on the moment at hand, and Dreams. He’d have more Dreams soon, and all the bad thoughts would go away.
“Why don’t you ever tell us these things?” Heia snapped.
“My brother, sister, and mother know. They are going to begin evacuation protocols as soon as possible.” Evester’s answer was good for Zeydar but not good enough for Heia. However, then came the ultimatum. “We have to be gone before it begins.”
“Where will they go?” Heia ignored the end statement and focused on the people. There were millions of people in the Tower and CloudCity.
“We don’t know yet but they are working on it. Evacuation of the Towers begins soon, my mother said.” Evester answered her.
“Weren’t you supposed to let the council know of all of these?”
“I told them of the Aralax attacks. This is not an Aralax attack it is something else.”
“Can we stop it?” Heia asked. “This is far too many people to displace.”
“We have to save my father, and finish the Space Program. I’ve given the evacuation notification.” Evester disagreed.
“The last time your father did, no one listened. After that, no one listened. No one has been listening. The only reason they came to LakeLost was for you, Evester.” Heia snapped. “We need to prove the Yasloughve Project needs to be listened to.”
Evester’s expression stiffened. “We…”
They were left in a stunned silence as Heia’s words hung over them. Her truth was the truth Evester had been avoiding.
“Twenty days I can look into how to break free from the control.” Zeydar cut in. He would not see another Tower fall. Not if he could stop it. He had to stop this, so he lied. He lied that he would have enough time to break free. Perhaps it wasn’t so much of a lie, as it was a gross estimation of time. He could do it fast, if he had unlimited access. Zeydar, however, knew the Superiors. He would not have unlimited access freely without them watching. Additionally, twenty days was not enough for him to control his chaotic magic. Yet, the lie would let them leave him and he’d figure out some excuse for why he would have to stay.
“You only need twenty days?” Evester asked, eyeing Zeydar, as if he knew the lie in Zeydar’s words.
“Maybe. I have an idea of where to look.” Zeydar answered. Evester looked him over with a cold and indifferent look, guarding himself from Zeydar’s eyes. Zeydar directed him, instead. “Prove the project is real, reveal yourself, and then disappear again. Wouldn’t that be the best action?”
Zeydar had to hope that what he knew about Evester was true. That he was an adrenaline junkie as Zeydar was addicted to Sweet Dreams.
“We should head back to your birthday part Zeydar.” Evester walked on ahead. “You have twenty days.”
Zeydar saw as Heia’s expression softened and relaxed. She’d make sure Evester kept his word. Now Zeydar needed to think of another excuse with the time he was given. The three returned back to everyone else and Zeydar dropped his secrecy barriers as they did.
“How did it go?” Kim smirked.
“Zeydar and I have decided to try go two at our relationship.” Evester blatantly lied with a bright smile. Zeydar stopped walking with the words and felt a cool chill run down his spine. Evester was about to do something reckless. “As a Superior he can leave campus and we are going to try to catch up.”
Trying to keep himself from reacting, Zeydar mentally cursed Evester. What was he trying to do? Force them to see each other? The lie of their relationship… He should have spoken first and came up with an excuse to be amicable to each other, not a second relationship.
“Much to talk about?” Kim looked between the two of them, interested.
“All sorts of things, and we need to plan how a relationship between a Circle and Star will work.” Evester went on and Zeydar noticed how May’s expression darkened with Evester’s words.
“Ah. Yes. That is difficult. Much to decide and plan.” Heia agreed having caught on that Evester was making this excuse for Zeydar to get off campus and for them to speak about the Project and how to help everyone at the same time. Zeydar was at a loss for words as the two took seats to continue their lunches. With a split second hesitation, Zeydar went to sit next to Evester.
“Pamper me for my birthday.” He leaned close to Evester and then whispered. “You will pay for this lie.”
“Spoilt.” Evester laughed with the hint of actual flirting with the words. Zeydar would not fall for it. Evester smiled to Zeydar who leaned back, their eyes holding on to each other in a dare. In the thin of the air, Zeydar remembered the song from years ago that had held them in a similar trance.
Zeydar smiled back.