“Liku, what in Azudacluke are you talking about?”
They both glanced back and forth from me to each other. Even though it apparently wasn’t my fault, they sure weren’t making it seem like that.
Liku turned around and pulled out a key from his pocket. He inserted it into the door handle and locked the door. Tessa was terrified. “Liku, what are you-”
“Please, Tessa, just let me explain,” Liku grabbed a chair from a table in the corner and pulled it up next to Tessa’s chair.
“Okay then. Start talking.”
“Okay, just, please don’t be mad at me,”
“I’ll try,” Tessa muttered.
“Okay, here it goes…uh…you know how…you haven’t been coming to the meetings lately?”
“Uh huh,” Tessa answered.
“And how I’ve been filling you in on the information,”
“Well…” Liku squinted his eyes. “I lied,” he blurted.
“All the information I told you was false,”
“Liku! How could you do this? Why did you do this?” Liku opened his eyes and held up his hands defensively towards Tessa.
“Okay, okay, please don’t get mad. I’ll explain, even though it sounds pretty stupid. Basically, the last meeting you went to was when we narrowed our heroes down to R.J.,” Liku motioned towards me. “Your classmate. And you, Annalia.”
I already knew that, but I nodded to be respectful. It seemed like this guy was already having enough trouble today. I wouldn’t want to put any of my secrets and facts on top of that.
Liku looked back at Tessa. “Some of the council thought you might be biased since you made friends with Annalia,”
“Seriously?” Tessa scoffed.
“Hey, I wasn’t for that. Anyway, they excluded you from the meetings, and I was ordered to relay information to you and not collect your opinion. As the meetings went on, we were still pretty torn between who would be chosen-”
“Hold on, wait,” I interrupted. “Can I stop you for a second?”
“I was wondering, why did you guys narrow it down to me and R.J. to save your dimension? We’re just kids!”
“Well . . . according to a prophecy that the head of the Normwhaugs said to Viallanne in a night vision–”
“A dream?” I asked.
“Yeah, whatever. Moving on, the Normwhaug said to her that only a fear greater than fear itself or a bravery that can bring down the strongest walls of this world can stop them. So, after Tessa performed a lot of research on kids and adults in your . . . county?”
“Yes,” Tessa said.
“County, she somehow managed to narrow it down to you two. No offense, but you’re not the bravest kids, but when necessary, you can be pretty tough. We would have brought both of you, but there was one problem: you two are arch rivals,”
“Oops,” I muttered.
“I hope that answers your question. Getting back on track, uh . . . right! We were debating on who to choose, and the council was leaning more towards R.J. Don’t ask why even I don’t understand. He’s just an immature brat.”
I couldn’t help but laugh in agreement. “Finally, the truth is spoken,” I added.
Liku gave me a half-smile and continued speaking.
“After a few more meetings, the council . . . the-the council,” The color quickly drained from his face. Liku looked at me, and then Tessa. “Annalia,” He looked at me. “You’re not supposed to be here,”
“Wh-what?” I asked softly.
“They chose R.J.”
“They did?” Tessa asked. He nodded. “But . . . Liku, then how-”
“They assigned us to retrieve R.J. like how we did with Annalia. But-” Liku turned his attention towards me again. “Do you remember those people that came to your school one day with all the snakes and reptiles?”
“Uh-huh,” I replied.
“I was the guy that brought out all the animals for the lady to talk about and show you.”
“Yup. And, I don’t know what it was, but when I first saw you . . . you had this . . . glow. Not literally, but you seemed to just, light up the room with your presence. I knew you were special. And in that moment, I knew that I would fight for you to be chosen. I tried everything for you to be chosen, Annalia, but it was no use,” Liku looked down in shame.
“So, Tessa,” he looked up at her. “I . . . I lied to you. I said that we were assigned to retrieve Annalia since she was the chosen one.”
Tessa shot up from her seat. “Liku! How could you!”
“I’m sorry, Tess-”
“Not only did you betray the queen, but you got us both in serious trouble!” Tessa glanced at me. “No, you got the three of us in serious trouble. Especially her,” I was speechless.
“Can’t Viallanne just have the pixies-”
“It’s not going to work that way, Liku.” Tessa walked past Liku and put her hand on the door handle. “Not only are R.J. and Annalia special, but they’re very stubborn. So trying to convince Annalia to do that is probably not going to work very well,”
“Convince me to do what-”
“You’ll find out later,” Tessa cut me off. I watched as Tessa grabbed a key from her pocket and inserted it into the door handle. She unlocked it and turned around to face us. Her face was fiery red with rage, but her eyes had the slightest gleam of worry.
“Come on guys.” Tessa grabbed the last white chair from the table in the corner. She walked with it back to the door and opened it. “There’s no way I’m going in alone to fix this mess.”