Saturday, 22 September 2012

Circle Quartet: 48

Chapter 48

“Surprise! Happy Birthday!” Everyone shouts in excitement and they clap joyfully.

I just can’t believe my eyes. One minute Jeff’s spirit has gone, the next Jeff is standing right in front of me beaming with excitement and his arms are wide open, ready for the bear hug. Oh, I really missed his bear hug.

“Tada! I’m back!” Jeff flails his arms excitedly. “Did you miss me, little buddy?”

I can’t utter a word but hug him as tight as I can. I can’t even hold my tears anymore.

“Alice…can’t breathe…!” I nearly choke Jeff to death. I let him go at once but he’s just laugh out loud. I scowl at him.

“Aww, don’t be sad, Alice,” Uncle Vlad pats my back gently. “It’s your birthday present from all of us!”

My eyes widen as I hear the news and look around to everyone. They’re all smiling happily. Mom and Dad nod to confirm what Uncle Vlad has said just now.

“Jeff is my birthday present?” I ask them in disbelieving.

“Yup!” Jeff ruffles my hair. “Those trio brothers have brought me to life.”

“Wow! This is…this is unbelievable! This is the best present I ever received! Thanks everyone!”

“Oh yes, I almost forgot about your present, Stefan,” says Jeff and looks over his shoulder. “Come out, boy. They’re waiting for you.”

A little boy appears from the door shyly. He has gruffly blond hair and a pair of blue eyes. I think I’ve seen this little boy before. He walks closer towards Jeff and clings to Jeff’s trousers.

“Stefan, this is your birthday present,” says Jeff while patting on the little boy’s head. “Say hello to the little guy.”

That little boy raises his head and stares at Stefan.

“Cody, is that you?” asks Stefan gently.

Cody? That little boy is Cody?

Cody nods slowly.

“You…you’re alive,” Stefan gasps.

“You better handle him with care, Steffy boy. This one is super fragile,” says Jeff in a low voice.

“You’re alive! Oh, God! You’re alive!” Stefan picks him up and raises him up to the air. He looks very happy to see Cody to come back alive again.

Cody’s eyes begin to water. Then, he starts to cry.

“Don’t do that, Stefan. You scared him!” I scold Stefan.

Stefan quickly put him back on the ground.

“I’m sorry,” he says in a low voice and his tears suddenly flow on his cheek. “I have done something really bad. I put our family at stake. I’m so sorry!” Cody cries bitterly.

“See? I told you that he’s super fragile,” says Jeff, pointing to the crying Cody.

Stefan kneels down and hugs him. That’s the sweetest thing that Stefan ever did.

“Hey, don’t cry, Cody. Everyone has already forgiven you.”

“He’s right, Cody. Welcome to the family back,” says Aunt Amethyst and hugs him.

Everyone from the Silver family hugs Cody and welcomes him warmly.

I hug him too. And I can’t help pinching his fluffy cheeks.

“How come he’s become so small?” asks Uncle Azure.

“He had sold his soul to Alse but he already repents before he died. That’s why he’s become a little boy so that he could purify his soul,” explains Alan.

But it doesn’t matter anymore. We’re going to live as a happy family again. No more fight. No more conflict. And no more secrets.

It’s been two years since the tragedy happened. The Academy is fully re-build, thanks to The Necromancer Trio – they helped a lot and now they’re back to their ‘unfinished business’. I don’t know what kind of business they run but they love to travel.

I continue my ‘un-finish’ study with Abbie, Stefan and the rest of my classmates. Jeff gets his position back but he wants to share it with Zayne. Uncle Vlad is nominated as the Main Head of the Council which makes him very, very happy. And he wants all of us to call him Uncle rather than Great Master. He really wants to feel young, I think.

I have finally graduated after successfully accomplished the tasks. I’m now officially an assassin and Stefan and I are given the title Heroes because we saved the whole clan. I think The Necromancer Trio were the ones who killed Alse. But, never mind.

During the Graduation Ceremony, Stefan and I were asked to give speech. Uncle Vlad was the one who have been talking longer than expected. He just loves to tell the stories when he was young, his experience fighting with some monsters – I don’t know whether they are true or not.

And today is the day where everyone has been waiting for a long time; my wedding day.

But it’s only my wedding day, actually. There are three more brides are in the Brides Room with me. Beatrice, Raina and Dafne are going to get married on the same day as I am. Raina is the most excited one because she really longed to wear a wedding gown – she’s wearing dashing pink which she claims the colour is very gorgeous. I hope that no one will hurt their eyes seeing that kind of wedding gown.

I wear light blue gown embroidered with silver laces. Mom is the one who made this special gown for me. Raven does my hair but since I cut it short, it won’t take too much time. Then someone knock on the door. It’s Mom, Aunt Ada and Aunt Ramona. They want to see the four of us before anyone else does.

When we’re fully ready, we gracefully walk to the Great Hall ushered by our beloved fathers. My Dad doesn’t stop saying that I look beautiful that day. Jeff announces our arrival and everyone turn their heads towards us and they are not even blink. We walk along the aisle in line – I’m in the first line. The Silver Brothers are patiently waiting for us. Stefan looks handsome in his tuxedo!

Uncle Vlad is crying happily, repeatedly saying that today is the most joyous day of his life and he wishes that he can get married too. Alex is calming him down by patting on his back. Granddaddy Saba is the priest today. Ace plays the organ while my little cousins are the flower girls. They wear nice little gown with little wings on the back. Cody joins the flower girls too.

The vow doesn’t take too long because everyone can’t wait to see us kiss. I can’t wait for this special moment too.

“Before we proceed with the kissing part, may I have the rings, Sable Black?” asks Granddaddy Saba to Sable. He’s supposed to hold our rings.

 “Oh, okay,” Sable smiles and delves his hands inside his pocket.

Suddenly, his face turns pale.

“What’s wrong, Sable?” asks Granddaddy Saba.

I have a bad feeling about this.

“I…uhm…the rings…,” Sable stammers.

“Where’s the ring, Sable?” I ask him in a very serious tone.

“I accidentally put the rings in other trousers,” Sable gulps. “And those trousers are in the washing machine.”

Beatrice, Raina, Dafne and I scowl at Sable. “I’m sorry,” says Sable timidly.

“You’ve ruined our precious moment!” Raina shrieks. Everyone nearly turn deaf because of that.

Sable screams and runs. Four of us chase him from behind.

“Give back our rings!”

-End of Book 1-

Saturday, 8 September 2012

Circle Quartet: 47

Chapter 47

The celebration is continued after Alse has been totally annihilated. The night is still long since it is winter. I have another 4 hours before the sunrise. The Necromancer Trio cast some spells to re-build some of the serious damage of the buildings. The other minor damages will be repaired on the next day.

We gather again at the Main Dining Hall, but this time Grandfather Vlad joins us too. He is so excited like he’s having his own party and everybody is celebrating for him. There are a lot of things that I need to ask him but I think I should save the questions later and enjoy the celebration one more time.

The foods are served once again and this time they are a lot – they are flooding the tables but I think all of us are going to gobble them up in no time. Those who are injured are completely healed and they have so much fun drinking and laughing – they drink juice because they are still underage, same as mine.

Great Grandfather Vlad is telling his story when he was young. He wants me to call him Uncle instead of Grandfather because he doesn’t want to feel too old to be a grandfather. That makes Granddaddy Saba kind of jealous – Grandfather Vlad looks younger than him.

Everyone is happy for the celebration. Alan makes a special birthday chocolate cake for me and Stefan (he used magic of course). I hope he doesn’t use something else to turn it into a delicious cake. Ace asks Alan about the cake casting spell before Raina does. Raina is pre-occupied with her lover, Tavis – they are dancing on the table. If Grandma Zelda saw this, they’re going to turn into slugs. But I think Grandma Zelda won’t mind. I hope so.

Jeff is enjoying himself eating the chocolate cake even though no one can see him except me and Stefan. Stefan can see him now after drinking the sacred water. I was asked how Alse’s barrier was destroyed back then but I didn’t answer it. I will tell them when the time comes.

It’s nearly dawn so I need to go back to my room. Abbie says goodnight first because she’s exhausted – that’s what she says. I look at the window as the glimmering light shone at the horizon. This is the most beautiful dawn I ever seen for the past 18 years. I’m now 18 although I am not quite sure about my real age. Well, at least I’m still alive.

“Alice,” Jeff calls me and I turn to him, smiling. “I think you should tell them about me tomorrow.”

“What?” I nearly shriek but still can control my voice.

“I can’t stay in this form forever. I promise your brother that I’ll help you to fight Alse. And now Alse is gone. For good. And it’s my mission is accomplish.”

“I thought that you said that you’re going to be by my side. You promised Jeff that you’ll take care of me.”

“I know. I’m sorry for not letting you know about this. And I don’t want to leave your side either. Even though I’ve been with you for such a short time, but I will never forget what we’ve been through,” he puts his hand on my shoulder. “Please, Alice. You have to understand.”

I put my hand on top of his and think for a while. Then I nod. I can’t force him to stay with me. This time, I need to let him go. I don’t want to separate with the person that I care the most – even though he’s only Jeff’s spirit, but I think I have no choice.

Jeff usher me to my coffin – it’s a bed anyway, and kiss my forehead before telling me to go to sleep. He says that he will be here for me until nightfall. This time, I hold firmly to his hand just for the last moment.

The first thing that I do after waking up from not-so-very-nice sleep is telling Stefan of what Jeff had said last dawn. We’re at the library, helping the librarians to re-arrange the scattering books on the floor. Stefan is shock to hear the news but he says to me that Jeff did this for his own good. At least he’s been with me until the end of the war. I hope there will be no more war after this. I want to have a good, peaceful life like everybody else, even though I’m now a nocturnal where some people might hate me for drinking human blood. But what can I do? I only drink blood from the bad guys who are criminals, not the innocent one.

Okay, I think I should stop mumbling something out of topic. Right now, I need to think of the perfect time to tell them about the spirit of Jeff. The Necromancer Trio are still here, helping the others to re-build the Academy. Uncle Vlad – finally I call him Uncle and he’s very delighted, is still talking about his awesome adventures to the young ones. I never thought that he’s that talkative. Sometimes I find him quite funny for a prince.

“Alright. This part is done,” I let out a sigh of relief after arranging the books on the shelves of the second part of the library. The shelves are very high that I need to use the ladder. It’s a good exercise for me, getting up and down the ladder for nearly two hours. My stomach is growling for food.

“I see that you’re hungry,” smirks Stefan.

This is so embarrassing.

“I haven’t eaten a single food yet, okay?” I am annoyed of his smirks. Since when has he become like this?

“Sorry,” he chuckles. “You stomach growls too loud that make my stomach wanting the food too,” he pats on his stomach. “Let’s go and have dinner then we can come back here to finish our work. How’s that?” he asks, waiting for my quick response.

“Hmm…okay,” I shrug. “We need to discuss on the perfect time to tell them about Jeff. Do you think during dinner is appropriate? or should I tell them after we finish arranging the books?” I ask for his opinion.

“I don’t know, Alice. Telling a secret takes time, like what they did before we know who we are. Let’s have dinner first, then we talk about this later,” he pats on my head.

So we tell the other librarians that we need to feed our stomachs first and come back. When we arrive at the Main Dining Hall, the foods are already served. Uncle Vlad scurried here and there, helping Ace, Raina, and Isidro arranging the glasses on the tables. They are glad to see us here. Stefan and I offer our help but Uncle Vlad wants us to take a seat while waiting for the others.

The big feast starts not very long after the foods were served. Look likes we’re having another party. And this time it’s merrier since our family members increase. The Necromancer Trio will spend their days for the whole week in this Academy. They want to completely re-build this building. I learn that those three brothers were the first batch of this Academy, a very long time ago. Three of them are few years younger than Jeff.

Uncle Vlad stands up by raising his glass of blood. “To our heroes, Alice and Stefan, for defeating Alse and restoring the peace once again. Cheers!”

“Cheers!” Everyone clinks their glasses eat merrily.

Stefan and I are nominated to be the heroes for this century. I think that is too far for us. We’re just defeating one horrible person, not the whole battalion.

Jeff taps lightly on my shoulder after I have the last bite of my dessert. “It’s time, Alice,” he whispers and takes one step behind.

I take a deep breath and stand up. I clear my throat, signing that I want to tell something.

“Sorry for the interruption but there’s something I need to tell you, all of you,” I announce. “Do you remember when Alse’s barrier broke that night? And how Stefan was healed when Alse hurt him?” I ask. Some of them nod.

“It’s not only me and Stefan fighting Alse back then. There’s someone else who fought along with us. And that person is Jeff,” I finally reveal the truth.

Jeff appears and everyone can see him. All of them gasp and whisper to each other unbelievingly.

“Jeff, is that really you?” asks Mom.

“Actually, I’m not the real Jeff,” says Jeff. “I’m an ancient spirit called SimpleThing. I came from The Land Beneath The Feet. Jeff was the one who found that place and we made promise before he died. You see, Jeff’s spirit is inside my body and only Alice can see me since Jeff gave her a special necklace that she’s wearing right now. I promised Jeff to take care of Alice until Alse was defeated. And now, Alse has gone, and I have to return to where I belong.”

“I can’t believe it. That ancient place exists,” says Grandma Zelda.

“And Jeff discovered it,” adds Aunt Ada.

“Since you guys know my existence, I can’t stay in this form much longer,” Jeff turns to me and our gaze meet. “It’s been happy to be with you, Alice. You’ve grown and you’ve become a lot stronger than before,” he ruffles my hair gently.

“Jeff, please don’t leave,” I hug him, holding back my tears.

“Hey, don’t be sad, Alice. We’ll be together again one day,” he gently strokes my back. “Anyway, you have Stefan now. He’ll protect you for the rest of his life.”

“That’s right, Alice,” says Stefan. “I will fulfil my promise. I’ll never leave your side and I’ll protect you as I protect my life.”

Warm tears flow down to my cheek. “I’m going to miss you, Jeff,” I sob.

“And I’m going to miss you too, Alice,” he kisses me on the head.

His body glows and slowly disappear. He waves at me for the last time. I won’t forget him for the rest of my life. Never.

Suddenly, someone appear at the entrance of the dining hall.

“Did you guys miss me?” says that person while approaching us.

Everyone is stunned.

That person is Jeff. He’s alive!

Saturday, 1 September 2012

Circle Quartet: 46

Chapter 46

Okay, this is a little bit shocking. I never thought that my guardian is my own great, great, great grandfather. But he looks quite young – younger than grandma Zelda, I suppose. Stefan is surprised too. Well, I think everybody is.

Alse grunts in frustration. Her face looks miserable, like a wicked witch in Snow White – she is wicked to begin with. “This cannot be happening to me! You ruined my plan!”

“What goes around comes around, Alse. You already put us all in misery. And now, it’s payback time!” I smirk annoyingly at her.

“You trick me, you little brat! You’re not supposed to know your past! Not tonight!”

“I already knew it, Alse. Of course I felt that I’ve been cheated all this time. But I’m not like you, Alse. Even though we share the same name, but I won’t betray my family. Never!”

“They are not your family!”

“Yes, they were. I was a human before. I died the night you abducted me and killed me. But Dad saved me and turned me into a vampire I’ve been brought back to live and I belong to the Amber family.”

I glance at my family who are standing nearby and wink at them. They show thumbs-up at me. That’s what I love my family. They always support me in whatever situation.

“And once again, you lose, Alse,” snorts grandfather Vlad.

“You’re supposed to be dead, Vlad!” growls Alse angrily. And I, for the first time, agree with her. How come my great, great, great grandfather Vlad is alive?

“A hero won’t be dead that easily, Alse. Besides, I’m a vampire. I’m immortal,” he says boastfully. I think he wants to make Alse more depress. Then he pats on my shoulder. “I think you should show her the thing that you’ve been saving for a special occasion.”

I look at him and nod. “Alright. Prepare to get scared, Alse. Because this is your nightmare,” I laugh excitedly and release my power. I feel great and pair of wings appears on my back. This is the transformation after drinking the sacred water from the fountain. It is too bad that Alse doesn’t know about it. And I like to look at her terrified face right now.

Everyone looks at in awe. I never have this kind of transformation before. I look at both of my palms. Have they grown bigger? Or it is just my imagination.

I turn around to face my family and the others. “Hey, how do I look?” I point to my face.

All of them show thumbs-up. “Awesome!”

Grandma Zelda and Grandma Maegan shake their heads while smiling. Granddaddy Saba lets out a loud cheer together with Grandma Tanya.

“Thank you for the cheers, guys. That’s really cool!” says great, great, great Grandfather Vlad.

“Alright. Let’s finish our business!” I crack my knuckles and so Stefan. Jeff shows some hand signs so that I know the next plan. This time we’re going to crush Alse.

Alse is scared now and she can’t run away because Jeff already put an invisible barrier. Stefan and I attack her together, showing no mercy. Her elegant face (that’s what she looks like before trapping us in her barrier) is now turns into – I can’t describe it by words. It’s too ugly to say. She falls into our trap and now she’s totally lost.

“This can’t be happening to me! I’m supposed to make Alice to join me so that I can drink her blood and that bloody werewolf!” she screams like a mad woman – she is a mad woman anyway. “This is not fair!”

“Fair? I tell you what fair is, Alse. You killed so many people just to show that you’re powerful so that people will look high upon you. You’re jealous to your sister because she’s stronger than you even though she’s younger than you. Face the fact, Alse. You can’t beat Zelda. Not in a hundred years!” says great Grandfather Vlad.

She screams again and this time she tries to lunge towards Grandfather Vlad. Grandfather Vlad just stands there, smiling. Stefan and I run towards Alse before she attacks.

“Repulsio!” Suddenly someone stops Alse’s attack.

“Nice move, Isidro,” smiles Grandfather Vlad.

Isidro? He’s one of Beatrice brothers. He’s one of The Necromancer Trio!

“Heroes always come late, Your Grace,” says Isidro.

“Isidro! You came!” Raina shouts excitedly.

“Isidro, you should wait for us, you know,” says another guy, Yardley, walking towards us with another guy whom I respect the most besides Jeff. His name is Alan and the three of them are the great Necromancer ever!

Alse tries to break free but she fails to do so.

“Look likes we catch a big fish this time,” whistles Yardley.

“Come on. Let’s seal her so that she can’t even break free no more,” says Alan in a serious tone. Well, he’s a very serious guy. Sometimes I feel scared when he looks at me with his sharp eyes.

“Okay, big bro,” winks Yardley and Isidro. Both of them stand in a circle around Alse.

“Zapec!” A chain appears from their sleeves and wraps around Alse’s body.

“Velka!” More chains appear and this time Alse is wrapped from head to toe. Then it turns into a huge metal block. This looks scary.

“Where shall we put this, Grandma?” asks Isidro.

“I’m not going to let you seal that horrible person. It’s better to kill her. She’s no longer my sister,” says Grandma Zelda.

Alan nods and gives signal to his two brothers.

“Sortkiste!” The metal block is crushed in an instant.

That’s the end of Alse.