Everyone is nervous about their first day at a new institute. I was too. But for a very different reason than you. I had accidentally killed a churail torturing my Dean by shoving things up his rear end. And now I was afraid for my life since the churail was an immortal and killing immortals was a crime severely punished.
I was sitting hunched with the demon princess beside me. The smell of disinfectants was less nauseating here as compared to the operation theater, where Rocky was being treated along with the Dean. I was wrapped in a blanket provided by the medical staff and was drowsy due to the healing spell they had put me under for the bruises I had received. Agnishikha had Liam asleep on her lap. The gargoyle was severely depressed after knowing he hadn’t been able to reach Rocky in time. I was not worried that much about the Naaga. He was a tough one and could handle a few broken bones easily.
We glanced up at the squeak of a door opening. It was the Dean in a flower printed hospital gown on a wheelchair. A nurse was escorting him to us. Immediately the two guards in the hallway quirked up and marched to him. He motioned them off with a slight wave and beckoned me to follow him. I glanced at Agnishikha uncertainly and he rolled his eyes. “Come on you two. If I didn’t know better I would have thought you two actually care.” He was almost to us now and we stood up to follow him.
Immediately a guard got behind me. I sighed in exasperation and complained to no-one in particular “It was an accident for God’s sake!” The guard didn’t wavered and the Dean gave me a professional smile. “Don’t take it upon yourself Akshat.Please wait till the council check it out. I will be an eye witness.” I doubted it. He was knocked out for at least half the time. Or was he faking his unconsciousness to avoid the fight? Agnishikha seemed not to notice it when she smiled at him in a grateful way.
I hadn’t seen any churails here. There were definitely a few Daayans present and almost every being here was a strong possessor of aura. Killing an attacking churail was not a grave crime seeing they were despised everywhere. But she was impossibly powerful and definitely under the blessings of some major god. Considering my luck, I was going to meet him or her very soon.
We moved into a discarded office room and the nurse left the Dean upon his gentle request. He turned his wheelchair to face us and the guards set themselves one behind the dean and the other at the door. He smiled at Agnishikha and said “Don’t worry about your bodyguard, princess. He will be alright. We were lucky to have Akshat with us.” Liam jerked awake hearing his voice in the sudden quite and jumped to set himself on Agnishikha’s shoulder. The Dean continued after the interruption. “We are pleased to offer you your position at the Hell Academy. Your classes will start three days from today, seeing this unfortunate accident. We assure you our security is much better than what you saw today. She had a few… Ah, privileges to start with, otherwise she couldn’t have made it inside.” Agnishikha glanced at me and i nodded at her, seeing her hesitation. “Um… We know that she was an immortal, if you are talking about ‘privileges’.” The dean looked mildly surprised and cocked an eyebrow. “We shall talk about that in the upcoming meeting regarding today’s incidents.” He turned to me and continued “On that note, Your actions today will decide your position in the veil, Akshat. And I would dearly like a moment alone with you.” He glanced at his guards and they moved in unison to escort Agnishikha outside. I gave her a thumbs up despite my unease and she tried to smile back.
The Dean motioned for me to sit and I sat on the single stool in that tiny office. He stared at me for a moments and asked “How many individual know about you being a godling, Akshat?” So he was a ‘direct to the point’ kind of person. I thought about lying to him but then changed my mind. If Decain was gunning for my ass (Actually my head) then I definitely needed a strong organization at my back. The Reaper Cell was out of question and I didn’t know about any other strong communities except the demons; which were also not an option. I decided to go with the truth. “As much I know, only Rocky, Liam and Agnishikha. And now you included. I didn’t knew about it a day ago.” Has it only been a day? I had seen more action in the last 48 hours, than my entire life combined and I thought I liked it.
The dean sighed in relief and slumped in his wheelchair. “I am glad about it. Try to not tell the council about your gravity thing. It will make things easier. Decain has put a mere 100 years for your bounty and it would definitely be more if he knew you were a godling. Is their any reason for him to want you?” I was relieved for that tiny bit of information. Offering 100 years of life was the same as offering a reward for your lost pet. “I think he knew me from when I sneaked into the Morgoroth plains. He must have thought I was going to rat off to someone. And have you checked who put out the bounty? Was it Decain himself or one of his goons?” The Dean gave an embarrassed smile and said “We don’t have detailed info yet. Our reach isn’t that deep into his working system. And was it really you who infiltrated the Xanthis army? You created quite a fuss escaping. We have to wait a bit more to have some detailed info, but I am confident it will be good news.” His smile was genuine this time and I eased a bit. “Don’t let the heat off yet, Akshat. Your trial for murder is still due.”
The balloon of hope popped inside me and I slouched on my stool. I suddenly felt very very tired and asked him “The trial is at 1:00 PM, right? So can I go now?” He was uncomfortable and his ears went a little red as he said “And Akshat? Can you keep the… more graphic details of the incident to yourself?” His gaze was downcast and he looked like a teenager caught watching porn. Wait… that was it! He was embarrassed about the erection and knew I had noticed it. “Um… That you enjoy anal? I will remember to forget about it. It was not a very memorable moment for me too.”
He smiled, embarrassed and I attempted to smile back, managing to turn it into a grimace. He called for his guards and shot a last professional smile at me. “Good Luck for the trial, Akshat.” Then one of the guards reached behind him and escorted him to the corridor. I walked out to find Agnishikha and Liam waiting for me with a guard. I raised my brow questioningly and the guard cleared his throat. “I am to accompany you until your trials. Follow me to your current temporary living quarters.” Liam perked up and wheezed “Is there a mess included?” The guard looked at his sheepish expression and replied “The messes are closed but you will be in a guest area. You can order what you want. The cost of the diet above your required calories will be added to your credit accounts. You can find them in the… Wait, you are an old one, aren’t you? Gargoyle?” Liam nodded and said in a friendly tone. “Don’t worry about the rules, We have a lot of time before the trials. I will teach them.” The guard nodded and and we moved into an elevator.
We were on the seventh floor of the central tower and it had medical wings on every third and then fourth floor. The elevator had a glass wall and I was able to get a good view of the surrounding area.
The building was surrounded by a circular road. Three roads led to the building perpendicular to each other and two other at about 60 degrees. The circular area was divided equally into four parts. Each part had barrack like buildings with roofs of different colours. The North-Eastern quadrant had buildings with yellow roof with a road passing through it. The South-Eastern quadrant had the same layout with green roofs. The North-West and the South west quadrants were similar with black and red roofs respectively.
The guard led us to the first floor and we crossed another sensory guard to a corridor with rooms on one side and a blank wall on other. It felt claustrophobic and I was the first to enter a room as he opened the door with a mundane key. Liam followed me immediately with the guard and he handed the key over to me. “You can go wherever you like. I’ll be in the hallway. Tell me anything you need. You are our guest until your trial.” He then turned to Agnishikha and motioned for her to progress further. I peeked around the door to see him ushering her through a door next to ours. Unlike our room he didn’t went inside. I shut the door and turned back to Liam hovering over the bed. “Um… would you mind if I share the bed?” He looked tired and I nodded. With a soft thunk he dropped onto the bed and I accompanied him after taking a refreshing was in the adjoining washroom. We had a lot of time left so I decided to crash beside Liam.
I was woken by a loud thumping on the door. I sat up to open the door but Liam beat me to it. He cracked the door open and Agnishikha knocked at his face instead of the door. Apparently she was very distracted at the moment, seeing that Rocky was standing there too. Immediately my drowsiness left me and I got up to give him a quick hug. Both of them came inside and Rocky settled himself on the only present chair with Agnishikha on the bed. I leaned against the window as Liam enthusiastically greeted Rocky. The Naaga looked tired but seemed okay except for a few bandages around his broken wrist.
“Thanks for saving my life Akshat. I can’t imagine how can I repay you.” I was startled by his sudden serious voice. He was looking at me and the silence grew awkward. I tried to be nonchalant about it, considering my next to none experience of receiving praise for anything at all. “Um… Maybe you can tell the truth to the council about that churail? I really wasn’t trying to kill her. I didn’t even know that the only way to kill an Immortal churail was to pierce her brain with her own wand! It was an accident!” I was starting to get panicked. It was Agnishikha who spoke this time. “And it was that accident only that saved our lives. I still have my title of clan heir. I shall do what I can to protect you.” Liam bobbed his head energetically and wheezed “We shall go through it together. Don’t worry Akshat. But… We only have an hour before the trial. Aren’t any of you hungry?” My stomach growled before I could say anything and Rocky decided. Lets have our lunch before the trial.”
We met our guard at the end of the corridor. Agnishikha smiled at him and he gave us a swift nod. “I presume you are out to have lunch? The guest’s cafeteria is this way.” He waited for our reply and we started towards the area he pointed without one. He followed us closely, taking his job to watch me quite seriously.
The cafeteria was a normal one with a menu book of about 300 pages. It had all the main dishes of all major cultures. We settled on Chinese and the guard joined us as well. After the quick lunch, we were escorted to the trial room on the 13th floor. Two more guards joined us at that floor’s sensory point and we were each scanned for weapons. Surprisingly, Agnishikha had to remove a small pistol from her bosom and flushed deep red. “I just… forgot to leave it. Its nothing serious. Look! Its even empty!” The female security guard was shaking her head and said. “I am sorry miss, you shall have to go through a full body search.” Without any warning Rocky stepped forward and the lady had to take a step back. “You realize who you are talking to here, don’t you? Guard?” The woman looked pissed and scared at the same moment. She stiffened and said “It doesn’t matter who she is. She shall have to go through the search.”
Agnishikha was trying to snatch Rocky back. The effect was similar to a rabbit pulling a tree. “She is the heir of the Raavana Demon Clan. And she has the right to keep one weapon anywhere she wants. So Back. Off.” The woman’s eyes widened and her mouth stretched in a surprised “O”. She glanced at Agnishikha and then the guards with us. Surprisingly, they hadn’t interfered.
Rocky snatched the gun from the table and handed it back to the princess. Without any further ado, he marched forwards. We hastily fell into step behind him with the guards following us. The corridor twisted and turned with several mahogany doors on both sides. We turned and a guard said. “Here is your trial room.” rocky had to backpedal and we came to halt in front of a closed door. It was just like the others, but soft voices could be heard coming from the room. One of the guard stepped forward and knocked thrice on the door. Immediately the door opened and we were marched inside.
The room was a simple one. There was a slightly raised platform at the center upon which a bench was placed with cushions on it. The same was true for our left and right without the platform. The people sitting on the benches were all staring at us. Three persons shared a bench and that made our hearing committee to have nine members.
Immediately I noticed the Dean at my right bench and he smiled at me. there were two women beside him, both middle aged. On the left bench, Two young women sat with a humongous old man with his belly the size of a large barrel. The women were garbed in similar fashion. One was fail and slightly chubby while the other was dark with hardly any fat on her body; which contrasted strongly with her gigantic breasts. But the person who truly caught my attention was a young girl on the front bench. She was about twelve years old and was almost dipped into pink pink. Her hair was also dyed pink and her eyes showed a stark alien intelligence. The man seated beside her was clearly the head of the committee.
The guards departed with the nod of a member and shut the door behind them. The pink girl chimed merrily. The witnesses are requested to sit in the designated area behind the left arc. The convict should remain standing in the center.” I was gaping at her. She had said that as if she was playing in her dollhouse. Liam nudged my shoulder in support and went to sit with the others. The pink girl smiled at me and said. “Let the trial commend!” There was a boom of sound and the floor shook. I nervously looked at Rocky and he was as confused as me. There was a murmur from the committee and My unease grew. The girl was about to say something again when a huge black bird landed in the dead center of the floor; just a foot form my feet. I reared hastily and there were scraping sounds when the committee members hastily got to there feet.
There was a black haze surrounding the bird and I backed up. The blackness engulfed it completely and I stood pressed against the door. The committee was on their feet and was ready to attack whatever it was.
The haze cleared slowly and I held my breath as a figure wrapped in pristine white emerged. She was white as ice and her hair was wild and as dark as any black hole. She rasped in a voice like nails scraping concrete.
“Who dared to touch my apprentice?” My blood froze as I realized my doubt had been right. That churail had had a patron goddess and she was here for repayment. I waited for my doom as I realized who she was.
She was Morrigan. The Celtic Goddess of Death.