calm sea during golden hour

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CHAPTER 18 (PART ONE)

PART 1/2

STORIES

dihaan :3

11/28/20232 min read

“Shit!” Dimitri hissed as an array of plates crashed on the floor. “Sorry, sorry, those sentences were too much to take. Elliot? That’s the first time I’ve ever called a Royal by his name!”

Evelyn was staring at Dimitri, slack jawed. “Hello? When did I die?”

“I meant a real Royal!” Dimitri protested, before he attempted to water down the flames. “I mean, you know. Somebody really high and mighty. You’re not high or mighty. Is she, Vy?”

Vienna snickered. “No, she’s not. Elliot, on the other hand…”

Elliot rolled his eyes. “Don’t go there, Vienna.”

“Fine.” Vienna smiled, throwing up her hands. “I’ll leave you people to be. Elswyth might just kill me if I’m late for the third test.”

“Good luck!” Evelyn beamed at her as Vienna stood up, brushing off her jumpsuit. Vienna returned her smile.

“Thanks, Lynn.” She replied, feeling grateful for the older teen’s support.

Dimitri smiled at her too, a big smile which showed his fangs. “Have fun, Vy. Be back in one piece.”

Vienna laughed. “I hope I will.”

Elliot seemed hesitant. “Yes. Best of luck to you.”

“Thanks, Elliot.” Vienna said. She turned on her heel and reaching the door, looked back at Dimitri and mouthed, VINEYARD AT 5?

He nodded, still smiling.

Satisfied with his answer, she walked out and along the corridor, making her way back to the room where the tests had been taken. The brief respite from the overwhelming anxiety and concern the lunch had brought was swiftly decreasing, and she was once again filled with the apprehension of the question.

WILL I BE TURNED INTO A SIREN AND BOUND TO NIFLHEIM FOREVER?

WILL I BE ABLE TO ACT OUT MY ESCAPE PLAN BEFORE IT’S TOO LATE?

But somehow, as she recalled the wild and decidedly immature plan she had sketched out in those long hours when time seemed to stand still, she felt both desperately guilty for the multifarious methods she had plotted out to manipulate Dimitri and Eleanora and Lysistrata, and desperate pity for herself, just a 15 year old snatched from her homespun life and her parents and the few close friends she had. Her life at home was planned; at least she knew what she was going to do every day. Wake up, go to school, socialize with the few people she trusted, come back home, lunch, shower, study, a few board games with her family and then off to her own hobbies, writing short stories or sketching until it was time for sleep again. Here, she never knew what would happen next.

We’re past self pity, Vy, she told herself sternly, running her palm over the smooth chill of the wall as she glided down the hallways. And past escape plans. I can’t leave now. I’m too attached.

Dimitri Ivanov. Evelyn Mistral. Her anchors in this storm-ridden sea. The ones keeping her grounded and sane.

And maybe even Elliot. Heavens knew what she was thinking, but somehow, she felt responsibility towards him. His older sister had failed. As a bystander, she could forgive it. As an older sister herself, she never would.

Maybe it was wrong to leave.

Hell, it was wrong to leave.

Her feet had found their way to the Test Room, as Vienna thought of it, and she patted herself down, from hair to jumpsuit to jewellery before knocking and entering. Elswyth was nowhere to be found, there were only the Pneumas, all standing in a line staring at the submersion tank. They all nodded when she entered, but one which looked specifically eccentric made their way over to her, swaying gracefully.

Magnum officium on ze tessst, Vienna Alcestis.” She hissed pleasantly.

“Thank you.” Vienna curtseyed, assuming it was some kind of good luck. She had no great grasp of Latin, but she could assume. And assume she did.

“You have great potentialll…” the Pneuma hissed. “Very good. Ze queen shall be here any moment, so I shall not say anymore. But your ssssstory…it wassss a masssterpiece.”