The shadow of night soon took over the orange sky. This strange world still had a day and night. It had been such a weird and rough day, especially for Emery, that most of them still needed to take a rest in their private rooms and reflect on today's event.
Emery sat on his bed as he gazed through the window. If he looked above, thousands of stars covered the canvass of the night sky, wishing to himself that his father was one of the stars. If he looked below, the clouds below were rich. He lay on his head on the pillow that was softer than anything he had ever lay his head on.
Staring at the ceiling, various thoughts entered Emery's mind. The events that transpired today were just too real to hope that everything was just a dream. The first thoughts were today's exam of elemental affinities and spirit aptitude, this magical world. Klea, Julian, Thrax, Chumo, and Gwen came after, the freezing river, the burning of his father's estate, and lastly, his father. The death of his father was just starting to sink in.
Tears were starting to well up in his eyes again but Emery immediately wiped it off. He shouldn't be such a crybaby, he thought to himself. He turned to the side, staring at the night sky instead with his eyes urging itself to shut. Then the face of those marauders appeared in his mind and the word chrutin. He had to know what those mean and honor his father by not letting his death be in vain. He had to do something; avenging his father would be the way. His fist clenched as the final moments of his father replayed in his mind over and over until he finally fell asleep.
The door knocked repeatedly and Emery was awoken.
"…Em… Emery! Wake up!"
The sweet voice belonged to a girl. He grunted but the soft, comfortable bed was like a spell making him want to sleep in a bit more.
Emery muttered, "Gwenn?"
Then the door hissed open and footsteps got closer to his bed. The bed sheet was then pulled from his clutches and the sweet voice turned into a sharp tone saying, "What did you say my name was? Get up! We have to get ready. The acolytes will have to gather in the assembly."
"Acolyte?" Emery half-opened his eyes, confused. It took him a moment to figure out where he was, who this girl was, and what the word acolyte meant. He was still in that strange world. If so, then all that had happened was real and This was his reality.
Emery shook his head, trying to get out of the half-asleep state. He stretched his stiff bones and the window where the view of the sky was now a wall. He got out of bed and suddenly the wall where the window was transformed itself and showed the beautiful blue sky and the rich clouds below. Standing before the window, he reflected on last night's thought and for him to accomplish what he had to do, he first needed to become stronger here and pass the test.
Emery exited his room and the rest of the boys were also getting ready. Klea, on the other hand, already had gotten on her uniform.
"Who is Gwen?" she asked, resting her chin on her palms.
"Hoo hoo, my cutie here already has a lover, I see. So, is that why you're keeping a distance from me," teased Klea as she leaned closer to Emery.
"Oh no. I… we are not lovers, we are just f—" Emery stopped his words remembering that night in the garden where Gwen gave him a complicated look and remarked they couldn't be friends anymore.
"You know, I don't really mind about that, cutie," said the charming girl as she bopped his nose and left Emery to his thoughts.
Emery didn't understand what she meant, so he just put that on the back of his head. After taking a bath in another room, Emery went to their common area and found something to eat. The food on the table had various colors but they were just bean-sized. Surprisingly though, eating just a few filled his hunger.
After that, Emery put on his uniform and headed straight to the plaza where the fountain was along with his four friends.
They talked on the way and Emery decided to go with Julian and check out the earth element institute. As for the others, Klea would be visiting the wind element institute, Thrax the fire element institute while Chumo the darkness elemental institute.
The assembly at the main plaza was just a greeting and the acolytes were then given permission to go where they would like to go. Since Emery and Julian already had a plan, the two entered a portal with yellow rings around it along with dozens of other young people.
They passed through the gate and what welcomed them first was the wind's breeze carrying grains of sand hitting their faces.
Emery looked around and this was the first time he had seen a place such as this. The sand beneath his feet was reminiscent of a beach but no bodies of water could be seen.
"In our world this is called the desert" said Julian