Master Garuda

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I hadn't stayed in the library for long, just enough time to explore the massive collection of writings, but I didn't read anything. I went to bed early, not interested in running into the others. My sleep was dreamless and I woke up the next morning refreshed, but a bad feeling twisted my stomach.

I ignored it and got up. No one had come to my room yet to get me, so I assumed I still had time before breakfast. I went to the thick curtains and touched them lightly, my curiosity rising.

I pulled the heavy drapes back and saw that my back wall was completely gone, a gaping hole that opened into a large space that dropped down to the ground floor. The opposite side of the space was filled with squares, some covered with drapes and others open. I watched phoenixes fly up and down from rooms to the ground. The far left held a wall of windows, and way down to the right I could see the giant spiral staircase.

It was an amazing design, I thought of the dorms at Cambridge and almost laughed at drastic differences.

Someone knocked on my door and I closed the drapes, "What?"

The door opened and Nisvārtha walked in.

I scowled at him, still a little angry from last night, "What is it?"

"It is time to go, after breakfast we have the meeting with Master Garuda and we need to discuss what your story will be."

I crossed my arms and raised an eyebrow, "My story?"

Nisvārtha sighed, "I will explain on the way, just please, come."

I sighed and followed him. Suruli was waiting in the hall for us and Havala could be heard rousing the others, but Nisvārtha didn't wait for them.

I frowned and opened my mouth to say something but Nisvārtha answered me before I asked. "We do not have much time, and Master Garuda only agreed to see us three."

I pursed my lips, that was odd. "Why?"

"Nisvārtha is considered your handler, or guardian," Suruli explained. "So he is allowed to be present at such a meeting. But other than that, only phoenixes are allowed to be present."

I had no response to that as we sprinted down the staircase. It didn't take as long as I thought it would and before I could catch my breath we were in the dining hall getting food.

"Alright," I began, trying to stay calm before this meeting. "So why do I need to have a story planned?"

Suruli gave me a look, "Kendra do you remember how well Lord Śārk took the story you told him?"

I winced, remembering the sting of that blow, "Okay I see your point. But what else should I say?"

"What you say is not important," Nisvārtha said. "The key thing is to not tell anyone that you are from the human world."

"Again, why?"

He sighed and pinched the bridge of his nose, "One of two things will happen if you tell them, either they will worship you as a child of some god—"

I smirked, "That's ridiculous—"

"Or they will kill you," he finished, his eyes hard.

I gaped at the two of them, identical looks of seriousness held firm on their faces.

"Um," I cleared my throat and ran a shaky hand through my hair. "Okay then, no human world. No problem. Anything else I need to worry about?"

Unfortunately Suruli and Nisvārtha were as unfamiliar with this situation as I was. They had no idea what would happen, since nothing like this had ever happened before. The hope was that they would have me meet with a wizard who could help me through my first shift.

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