Chapter Seven: Water You Doing?

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"Wake up, Io!" A familiar voice shook me awake. I rubbed my eyes, and immediately sat up straight. Not again!

"Have we been found again?" I questioned Denisse, who jabbed her thumb at an already wide-awake Christopher. He was wearing a hoodie and exercise shorts, and was busy stuffing knives into his bag.

"Chris said that we need to go out early," She clarified.

I looked out of the balcony window. It was pitch-black and I could only just make out the reflections of the moon on the rippling surface of the waves.

"Best to practice with fewer people around," Christopher explained, pouring water from the bathroom tap into several water bottles. Those are for me to test my power.

To be prepared to make a quick getaway, Denisse packed along her computer equipment and I wore my black boots and double-sided jacket.

Instead of taking the guest lifts, Christopher looked around the corridors before ushering us to the end of it. He swiped a staff card and beckoned us to go down the spiral stairway. It led to a narrow corridor that was supposedly for 'staff-only'. If it was not five thirty in the morning, the place might be crawling with frantic waiters and staff.

"Excuse me, what are you doing here?" A gruff voice asked when we were halfway through. Oh no, I cursed.

We turned to face a security guard dressed in a navy blue suit. He took wide steps towards us. Beside me, I could feel Denisse stiffen.

Surprisingly, Christopher let out a long string of words that sounded like gibberish to me, even gesturing animatedly. I did my best not to chuckle. Anyone would think we were a bunch of foreigners who were oblivious to whatever they were saying.

"I'm sorry, young lad," the security guard announced, "but this area is out of bounds for guests." He started waving us to the guest lifts.

Christopher sighed under his breath. I instinctively gripped his hoodie sleeve to turn him away, lest he made a scene by attempting to fight the security guard. He shook his head, signalling no, I won't, and I let go. As he pulled out three lanyards, I caught a glimpse of one. It read Tour Guest: Special Access to Staff Corridors.

I took them from Christopher and immediately waved them at the security guard's face. As he examined them, I used my hands and fingers to gesture that we had left something behind. Please understand. Please let us through.

"Okay, please quickly retrieve your belongings," the security guard replied, pointing down the hallway.

I placed my palms together, a thank-you signal, before hurrying down the hallway after Christopher and Denisse.

At the very end of the corridor, Christopher swiped the staff card again, and the door clicked open. Outside was a black forest, where the trees shot up like arrows into the sky, as if attempting to pierce the glimmering stars. We followed him further and further away from the hotel. When I looked back, the hotel appeared to be the size of my palm.

"Alright, time to see what you've got," Christopher announced, dropping his bag. Denisse took my backpack and she propped her computer equipment onto a particularly large rock.

I walked to the shore of the water and stared at the water surface. Come on, show me something, I begged myself, hoping that it would help.

Christopher levitated a small rock with his eyes, suggesting, "Let's try seeing if it works when I try to attack you. I won't hit you too hard."

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