After three hours of going through the notebooks, diaries, books, even scrolls; Alex, Boon and Teg look defeated.
‘Okay, what do you guys have? Coz I have nothing. I’ve gone through almost everything I can read but I can’t farkin’ get shit. I can’t even do the simplest magia! How the hell do they make things still? I saw some of the symbols which I’ve drawn before but that’s about it’
‘Maybe we missed out something?’ Boon asks, trying to help.
‘Did Stēlla have magia before you both were bonded?’ Alex trying to be hopeful that she didn’t.
‘Yes Domina. Domina Stēlla had abundant resource of magia essence. She was overflowing with it. She was a seer before I met her. And people from all over the world used to travel to consult her. Not all predictions are good but her family was respected and in turn, they appreciated the people.’ Boon recalls.
‘Most of the stone keepers had magia but they only have a fraction of the mark,’ Alex says as she puts up her arm to show it to them. ‘I have a complete flower of life mark and I can’t do jack shit.’
‘Georgina had four of a mark, your Aunt Hera had half – I’m sure they used magia,’ Teg says, trying to make sense of things. ‘But let me tell you, they used their life essence whenever they use itn . Just like your old friend, Fortesque.’
‘They do? Oh feck no!’ Alex shock at what she is hearing. ‘Does that mean….I… ?’ Alex feeling panicky.
‘No Domina, I would have felt it from the beginning and stopped you.’ Boon replies. Alex feels the nervous tension drain off her almost immediately.
‘That’s how Georgina died. She was a bit reckless.’ Teg says as he closes a book. ‘You know what’s interesting? Most of the books don’t really know about Boon or me. Most of the stories are a little out there, even with our reputation – myths, fairy tales you tell your kids at night. None of it is the same, maybe because they never met us. Most of them are just theories. Some they get from library books and such.’
‘All I can actually do is making the cabinet box bigger and smaller!’ she tells them, exasperated. ‘I’m a useless mage!’
Teg and Boon gives her a confused look.
‘Domina, why do you insist on not knowing…er, jack?’ Boon asks her, utterly confused.
‘Because I can’t do magia? That’s what I’ve been saying this whole time! Uuugghh.’
‘But you have your resourcefulness.’ Teg tells her, and flies behind the desk and picks up a voice recorder. ‘Domina, when you speak to us, what do you understand it as?’
Alex gives him a tired ridiculous look. ‘Really?’
‘English, Teg. I am speaking English – like right now.’
‘Alright, speak to me and Boon as I record our conversation.’
‘What are you getting at?’
‘Alright…alright,’ she says, putting up her hands. ‘I don’t know what you guys are up to.’
Teg pushes the record button.
‘Domina, what do you think of this house?’
‘Boon, what is the color of Domina’s hair?’ Teg asks.
‘Rainbow, like a rainbow.’
‘I like my hair!’ Alex says, shaking her head dramatically.
Teg pushes the stop button and rewinds the tape.
‘Please listen closely, Domina.’
‘Domina, quid cogitare istum?’
‘Boon, quid est color Domina scriptor capillus?’
‘Arcus, quasi arcus.’
‘Meum amo capillus’
Teg stops the recorder and looks at a very confused Alex. ‘If you record Fortesque, he’s speaking to you in French and you are too.’
Alex, eyes getting wider, just staring at them. ‘That was my voice. I know my voice because it sounds like a prepubescent teenage boy. But how is this possible?’ she shakes her head from side to side, unbelieving. ‘Does this mean, I’m speaking Latin now coz I haven’t really used the dictionary and Boon said he was trying to speak to me in English. And when I was at home, I was speaking to my parents in normal English and then change to Latin? Is that it? Did I make any sense? How are my parents speaking to you then?’
‘In English and I speak to them in English as well.’
“Why couldn’t you speak to me in English then?’ Alex asks.
‘Well, it’s actually your choice, Domina. Before you both were bonded, you were already speaking in Latin and you didn’t even know! How mysterious!’ Teg says excitedly.
‘Please stop calling me, Domina. I feel so so so old. Can you both just call me, Alex? Please? It should be fine since you are both older than I am!’ Teg and Boon look at each other, trying to see what each other thinks about this little request from Alex without speaking.
‘I can hear what you are both saying, now cut it out!’ she points at them, accusingly. ‘Fine. I order you Boon and Teg not to call me ‘Domina’ anymore. You will refer to me as Alex.’
Boon and Teg look at each other worriedly and sighs at the same time. ‘Boon?’
‘Y-yes, D…Alex.’ Boon is struggling, he feels like he has violated some law.
Teg is looking down at his feet. ‘Yes…Alex.’
‘Good. I feel like we are now equals. I really think we’re more of a team anyway,’ she nods towards them.
‘It will take some getting used to…Alex.’ Teg says honestly.
‘I guess it would be since my face is not something you’re used to calling ‘Alex’. But I do feel like we can’t make the sort of pact that we’re supposed to have if you’re going to second guess my nature. I’m a completely different person.’
‘You are right….Alex,’ Boon says, looking a little ashamed. ‘To tell you the truth, I did not know how to react towards you in the beginning. I was still ashamed for what happened between me and Domina Stēlla. I couldn’t protect her and now, I am a little wary of some things.’
‘Like what?’ Alex asks, curious. She doesn’t know why Boon is suddenly opening up like this. Maybe because he didn’t have to call her Domina, she thought to herself.
‘You might decide to cut me off one of these days, throw me back into the stone. I cannot tell you otherwise not to do it. I will remain your humble servant.’
‘Oh my god Boon. What part of ‘we are a team’ did you not understand?’
‘I am just letting you know how I feel. I hope you don’t think of me too forward or offensive. But if you are, I apologize and please let me know.’ Boon is now looking down at his feet, shifting his legs nervously.
Alex playfully hits him on the arm which took Boon by surprise. ‘Pssh! It’s fine, Boon. We still got a lot of work to do. We still got about another hour until dinner.’ Alex looks at Teg thoughtfully. ‘Teg, do you have anything to say to me?’
Teg thinks for a minute.
‘Well,’ he starts, ‘I don’t think I have any issues with Domina Stēlla. Maybe that she’s not as flexible but hey, just because you have the same soul essence, doesn’t mean you’re the same person! And even if you look almost exactly the same, it doesn’t mean nothing,’ he adds.
Alex smiles at Boon and Teg. ‘Thank you for being honest with me, guys. I believe it’s what I really needed to hear. I’m just a bit frustrated with this whole magia thing.’
‘Teg, didn’t you say that Alex is different even if she has Domina Stēlla’s soul essence?’
‘Why, of course. Everyone is whoever goes through the process of reincarnation. It’s still a different life, with different choices, attitudes, that’s the whole beauty of the life cycle. It’s always different.’ Teg explains.
‘If that’s the case, then Alex will go through different stages of her magia too.’ Boon concludes.
‘That’s correct!’ Boon exclaims excitedly.
‘You really think so, Boon?’ Alex asks nervous. Finally, she feels they might be on to something this time.
‘Alex went through the process of language first. Domina Stēlla learnt languages only after three years of being bonded. Alex learnt how to do resizing almost the first stage – Domina Stēlla managed to perfect that a few days before we were separated.’
‘Maybe we should check on every one’s progress? Make a timeline?’ Alex suggests.
‘No, that would be a waste of time.’ Teg concludes, ‘because it’s all different.’
‘But surely they have similarities.’
‘That is true. I just don’t want you to waste your time.’ Teg tells them, a bit embarrassed.
‘There are three of us, we should be able to go through these and make a timeline at the same time.’ Boon tells them confidently.
As they scour back through the notes on the table, they hear a ring. It must be dinner time. They don’t pay attention to it and kept on working on the notes.
They hear someone come in and hear footsteps going up the spiral staircase. It was the same young man from lunch.
‘Dinner is ready, Miss Alexandria. Sir Boon & Sir Teg will also join you at the table,’ he bows politely and gestures towards the staircase.
Alex stops writing and looks up from her work. ‘Where’s Fortesque?’ she asks the young man. ‘What’s your name by the way?’
‘John. John Smith, Miss Alexandria. As for sir Fortesque, he’s at the observatory doing his weekly errands there.’
‘Errands?’ Alex asks.
‘Yes, Miss Alexandria. He goes there every week. We don’t know what he does there but it’s really none of our business.’
‘I see. Can you take us to see him, John? Before we go to dinner? It will be very quick.’
‘Of course, Miss Alexandria. Right this way.’