Age of Ember beta
A couple of hours of partying passed, and the party was still going. The eyes of the performers glowed, along with some of the people in the crowd. Their eyes glowed the same mysterious symbol as the performers, yet Odrian’s eyes never lit up. Growing tired, he began rounding everyone to head back to the hotel. He saw the influence in the eyes of the partygoers; it was strange and hivemind-like. Although Odrian found everyone, he couldn’t find Arachnia. Considering she was no longer on the premise he left.
They had an enjoyable night since they knew it was going to be a grueling week ahead. When they arrived at the front entrance, they were stopped by the elven guard.
“Are you sure you want to leave now?” the elven guard asked, his eyes glowed just like the partygoers. “The best part Is about to start.”
What’s his problem, Odrian wondered.
Growing suspicious of the guard’s behavior, Odrian pushed forward, without uttering a word. Everyone followed closely as the guard smiled on.
“Come back again next weekend.” The guard added.
Odrian didn’t feel that it would be a good idea to turn back. This would be the only time they’d have to unwind. He glanced over at Verona and thought she deserved to experience more.
Maybe, next time, Odrian thought as he turned forward.
Landon walked well ahead of them as they approached the hotel. Landon immediately spotted Diamond off in the distance, he could recognize her figure a mile away. She was with the rest of group A. What business did they have at this time? Landon pulled out his phone and quickly sent a message.
“Hey, give me a minute,” Landon requested as he walked away further away from everyone. Everyone kept their distance as Landon approached Diamond.
The matter seemed urgent. Once the discussion was settled, Landon signaled for them to come closer.
“Hey guys,” Landon looked at everyone. “I'll be gone for a couple of days. Let Ziggy know I'll be back as soon as I can.”
“What’s Group A doing all the way out here?” Sarah questioned.
“We’re tasked with taking out Scornoids,” Diamond responded. “We were told someone here knows where they all are, so we are going to check it out.”
“Scornoids? Victor asked, enthused. He enjoyed hunting more than anyone in the group. “I've never seen those what do they look like?”
Diamond showed the hunt quest on her phone. The picture of the Scornoid looked like a scorpion with bladed crab-like claws.
“Apparently, they’re a highly invasive species and incredibly adaptive,” Diamond added in after showing them the picture. She moved over closer to Landon, pressing herself against him.
“What are you doing?” Landon asked, feeling a bit uncomfortable.
“What does it look like I’m doing?” Diamond whispered playfully into his ears. Their faces were incredibly close. As soon as Landon lowered his guard, her 9 tails sprung from her lower back, brushing against his chin as she moved away.
Landon turned back to look at her. She was grimacing as she took a few steps away.
“That’s a good example of what being invasive is,” Diamond turned toward him with her hands behind her back and slightly leaned forward. “They do have a bit of a voracious hunting style.”
“You mean getting into my personal space?” Landon countered. “Yeah, that’s a fine example right there.”
“Really? You didn’t say anything when it was the ot-”
“Oh, uh… You can stop,” Landon quickly stopped her from finishing her sentence. “I have no problem with you getting close to me.”
“I thought so,” Diamond grinned.
“I like her,” Sarah broke out in laughter. With her infectious laughter, everyone laughed. No one had ever seen Landon in a compromising position before, but Diamond was able to effortlessly.
“Can we go to already?” A member of Group A asked, growing tired of Diamond’s merciless teasing. “We have a job to do.”
“I'll come with ya,” Victor walked up to Landon. “A little back up never hurts.”
In hindsight, the scene was nothing more than acquaintances meeting up. And unlike the others, Victor had a good idea of what Group A was about. They were all part of the group that laughed at Odrian’s failure to get Ren’s attention. Victor wasn’t sure what was going to happen, but he knew he should go with Landon.
“OK,” Odrian was a bit confused as to what was going on. The night was full of surprises so far.
“Have fun,” Sarah said to Landon and Victor with enthusiasm. She, too, was just as confused as everyone else to what was happening.
"No worries, we’ll be back before Odrian’s training starts,” Victor responded, walking away with Landon and Diamond along with her group.
After the separation, Odrian found it suspicious, but he knew Landon was in good hands with Victor. He continued to the hotel with Verona and Sarah. Upon arriving at their respective rooms, they passed out. Ziggy and Sabrina weren’t present either. While Sarah and Verona were asleep, Odrian decided he would wait up a little to see if Arachnia come back.
It’s almost 6. I can’t miss out on any more sleep, Odrian thought. He then heard the door crack open soon after that thought. He leaned his head over the leather couch he was sitting in to see who was coming in.
“Hey,” Arachnia walked through the door, looking straight at Odrian.
“Hey, I guess,” Odrian responded with a mix of concern and condescension.
“Well, someone has a bit of an attitude.”
“I mean, you did just kind of disappeared on us. I was looking for you.”
“Sorry… The drinks got to my head. I needed to walk it off.”
“But you only had two drinks.”
“Right, and is that a problem for you?” Arachnia grew irritated. “Since when do I have to answer to you?”
Odrian was surprised by her response. He thought it may be because of the drinks, but he didn’t want to escalate the situation.
“I was a little worried that something might’ve happened,” Odrian spoke honestly. “I know you're strong, but don’t hesitate to rely on me... Rely on us, we are friends, right?”
Odrian let out a sigh before standing up. Arachnia turned away, hiding her expression.
“Anyways,” He began walking to his room. “I stayed up waiting for you. Now I'm burnt out… I'm going to sleep.”
As he reached for his door handle, he felt something soft pressing against his back. What followed next was a warm embrace around his chest.
“Stay like this for a moment, will you?” Verona’s voice cracked.
“Sure,” Odrian complied. “What’s wrong?”
There was a long pause. Odrian felt wet drops land on his shoulder.
“Sorry,” Arachnia continued. “I don’t know why my eyes feel so heavy. Just don’t turn around.”
“Take your time,” Odrian encouraged with a brief silence that followed.
“Did you really worry about me?”
“Of course, I did. I didn’t know what happened to you.”
There was a brief silence.
“Why are you so nice to me? Why care about me so much? I don’t understand.”
“Because I think you’re cute,” Odrian responded, switching up the mood a little.
“Really?” Arachnia went along.
“I'm joking. Not about the cute part, though. You and Verona were the only girls to ever give me the time of day.”
“Oh, because you lack options?” Arachnia chuckled.
“Hey, don’t insult me. It's my shoulder, your heads on.” Odrian reminded her as they shared a laugh. “I care about you.”
“Well…I think you're cute too,” Arachnia responded as her arms hugged around him. As quick as she hugged him, she quickly withdrew into the other room before he could react.
Odrian heard the door close behind him. Thinking about what happened, he went into his room, removing his shirt. He could still feel the dried tears. He looked down at his abs before jumping into his bed.
“There must be the reason,” Odrian buried his head into bed.