Chapter 4: The Group (1)
We were currently walking towards the academy. My hands were on my back, handcuffed. The two young men were on my side; the one with the brown hair is named Ethan, and the other blonde is Cain. The girl, Victoria, was in front together with the Team Captain, Gin; that’s what Ethan called him earlier.
“Why are we called to do this thing? It should be the guards from the castle.” Victoria was irritated but she kept on walking.
I heard Cain snorted at my side. “This can also be extra training.” He answered.
“As if I needed that,” Victoria said in annoyance. “It’s really muddy here,” she complained as she tried to remove the mud sticking by her shoes.
We reached the front of the woods, between the hill and the town. I tried moving my wrists but the handcuffs tightened even more.
Their Team Captain just kept silent all the while. He seemed to be not much with words but I saw how he got mad earlier when Cain and Victoria had a disagreement with each other. He was really scary.
“Are you really not feeling cold?” Ethan asked me as we entered the woods. The surrounding soon became darker and Victoria was then complaining about the insects.
“I’m fine,” my short answer while avoiding his stare.
As if he would really care if I died due to freezing. I glanced at their expensive and comfortable coats. How many months would I starve just to afford a single one of those?
“Is Corrine still not fine?” Victoria asked suddenly.
I noticed how the Team Captain momentarily stopped. It was only for a split second but I knew there was something that affected him in what Victoria said.
“I’m not sure,” Ethan replied this time. “All I know is that she won’t be returning.”
Victoria scoffed. “What are we going to do now? I said that before―” She stopped when she noticed Gin facing us.
“Just tell me if you’d rather chat here,” he said in a cold tone that even Victoria looked scared. “I will give you all the time in the world.”
I felt the surrounding became darker and even the wind blew stronger inside the forest. Cain clicked his tongue with a tsk as if he was already accustomed to this kind of scenes.
“Will you calm down?” Victoria suddenly shrieked. “I was just wondering!”
“Chill, bro,” Ethan said then he looked at me. “There is someone with us.”
Gin suddenly looked at me. I didn’t know why but I also felt scared. I stepped back. His eyes were too penetrating; too intense for my comfort. He turned away and continued walking. Likewise, we did the same.
“Be careful next time,” Cain said to Victoria. “You’re going to put us all in danger.”
What kind of people really are they? What can they do? Especially that Gin? Why are the others so afraid of him?
We made it to the entrance of a giant gate after almost an hour of walking in the woods. The gate was made of thick wood and black steel and the bare walls were too high and looked too heavy in my eyes. The place was really huge. I felt like entering a prison instead of a school. Well, I don’t have to wonder, they own half of the town’s whole area. I even heard they have their own dungeon to where I supposed I will be imprisoned.
While Team Captain Gin was talking to the surrounding guards, I couldn’t help thinking about Lucas while staring at the gate. I remembered his dream of getting into this place. His face looked happy simply from looking at the gate of Titan Academy from afar. Who would have guessed, between the two of us, I would enter first; the one who had never fancied of coming here.
Gin returned to the group and we continued on. The guards were looking at me. They weren’t wearing the same grand black cloak that this group wore. Still, they wore better than those from the town, like me. The gate slowly opened and we entered the Academy.
The first thing I saw, when I took a step beyond the gate, was the dark path. It looked like a highway with no lights. However, when a guard took the lead, lights suddenly illuminated the path; all the way from where we were until the end of the pathway ahead us.
Whoa. Movement activated.
I just noticed then how the entrance looked like; dark forests on both sides of the pathway that were blocked by the thin and high metal fence, a small gate along with it, a few signage that appeared every few meters like BEWARE, DO NOT ENTER WITHOUT PERMISSION, etc., and I also heard some strange noises that you can’t hear from an ordinary forest.
As we walked along, the number of people in our party grew because the guards kept joining us as we continued. I can’t help feeling scared for the first time. This was not a school for someone like me; this looked like a huge torture chamber. Maybe I will soon die. Maybe they won’t care whether I’m at a legal age or not. Maybe all those people who committed an offense in this place were killed. I will surely die. I just know I will surely die here.
Ethan turned to me. He noticed how I’m stiffened and hardly breathing.
“Are you okay?” He seemed to ask with concern.
Is he really asking me that? There’s a huge chance that I will die in this place. Yes, I’m perfectly fine.
I didn’t answer him as goosebumps were rising from the back of my neck down to my arms and back to my spine as we approached our destination. The path gradually widens like a hall for some huge and big events. Moments later, I finally saw it.
The castle of Titan Academy. The actual school, I say.
A lump formed in my throat just from looking up at it so I took a deep breath to calm my nerves. It’s huge, gigantic. It’s looming in front of us. It was shadowed by the dark sky and it stretched for miles on both sides. I could tell that we’re on our way to the main hallway. However, the very castle was so wide that the main hallway only appeared like a lobby right before us.
I heard the guards said their goodbyes and went on to the right side of the castle. Maybe, their quarters were located there. In the castle, there were only a few lights lit so the path we passed by was dimmed compared earlier. A couple of warm golden lights peeked from the windows and towers outside, but other than that, the surrounding was dark and gloomy.
The door opened as we stepped in front of it. The lights flicked open, as well, and my mouth hung open wide the moment I saw the inside of Titan Academy. Holy Shit.
Is this a school or a palace for royalties? Who is studying in a freaking place where the hallway was carpeted all throughout and the chandeliers were clinging into the ceiling in every few meters?
“Finally,” muttered Victoria with a sigh.
I can’t help noticing how well they blended with this surrounding. They definitely belonged here. Everything about them belonged in this place; their faces, how they stood, the clothes they wore. Even though they were wet from the rain and still had some mud on their shoes, everything was still luxurious and shiny under the lights of these chandeliers.
This can’t be the real world. This is a stupid, made up world where false people live in.
We passed by the carpeted hallway. My shoes were a mortifying scene on this expensive carpet. I wonder if it’s self-cleaned because I can’t see any dirt whatsoever. The place was also very bright. I was enveloped with warm golden light which was far better from the dim, yellowish and blinking bulb light in my house. I surmised that even with all the lights in town lit, they would not be as bright and beautiful as these.
“To the Headmaster’s Office,” said Gin with his deep voice.
(ED: Why do I feel her inner tantrums are full of enviousness and resentment? She’s too gloomy and such a pessimist! (╯°□°）╯︵ ┻━┻ . Anyway, once again, I had to rephrase a bit for a smoother read.)