XXII: Rainy Days

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"Nalin..."

The said boy blinked his eyes open at the sound of his name. His vision was obstructed with darkness for a moment, before it slowly cleared away all around him. He looked around, slightly confused, but at peace with the foreign surroundings. He was in a dark room, slightly lit aglow by the fire that crackled at the hearth.

At the canopy bed across the way from where he stood, a pale-haired figure was laying slumbering with the silk sheet pulled to their chin. Sitting beside the person, was a man wearing familiar white robes. 

It was the same man from before, but his back was to Nalin. His palm came up to caress the slumbering person's cheek. "It pains me to see you like this, sweet one."

He brought his face impossibly closer to the person's and closed his eyes. Nalin stared on in wonder.

"I won't let her have you any longer."

Nalin scared himself awake, his body jumping from the comfort of his mattress and his heart beating a mile a minute.

What was with these dreams of his? Why did the same man keep appearing in them?

Nalin laid in bed some more, trying to get his head around the possible meanings before he realized that it was broad daylight, and he had slept through his morning classes.

The halfblood just about had a heart attack as he all but flew from his bedsheets.


. . .


Nalin didn't even bother meeting with the Head Mistress. He was too afraid to confront her about missing her classes, so instead, he went out to the courtyard to spend some time outside and get some fresh air.

Maybe that was what he needed.

Nalin hadn't been feeling himself lately. He definitely felt...weaker, so to say. He just didn't know what it was. Maybe it was because of the letter, and that the anxiety it brought was eating at him slowly but surely, or perhaps it was his dreams. 

Whatever it was, it was taking a toll on Nalin.

But by the time the boy had made it outside, it had already began to start raining, forcing the boy back inside. He huffed in frustration. Looks like he'd be seeing Sir Lulche early.

The Keeper noticed the halfbreed's pale complexion the moment he walked into his office. The Keeper had planned to ask Nalin a favor and send the boy over to House Dawn to deliver a few scrolls he'd borrowed from Sir Clement, but that plan went out the window when he saw the state that Nalin was in.

"Have you been sleeping lately?" Sir Lulche inquired.

Nalin blinked, looking clueless. "Uh, yes?"

"You seem unsure."

"No, really. I'm fine."

Sir Lulche didn't looked impressed with his answer. He surprised Nalin when he rose from his seat and approached him, placing the back of his hand against the boy's forehead to check his temperature.

"Hmm, you don't seem to have a fever." Sir Lulche pondered aloud. "But I'm no doctor. Go see Eliran this instant."

"But---"

Sir Lulche raised a brow and Nalin pouted.

"Fine."

The Keeper watched in concern as the boy left his study rather sluggishly. He gave a sigh and returned to his work just as sluggishly. The boy can be such a child sometimes.


. . .


"It is fatigue."

Dr. Eliran had taken his temperature and ran some tests, after what seemed like forever of waiting, he finally shared to Nalin his findings.

"Make sure you are well rested, Nalin. You may be half Celestial, half Demon, but you can still suffer from sleep-deprivation just as anyone else."

"But I am sleeping."

Dr. Eliran frowned. "Your impressive eye-bags tell me otherwise."

Nalin sighed heavily and Dr. Eliran chuckled, "Head straight to bed once you leave my infirmary. I will excuse you from your classes up until your scheduled mission tomorrow afternoon. If you are not better until then, you will not be going."

The halfbreed groaned.

Dr. Eliran shrugged. "It's for your own good, Nalin."

"I understand." Nalin said in defeat. He got up and made his way over to the door.

"Straight to bed!"

He shut the door with an eye-roll and proceeded to mope his way back to the sleeping chambers. It was raining really hard today, so much so that he could even hear the heavy pits and patters on the roof of the academy. It must be flooded outside...no wonder there were puddles here and there in the hallways. Nalin stepped around one large puddle in particular and ended up slipping right underneath himself. He would have fallen onto his backside, had someone's hand not have whipped out and caught him at the right moment.

Nalin breathed, "Thank you---" He caught sight of who had caught him and he swallowed the rest of his words.

Robin looked equally as surprised to see him, but it soon wore off into a razor-sharp grin. "Why if it isn't Nalin. You're rather clumsy, aren't you?"

Nalin ripped out of his hold with a growl. "It was just slippery."

Robin smirked, "Uh-huh. Well, you're welcome for saving you."

"Thank you."

Nalin realized that he'd just thanked the aggravating jerk twice and glared while Robin snickered. He shoved his hands into his pockets to keep from strangling him.

"I'd watch your back if I were you, demon-boy."

And with that said, Robin waved as he sauntered away. Nalin glared daggers into the back of his head until he couldn't see that bright red hair any longer, then turned around to continue the rest of his way to his chambers.

He massaged his temples with a sigh.

I'd watch your back if I were you...

Robin's words rang in Nalin's mind like a broken record, and he came to a startling realization soon after. Could it be...had Robin been the one to have written that letter? 

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