5/366 – Friends and Surprises (Cont.)

Continued from 4/366 – To the Wall (Cont.)

“Let’s get to class,” Morn said as he and Celeste watched Jaque walk away to his special classes.

“Are you sure that Jaque has to be there for you to tell me what else happened last night?” Celeste said as they walked toward the building. “I mean, how am I supposed to figure out what you saw if I don’t get a little time to think about it?”

“Alright,” Morn said, pulling her closer to him so he could whisper in her ear. “I saw a shadow man speaking with Master Scaine. He came from nowhere and vanished in an instant. I didn’t hear everything they talked about, but there was some kind of attack last night.”

Celeste’s face was beaming at Morn by this point. She looked like she may explode.

“I wonder what happened?” Celeste said.

Morn shushed her, “no one is supposed to know. Keep it down. Now you know the majority of it, and we’ll figure it out later with Jaque.”

Morn sped up and entered the building without Celeste.

“Wait, there’s more?” Celeste called after him.

The day seemed to drag on forever for Morn. His teachers were from the monastery, they were initiates but still looked slightly pale compared to most people. They would drone on in their lessons, it wasn’t uncommon for one or two students to nod off during the lesson.

Morn fought to stay conscious throughout the day.  Every time he thought he might be slipping a little he would pinch his leg to wake himself up. The last thing he wanted was to draw attention from the monks to the fact that he was exhausted. He was sure that by now, they had found the broken gargoyle.

Just after lunch, he saw Master Scaine glide past the window. Morn’s stomach lurched when the Master entered his class.

“Students,” the initiate said, “Welcome the Master Scaine. He will be taking over the lesson for today.”

“Thank you, Master Scaine,” the class called in unison.

Scaine waited for the initiate to leave before he turned to the class. His dark, sunken eyes scanning the room. Morn thought they lingered a moment longer on him.

“Good afternoon, class,” Master Scaine said, “Today we will be covering some of Rashem’s lessons on community. Are there any questions before we begin?”

One student raised his hand and waited until the Master acknowledged him.

“We covered this for three years already. Is this really necessary in our final year?” Samuel, the straw-haired boy at the front of the class, asked.

“It is incredibly necessary. You all need to understand that our way of life is the way it is because we all follow the same rules. It is vital that you all understand that sneaking around into places that you do not belong could be dangerous and unwise for a variety of factors.

“I understand that the passion of youth is as such that you will get bored from time to time, and as a result, you will have the urge to seek out excitement and adventure, but I want to remind everyone why it is so important to not do these things.

“Last night, someone managed to break one of the guardians surrounding the monastery in the center. Do any of you know what the guardians are?”

The class remained silent. Many confused and scared faces were exchanged. Morn’s hand started shaking under the desk. Master Scaine waited a full minute before he spoke again.

“The guardians are the sculptures on the wall. Do any of you realize that they are directly responsible for keeping the zombies tame? Those statues are what make our lives possible. Keeping the zombies in the fields or workshops doing the various tasks that keep you all from needing to work so hard every day.”

“Though we have no witnesses to the breaking of the statue, we have heard from a few people after conducting interviews that several of you final year students were unaccounted for, or up at odd times, during the night,” Master Scaine said glancing over the class once more. “As someone who was once young, albeit a long time ago, I understand the urge to sneak out for less moral things, but I will have you know that there is a good chance that whoever broke that guardian last night has put the entire town at risk.

“Already, the magic holding sway over the zombies is weakening while the wizards and their apprentices are working diligently to replace the statue. It remains to be seen if it will be replaced in time.

“Do you all understand what I am talking about?” Master Scaine finished.

“Yes, Master Scaine,” the class replied in unison.

“Good, I’ll let you return to your lessons with the initiate. If any of you have information about the vandalism last night, it would be appreciated if you came forward. There will not be any ramifications to you or your family, we simply need to have a conversation with,” Master Scaine paused, his eyes resting firmly on Morn, “the misguided youth.”

Master Scaine walked out of the classroom, and the initiate entered a moment later. Morn felt his stomach turning as he looked down at his desk. He thought for a moment that he would be sick.

The remainder of the day for Morn was spent in a perpetual state of worry. Master Scaine’s words cycled through his head over and over to the point that he didn’t hear when the final bell for the day rang.

“Morn, class is over now,” the initiate said, drawing Morn’s attention back to reality.

“Sorry,” Morn muttered as he rose from his desk, grabbed his things, and nearly sprinted out of the classroom.

Outside Jaque and Celeste were waiting when Morn arrived.

“We need to get somewhere private,” Morn said.

“Your house?” Jaque suggested.

Morn was off before anyone could say anything else. They entered Morn’s house less than ten minutes later.

“You look like you’ve seen a ghost,” Jaque said as Morn looked out the window.

“I’m fairly certain Master Scaine knows it was me last night,” Morn said. “I need to tell you guys everything before I go speak with him.”

“What makes you think he knows?” Celeste asked.

“He visited my class today, and gave a speech, I think, about the broken statue,” Morn said.

“I spent all day working with the masters trying to fix the guardian,” Jaque said, “Are you saying you broke it?”

Morn nodded.

“You’re an idiot!” Jaque erupted, “You could have killed everyone in the town! We finished a statue today, but many of the masters didn’t know if it would work. The enchantments are so old that many couldn’t understand the directions on how to rebuild them.”

Continued 6/366 – Friends and Surprises (Cont.)



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