*Hikari = Light (Japanese)
Later in the day Julie met up with Damian at the auction-house. The prophecy they were looking for wasn’t there and Jean searched her home safe, where some of them were kept, but also came up with nothing. So Damian set up a meeting. He would take them to his house to search through the ones that were lodged there. He was surprised only Julie showed up. When he asked where Jane was, she answered something about Rinka calling about the same thing and Jane going with her.
Damian didn’t really trust the situation since Rinka didn’t mention it to him. He picked up his phone immediately and called her. ‘Hey Rin, it’s me! Is Jane with you?’
‘Yeah, we’re going to check at my place. Sorry I didn’t call you first; didn’t mean to make you worried, D. Is Julie there yet?’
‘No, it’s fine, you just don’t know who’s who anymore these days. Just making sure! Yes, she just made it, we’re moving out now. I’ll see you later ‘kay, be careful!’
He turned towards Julie again and smiled. ‘Shall we?’
They arrived at a very modern looking house nearly 15 minutes later. It occurred to Julie that this auction business must pay out a pretty penny, ‘cause it all looked so expensive. The auction-house, his house… for a moment she wondered what Jane saw at Rinka’s apartment. She glanced through one of the glass windows and saw a small Jacuzzi-area, before stopping behind him as he fumbled with the door-keys.
‘So, you're a witch too, I know! You were in the Riverblossom Hills Library. Witches section, I read your name in the register’
‘'Witch' is more like a female term for someone capable of using the arts’ he said opening the door.
‘So you're a warlock?’
Damian pulled a face. 'I associate that term with evil magic, which I don't use…'
‘So what kind of powers do you have?’
He eyed her, teasingly. 'Uhm...’ he said appearing in deep thought, 'I have a very green thumb'
'A green th...' Julie's eye twitched. 'A green thumb is not a qualification to be called witch... warlock... whatever'
'You're right, it's not!' Damian could hear the slight irritation in her voice, the way she spout out the last word. He turned the corner and opened the door to what seemed like a long hallway.
'So, if you're part of the community, you have some 'Other' active power!' Julie said, stepping inside after him.
'You're right, I do!'
'And you're still not gonna tell me?!' she stopped to glare at him.
'No, I'm not!'
Julie wanted nothing more than to smack that grin off his face. She had never met anyone as annoying as Damian in her life. She didn't know what bothered her the most. The fact that she couldn't get any answers out of him or the fact that his mannerism reminded her so much of... hers. Now she realized how irritating it must've been to Jane.
'Is there an end to this apartment of yours? I feel like we've been walking for days' Julie said crossing her arms, glancing at the long hallway they still had to walk.
Damian just smiled at her. The never-ending walk had been a test. See if she was of an evil clan, even if her grandmother wasn't. He decided to let her off the hook, sensing no evil intentions from her. If she had evil thoughts, the walls wouldn't be white.
'How so? We've been standing in one place this entire time'
'Haha, nice try Damian! I'm not crazy, so don't make me out to be! We just entered this hall 3 minutes ago'
Damian snapped his fingers and the hall dissolved, leaving them right where they started; the kitchen.
Julie's mouth dropped to the floor.
'An interactive illusion' he answered her unspoken question, 'comes in pretty handy when you're being robbed'
'So, you what? Make them go through all those fake rooms until the police get here?' Julie managed to say, still dumbfound.
'Well, yes and no… I don’t know what they see! It's different for everyone. When I'm with them, I see what they see, like with you, the white hall'
'I get it... you're an illusionist!'
'No... I'm not!' he laughed again leading her down, what Julie hoped, were real stairs.
‘So if I had failed the test and proven to be evil- what would you have done?’
‘Wipe your memory and leave you alone on an open field--- naked’ he watched her face when he added that last part. It had gone from amused to doubtful and at last insecure. Julie suddenly didn’t have a purpose for her hands. Then they were crossed, then swinging, then touching her face. She wasn’t one to fidget, but right now seemed quite practiced in it. He laughed at the different emotions she showed and tried to put her at ease.
‘Relax, I’m kidding! I would never leave someone on an open field’ he said glancing at her behind him.
Julie stepped inside a room that was dimly lit. The accordion lamp on the wall was the only light source. She held onto the railing afraid she might trip and he stopped to look at her.
‘Is that the only light in here? How do you know what’s where?’
‘It is the only light in here. I only turned it on because of you, it’s usually off’
‘How can you work in the dark?’ she pointed at the desk underneath the lamp.
‘I don’t… see the thing about prophecies- they’re very bright!’
‘Now see, I’m not sure I like you pulling on my leg so much. I’ve seen the prophecies at the auction house, remember! And as far…’
‘Hikari*…’ Damian whispered over his shoulder.
‘… as I know- what did you say?’
Julie took a step closer to Damian, but was instantly distracted by a shimmer of light on one of the back shelves.
At first it looked like smoke gathering inside one of the globes, but as it got stronger and brighter, it seemed more like a fireball trapped underneath the glass. One by one all the orbs flared up and lit up the room like Christmas. Julie was in awe. He wasn’t kidding; it was VERY bright; so bright that he simmered a few of them down again.
‘Why didn’t the ones at the Auction house glow?’
‘This is what they normally look like, so I froze them. If you have to stay in this room for long periods of time, the flashing different color lights can be quite nauseating. I took care of that real quick!’ he smiled, ‘Oh, and excuse the mess—we relocated a few orbs when they started to pile up in the orb-room…’ Julie followed him to the middle of the room, ‘Now let’s see— Allen, was it?’ he asked in her direction.
‘Uh, no, Astor’
Ready to ask him why her ears needed a drill, she stopped when soon enough an orb started glowing gold.
‘Oh that’s kinda cool! So you just call for it—BROWN!’ she yelled suddenly. Surely there must be a prophecy with such a common name, but nothing happened. ‘BROWN!’ Julie yelled again, lifting her hand this time for special effect—still nothing.
Damian walked back over after retrieving the orb in question. ‘Nice try, but it doesn’t work that way. It has voice recognition. It’s a spell that only the caster can control’
‘I’ve never heard of a spell like that… Did you create it yourself?’
‘No, it’s a known spell, you’ll find it in one—of the books in the library’ he said reaching for his cell.
‘Rin? …Yeah, I’m holding it right now. What do you mean you have one?’
‘I don’t know! I called for an Astor orb, but there was nothing here. Then this one flared up as we were leaving— a minute or two ago’
‘Right when I found mine… But if there were more Astor orbs, they would’ve been put together’ Damian answered eyeing the one in his hand.
‘Like I said, it’s not an Astor orb—Hold on D, mom’s calling. I’ll group us. Hey, mom’
‘Hey, I take it you found what you were looking for?’
‘Yes, their orb was at my place, but mom, Rinka has one too’
‘This just got more complicated. That makes a total of three orbs.’
‘Three?’ Rinka’s voice sounded.
‘Why do you think I called you—one in the back was activated 2 minutes ago’
‘But those are worldly scaled…’ Damian voiced.
‘It means—‘, Damian answered, ‘that they’re linked. But which one of them is the source?’
‘Definitely the Astor orb, it’s the oldest of the three. Bring the other orbs to the auction-house; now if you can. I’d like to doctor this thing out right away’
‘Sure, I’ll drop Julie off at the motel and be there soon’ Damian said and Julie started to protest.
‘Yeah, I’ll take Jane back and meet you there’ Rinka voiced before hanging up. A faint sound could be heard in the back of Jane also protesting.
Jean smiled. ‘They’re twins- what did you expect? Where are the orbs?’
Rinka handed her mother the bag, ‘There both in it’
Jean took the bag and made for the hidden room, with the 4 of them trailing behind her. ‘I can handle it on my own you know’
‘Well, they—‘she said pointing in the twins’ direction, ‘won’t be left outside and I can’t work with all of you around me, so, yes, I am kicking you out. Go do something creative… I’ll call you when I have something’
And with that she closed the hidden door in front of their baffled faces.
‘I can’t believe her? And just what are we supposed to do in the meantime?’ Rinka let out.
‘I’m not leaving, so we might as well wait for her here’ Jane said, sitting down on a near chaise lounge.
‘I admire you optimism. And your believe that she’ll have it figured out in a jiffy. She’s fast, but not that fast’ Damian smiled, ‘You’ll only get bored waiting for her here’
Jane sighed and Julie fell next to her making the cushions deflate with a poof.
‘I know’ Rinka said, suddenly enthusiastic, ‘Have you guys been sightseeing yet? You told me it’s your first visit to Belladonna Cove right?’
‘Grams life is kind of hanging in the balance, so forgive me if I’m not it the sightseeing mood Rinka, no offence’
‘Yeah, but we called her every night since being here and she said she’s fine! Not that I believe her every word… but hearing her voice sets me a bit at ease’ Julie added.
‘I for one think it’s a great idea’ Damian cut in, ‘It’s better than sitting around here doing nothing. The phrase ‘Time flies when you’re having fun’ does still apply to us ‘gifted’. How about we test that? Besides, your train leaves tomorrow afternoon. You can’t go back home not having been around town. You’ll ruin our reputation’
‘How do you know when our train leaves?’ Julie asked skeptically.
‘I oversee the delivery of important items auctioned in this place, so I travel a lot. I know the schedules of the places I frequent’ Damian answered, ‘So what do you say? Let your new friends show you their home-town’
Julie glanced at Jane. ‘Well?’
She’d rather stay here and wait out the results, but the idea of winding down seemed very appealing. They’ve been after this prophecy business for the past 3 and ½ days…
‘Alright’ Jane said after giving it some thought, ‘But I need to get something at the motel first and I have to call grams’
Damian put his hand over his sister’s mouth to stop her rambling. ‘We’ll meet you in an hour. I’ll pick you up from your motel’
Jane and Julie nodded and made their way to the elevator. Rinka removed Damian’s hand to add just one more thing.
‘And don’t forget some club-wear, we’re hitting up “The Grimoire” tonight’
She wasn’t sure if they’d heard her, because the elevator doors were closing at that exact moment.
‘I take it you didn’t tell Jane?’ Damian asked, making Rinka turn towards him.
'Tell her what?’
‘You know what!’
No... ? Damian waited for her to finish what sounded like an incomplete sentence. Instead she turned around to face him.
'You are my family... and this is where I belong... right here!' she answered instead, sliding her arms around his waist, forcing him to unfold his, and nuzzled against his chest.
A smile formed on his lips as he held his baby sister in a warm bear-hug.
'The truth? Me- the illegitimate child of their uncle?'
'No, D. Mom and da... their uncle were childhood sweethearts, that's all. That night was a mistake and we both know it. Mom already had daddy, and he was also married'
'Hey, you are not...' 'D. I don't...'
'No, you listen to me now!' He put his arms on her shoulders and willed her to look at him. 'You are not a mistake. I thank God each day that he gave me you for a sister. I can't imagine what my life would be like without you! ...and that night might have been wrong, but in a way they did love each other. You were born out of love and don't ever think otherwise, okay?!'
'Okay… I love you D.' she nestled back into his arms, unfallen tears glistening in her eyes.
'I love you too Rin!
'Yeah, we're good!' she smiled reassuring, '...and uhm, I'll tell them some day, but for now I'm happy with the way things are, okay!'
'Alright, whenever you're ready...' He smiled, rubbing her shoulders, 'Now, let's get something to eat, I'm hungry'
'I made some muffins yesterday, if you want?' her eyes lit up. Damian eyed her; unsure if that was a good idea.
'Beth taught me... I promise they're good!'
'As long as you don't kill me! 'Cause the pizza...' he pulled a face.
'D.!' she nudged him, but smiled.