Chapter 2: The Golden Crest (1)
In the middle of the same night, I couldn’t find sleep. The rain outside has been falling heavily while I stared at the broken ceiling in my room; watching the cracks above as the waters dripped from them.
I like the rain. I like the tranquil feeling it produces. It’s as if time has stopped and you could hear nothing but only its sound.
However, that night, no matter how hard I tried to sleep, I couldn’t. It’s as if my mind was warning me about something.
It’s already past midnight when I realized my eyes were gradually dropping. I knew I was already on the verge of falling asleep but was jolted up when I felt someone coming to my house. This was not just someone passing through but coming straight to my door.
I opened my eyes and waited. I could feel the footsteps getting nearer in my front yard. I noticed that he’s in haste; I felt him panting, like he had run a long distance. I only sighed in relief when I felt the person was someone familiar. My danger reflexes instantly calmed down the moment I realized who it was.
I got up from my bed and wore my old coat hanging by the wall. What is he doing here at this hour? Does he not realize how dangerous it is outside on this weather? I walked to the miserable living room where any kind of property was barely visible. I sold the little numbers of it when I needed money in the past.
“Lucas, what the hell?”
I greeted him the moment I opened the door. He was in the midst of knocking so he got shock to see me in front of him already. I examined him from head to toe. He was so drenched and his face―
“What’s going on?”
I immediately asked upon seeing his expression. A mixture of intense fear and anxiety were written on his face and if not for the rain, I would think that it was tears flowing from his eyes.
His voice trembled. I’ve never seen him this scared.
“What? Tell me what happened?!” I demanded.
I started to feel nervous. I hope I can read his mind because I really don’t like what I am seeing now. Instead of answering, he pulled me inside the living room and sat on the only couch there that was almost covered in dust. He rested both his elbows on his knees while his hands were on his face.
“Shia…” he repeated.
That moment, I really wanted to hit him back to his senses. I was about to do so when he fished something out from his pocket. He put a shiny thing on the table and my eyes opened wider when I realized what it was.
“Shit.” I gasped.
“Why is that thing with you, Lucas?” I stepped back in disbelief. “Why is the Titan Academy’s Golden Crest in your hand?!”
I didn’t know how many minutes had passed while I stared at the round thing on the table. It can’t be. That crest is well-kept inside the Academy since it’s a very important item. It’s the symbol of the school, like a crown to a king.
I stared at Lucas. “Why are you not talking? Where did you get this?”
He put his hands on his face again before answering. His voice was still trembling.
“Flin and Karl. They…they sneaked inside the academy. I don’t know how! How they did it. But when I realized, it was too late. The Titan’s crest… I was already holding―”
“You went with them?!” I exclaimed.
I really wanted to slap Lucas this time. He was better than this. Those two, Flin and Karl, were always up to no good. I couldn’t believe he would join them to do this kind of things!
“Calm down, Shia.” Lucas said in frustration. “I really didn’t know it was something illegal when I agreed to join them. I thought it was only a simple task that required my ability.”
“Oh, come on!” I blurted out.
“Shia, you know me. Even if I die of hunger I won’t do things that will destroy the dignity of my family. That’s the only thing that’s left for us.”
I kept quiet. He was right. He had never done this kind of things even though they can barely eat any food.
“We agreed that I will only do a delivery. The three of us met at the town’s border and there, they gave me the bag. They told me to give it to the man who was waiting at the pub. They were full of scratches and wounds. I should have suspected it when I saw their faces back then. It was only in the middle of the delivery when I decided to check the content. There, I found the crest.”
I cursed silently.
“I don’t know what to do. I went back to where Karl and Flin were but I couldn’t go near them anymore. The area was already surrounded by the Titan’s people.” His voice started trembling again. “I… I saw Flin being held by a man then he told him who I was and that I had the crest.”
“I wanted to return the crest right there but I know they will still arrest me. So, I sped up to the pub to find the man they told me about but he had already fled. And now, I’m stuck with the crest, Shia!”
We were both silent. I started to pace back and forth in the living room. Both the raging rain and the creaks I was making were the only audible noises.
“Did Flin say your full name?” I asked, breaking the silence.
“He only said my last name. That’s the only thing they know, remember?”
That’s what I thought. Sheridan and Tyler were the only names they knew. We were not that close to be on the first name basis.
“Is that important? We are the only Tyler here in Hesperia―” He froze. “My family! I need to go to them.”
Lucas took the crest from the table and quickly stood up. I promptly grab the crest from him.
“What are you doing?!” he demanded.
I looked at him straight in the eyes. “I’m the Tyler that Flin was referring to,” I said.
“I took the crest.” (Shia)
(ED: I had to rephrase a bit for a smoother read.)