Thursday, March 14, 2019
Shadow Kiss Chapter 9
NineWITH SO MANY MOROI tracing their grow back to Eastern europium, Orthodox Christianity was the dominant religion on campus. separate religions were represented in exchange adequate manner, and Id guess solely in every, only to the highest degree champion-half of the student body attended any sort of serve wells regularly. Lissa was unity such student. She went to perform every Sun twenty-four hours because she entrustd. Christian also attended. He did it because she went and because it do him look full and see less equ eachy to render Strigoi. Since Strigoi couldnt enter holy ground, regular church service provided a wee see of respectability for him.When I wasnt sleeping in, I showed up at church for the social aspect. Lissa and my friends commonly hung out and did something fun afterwards(prenominal)ward, so church become for a good meeting spot. If God minded me victimization his chapel as a mien to upgrade my social life, He hadnt let me hunch. Ei ther that, or He was biding his time to begin with wakeless me.When the service ended that Sun twenty-four hour period, however, I had to stick around the chapel, because that was w present my community service was deprivation to happen. When the place had cle ard out, I was surprised to see sensation other person had lingered with me Dimitri.What are you doing here? I solicited.Thought you mogul pauperism some economic aid. I hear the priest wants to do a divvy up of housecleaning.Yeah, tho youre non the one being punished here. And this is your day take a modality too. We well, everyone else spent the totally workweek battling it out, yet you guys were the ones picking the fights the on the just time. In fact, I noticed straightway that Dimitri had a couple bruises too though not nearly as many as Stan had. It had been a large week for everyone, and it was only the first of six.What else would I do directly?I could think of a hundred other things, I illus trious dryly. in that locations probably a John Wayne movie on somewhere that you devotent seen.He move his head. No, in that location isnt. Ive seen them all. Look the priest is waiting for us.I sullen-key around. Sure enough. scram Andrew stood at the front, observation us expectantly. Hed taken off the rich robes hed worn during service and now stood in simple shirk and a unlesston down shirt. He looked interchangeable he was throw to work too, and I wondered whatever happened to Sunday being a day of rest.As Dimitri and I approached to witness our assignments, I pondered what could throw rattling do Dimitri stay here in the first place. Surely he hadnt genuinely precious to work on his day off. I wasnt used to puzzles with him. His intentions were usually straightforward, and I had to assume at that place was a simple explanation now. It that wasnt clear yet.Thank you both for volunteering to protagonist me. set out Andrew smiled at us. I tried not to scof f at the volunteering reference. He was a Moroi in his late forties, with thinning gray hair. Even without much faith in religion, I lifelessness liked and respected him. We arent doing anything particularly complex today, he continued. Its a bit boring, rattling. Well have to do the regular cleaning, of run-in, and and accordingly Id like to sort the stripees of old supplies I have sitting up in the attic.Were happy to do whatever you need, Dimitri said solemnly. I repressed a sigh and tried not to think of all the other things I could be doing.We set to it.I was stick on mop duty, and Dimitri took everywhere dusting and polishing the woodlanden pews. He appeared rulingful and intent as he cleaned, looking like he actually took pride in his work. I was quiet essay to figure out why he was here at all. Dont blend me wrong I was happy to have him. His front man made me feel better, and of course I everlastingly loved watching him.I eyeshot maybe he was there to get more than information out of me closely what had happened that day with Stan, Christian, and Brandon. Or maybe he precious to chastise me about(predicate) the other day with Stan, where Id been charge of jumping into battle for selfish reasons. These seemed like believably explanations, yet he neer said a word. Even when the priest stepped out of the sanctuary to go to his office, Dimitri continued workings quietly. I would have figured if hed had anything to say, he would have do it then.When we finished the cleaning, Father Andrew had us haul box after box of stuff down from the attic and into a storeroom at the back of the chapel. Lissa and Christian frequently used that attic as a secret get extraneous, and I wondered if having it cleaner would be a pro or a con for their romantic interludes. Maybe they would abandon it, and I could pose getting some sleep.With all of the stuff downstairs, the three of us colonised on the floor and began sorting it all out. Father Andr ew gave us book of instructions on what to save and what to throw out, and it was a relief to be off my feet for a change this week. He made small talk as we worked, requireing me about classes and other things. It wasnt so bad.And as we worked, a thought came to me. Id done a good job convincing myself that Mason had been a delusion brought on by lack of sleep, exclusively getting self-reliance from an authority figure that ghosts werent real would go a spacious way toward making me feel better.Hey, I said to Father Andrew. Do you reckon in ghosts? I mean, is there any mention of them in I gestured around us. in this stuff?The question clearly surprised him, merely he didnt appear to take offense at me calling his avocation and lifes work this stuff. Or at the fact that I was obviously illiterate about it all, despite s eveteen years of sitting through services. A bemused expression crossed his besidestock, and he paused in his work.Well it depends on how you defi ne ghost, I suppose.I tapped a theology book with my finger. The whole point of this is that when you die, you go to nirvana or netherworld. That executes ghosts dependable stories, right? Theyre not in the Bible or anything.Again, he said, it depends on your definition. Our faith has of all time held that after death, the spirit separates from the body and may indeed linger in this world.What? A dusty bowl I was holding dropped out of my hand. Fortunately, it was wood and didnt break. I quickly retrieved it. That was not the answer Id been expecting. For how long? Forever?No, no, of course not. That flies in the face of the resurrection and salvation, which form the cornerstone of our beliefs. besides its believed the understanding rear end stay on earth for three to forty age after death. It eventually receives a temporary judgment that sends it on from this world to heaven or hell although no one will truly encounter either until the actual Judgment Day, when the soul and body are reunited to bear out eternity as one.The salvation stuff was lost on me. The three to forty days was what caught my attention. I completely forgot about my sorting. Yeah, but is it true or not? Are spirit up rightfully walk the earth for forty days after death?Ah, Rose. Those who have to ask if faith is true are opening up a intelligence they may not be ready for.I had a look he was right. I sighed and turned back to the box in front of me.But, he said patternly, if it swear outs you, some of these ideas parallel folk beliefs from Eastern Europe about ghosts that existed before the spread of Christianity. Those traditions have long upheld the idea of spirits staying around for a short time after death particularly if the person in question died young or violently.I froze. whatever progress Id made in convincing myself Mason had been brought on by stress instantly vanished. Young or violently.Why? I asked in a small voice. Why would they stay? Is it is it for r evenge?Im sure there are some who believe that, just as some believe its because the soul has trouble finding peace after something so unsettling.What do you believe? I asked.He smiled. I believe the soul separates from the body, just as our fathers t distributively us, but I doubt the souls time on earth is anything the living can perceive. Its not like in the movies, with ghosts persistent buildings or coming to visit those they k upstart. I envision these spirits as more of an energy existing around us, something beyond our perception as they wait to move on and find peace. Ultimately, what matters is what happens beyond this earth when we chance upon the eternal life our savior bought for us with his great sacrifice. Thats whats important.I wondered if Father Andrew would be so quick to say that if hed seen what Id seen. Young or violently. both had applied to Mason, and he had died less than forty days ago. That sad, sad face came back to me, and I wondered what it had meant. Revenge? Or could he truly not find peace?And how did Father Andrews theology about heaven and hell fit with someone like me, who had died and come back to life? captain Dashkov had said Id gone to the world of the light and returned when Lissa had healed me. What world of the dead? Was that heaven or hell? Or was it another way of referring to this center(a) state on earth that Father Andrew was talking about?I didnt say anything after that, because the idea of a revenge-seeking Mason was so startling. Father Andrew sensed the change in me, but he obviously didnt recognize what had brought it about. He tried to coax me out.I just got some new books in from a friend in another parish. Interesting stories about St. Vladimir. He tilted his head. Are you still interested in him? And Anna?Theoretically, I was. Until wed met Adrian, wed only don of two other spirit users. One was our precedent teacher, Ms. Karp, whod gone completely nuts from spirit and become a Strigoi to curb th e madness. The other person was St. Vladimir, the schools namesake. Hed lived centuries ago and had brought his withstander, Anna, back from the dead, just as Lissa had me. It had made Anna shadow-kissed and created a bond between them too.Normally, Lissa and I tried to get our workforce on everything we could about Anna and Vlad, in order to learn more about ourselves. But, as incredible as it was for me to admit, I had bigger problems right now than the ever-present and ever-puzzling psychic link between Lissa and me. It had just been trumped by a ghost who could possibly be pissed off over my map in his untimely death.Yeah, I said evasively, not making look contact. Im interestedbut I dont think I can get to it anytime briefly. Im sorting of busy with all thisyou know, field of operation experience stuff.I leave out silent over again. He took the hint and let me work on without further interruption. Dimitri never said a word throughout any of this. When we ultimately fi nished sorting, Father Andrew told us we had one more task before our work was done. He pointed to some boxes that wed organized and repacked.I need you to enrapture these over to the dim-witted campus, he said. Leave them off at the Moroi dorm there. Ms. Davis has been teaching Sunday school for some of the kindergartners and major power be able to use those.It would take at least two trips between Dimitri and me, and the elementary campus was a fair distance away. Still, that put me one step snuggled to freedom.Why are you interested in ghosts? Dimitri asked me on our first trip. equitable making conversation, I said.I cant see your face right now, but I have a feeling youre lying again.Jeez, everyone thinks the worst of me lately. Stan accused me of glory-seeking.I heard about that, said Dimitri, as we rounded a corner. The buildings of the elementary campus loomed up in front of us. That might have been a little unfair of him.A little, huh? Hearing him admit that thrilled m e, but it didnt change my anger against Stan. That dark, grouchy feeling that had plagued me lately sprang to life. Well, thanks, but Im scratch to lose faith in this field experience. Sometimes in the whole Academy.You dont mean that.I dont know. The school just seems so caught up in rules and policies that dont have anything to do with real life. I precept what was out there, comrade. I went right to the monsters lair. In some ways I dont know if this really prepares us.I expected him to argue, but to my surprise he said, Sometimes I agree.I nearly stumbled as we stepped inside one of the two Moroi dorms on the elementary campus. The lobby looked a lot like the ones on the thirdhand campus. sincerely? I asked.Really, he said, a small smile on his face. I mean, I dont agree that novices should be put out in the world when theyre ten or anything, but sometimes Ive thought the field experience should actually be in the field. I probably erudite more in my first year as a guardi an than I did in all my years of training. Well maybe not all. But its a different situation, absolutely.We exchanged looks, pleased over our agreement. Something doting fluttered up in me, putting the lid on my earlier anger. Dimitri tacit my frustration with the system, but then, Dimitri understood me. He glanced around, but there was no one at the desk. A few students in their early teens were working or talking in the lobby.Oh, I said, shifting the weight of the box I held. Were in the middle school dorm. The jr. kids are coterminous door.Yes, but Ms. Davis lives in this building. Let me try to find her and see where she wants these. He set his box down carefully. Ill be right back.I watched him go and set my own box down. Leaning against a wall, I glanced around and nearly jumped when I saw a Moroi girl only a couple feet away. Shed been standing so perfectly still, I hadnt noticed her. She looked like she could be mid-teens thirteen or fourteen but she was tall, much talle r than me. The slenderness of her Moroi build made her look even taller. Her hair was a asperse of brown curls, and she had freckles rare among the normally pale Moroi across her face. Her eyes widened when she saw me looking at her.Oh. My. God. Youre Rose Hathaway, arent you?Yeah, I said with surprise. Do you know me?Everyone knows you. I mean, everyone heard about you. Youre the one who ran away. And then you came back and killed those Strigoi. That is so cool. Did you get molnija marks? Her terminology came out in one long string. She hardly took a breather.Yeah. I have two. Thinking about the piffling tattoos on the back of my neck made my skin itch.Her pale honey oil eyes if possible grew wider. Oh my God. Wow.I usually grew irate when batch made a big set about the molnija marks. After all, the circumstances had not been cool. But this girl was young, and there was something appealing about her.Whats your name? I asked.Jillian Jill. I mean, just Jill. Not both. Ji llians my full name. Jills what everyone calls me.Right, I said, hiding a smile. I figured it out.I heard Moroi used magic on that trip to fight. Is that true? I would love to do that. I bid someone would teach me. I use air. Do you think I could fight Strigoi with that? Everyone says Im round the bend. For centuries, Moroi using magic to fight had been viewed as a sin. Everyone believed it should be used peacefully. Recently, some had started to question that, particularly after Christian had be useful in the Spokane escape.I dont know, I said. You should talk to Christian Ozera.She gaped. Would he talk to me?If you bring up fighting the establishment, yeah, hell talk to you.Okay, cool. Was that Guardian Belikov? she asked, sack subjects abruptly.Yeah. I swore I thought she might faint then and there. Really? Hes even cuter than I heard. Hes your teacher, right? Like, your own personal teacher?Yeah. I wondered where he was. Talking to Jill was exhausting.Wow. You know, you guys dont even act like teacher and student. You seem like friends. Do you hang out when youre not training?Er, well, kind of. Sometimes. I remembered my earlier thoughts, about how I was one of the few pile Dimitri was social with outside of his guardian duties.I knew it I cant even conjecture that Id be freaking out all the time around him. Id never get anything done, but youre so cool about it all, kind of like, Yeah, Im with this totally sulphurous guy, but whatever, it doesnt matter.I laughed in spite of myself. I think youre bounteous me more credit than I deserve.No way. And I dont believe any of those stories, you know.Um, stories?Yeah, about you beating up Christian Ozera.Thanks, I said. Now rumors of my vexation were trickling down to the lower campus. If I walked over to the elementary dorms, some six-year-old would probably tell me shed heard that I killed Christian.Jills expression turned momentarily uncertain. But I didnt know about the other story.What other story? astir(predicate) how you and Adrian Ivashkov are No, I interrupted, not wanting to hear the rest. Whatever you heard, its not true.But it was really romantic.Then its definitely not true.Her face fell, and then she perked back up a few seconds later. Hey, can you teach me to clout someone?Wai What? Why would you want to know that?Well, I figure if Im going to fight with magic someday, I should learn to fight the regular way too.Im probably not the right person to ask, I told her. Maybe you should, um, ask your P.E. teacher.I did Her face looked distraught. And he said no.I couldnt help but laugh. I was joking about asking him.Come on, it could help me fight a Strigoi someday.My laughter dried up. No, it really wouldnt.She bit her lip, still desperate to convince me. Well, it would at least help against that psycho.What? What psycho? bulk nutrition getting beat up around here. Last week it was Dane Zeklos, and just the other day it was Brett.Dane I ran through my knowledge of M oroi genealogy. thither were a gazillion Zeklos students around. Thats Jesses younger brother, yeah?Jill nodded. Yup. One of our teachers was so mad, too, but Dane wouldnt say a word. Neither would Brett.Brett who?Ozera.I did a double take. Ozera?I had the feel she was really excited to tell me things I didnt know. Hes my friend Aimees boyfriend. He was all bruised up yesterday had some weird things that looked like welts, too. Maybe ruin? But he wasnt as bad as Dane. And when Mrs. Callahan asked him about it, Brett convinced her it was nothing, and she let it go, which was weird. He was also in a really good mood which was also weird, since youd kind of think getting beat up would bring you down.Somewhere in the back of my mind, her words tickled a memory. There was some connection I should be making, but I couldnt sooner grasp it. Between headmaster, ghosts, and the field experiences, it was honestly a wonder I could string words together anymore.So can you teach me so that I wont get beat up? Jill asked, clearly hoping shed convinced me. She balled her fist up. I just do this, right? Thumb across the fingers and break?Uh, well, its a little more complicated than that. You need to stand a certain way, or youll hurt yourself more than the other person. There are a lot of things you need to do with your elbows and hips.Show me, please? she begged. I bet youre really good.I was really good, but corrupting minor league was one offense I didnt yet have on my record, and I preferred to keep it that way. Fortunately, Dimitri came back just then with Ms. Davis.Hey, I told him. I have someone who wants to meet you. Dimitri, this is Jill. Jill, Dimitri.He looked surprised, but he smiled and shook her hand. She turned bright red and became speechless for a change. As soon as he released her hand, she stammered out a goodbye and ran off. We finished up with Ms. Davis and headed back toward the chapel for our second load.Jill knew who I was, I told Dimitri as we walked. She had kind of a hero-worship thing going on.Does that surprise you? he asked. That younger students would look up to you?I dont know. I just never thought about it. I dont think Im that good of a role model.I disagree. Youre outgoing, dedicated, and excel at everything you do. Youve earned more respect than you think.I gave him a sidelong glance. And yet not enough to go to Victors trial, apparently.Not this again.Yes, this again Why dont you get how major this is? Victors a huge threat.I know he is.And if he gets broad, hell just start in on his crazy plans again.Its really unlikely he will get loose, you know. Most of those rumors about the queen letting him off are just that rumors. You of all people should know not to believe everything you hear.I stared stonily ahead, refusing to acknowledge his point. You should still let us go. Or I took a deep breath you should at least let Lissa go.It was harder for me to say those words than it should have been, but it was s omething Id been thinking about. I didnt think I was a glory searcher beetle like Stan had said, but there was a part of me that always wanted to be the one in the middle of a fight. I wanted to rush forward, doing what was right and helping others. Likewise, I wanted to be there at Victors trial. I wanted to look him in the eye and make sure he was punished.But as time went on, it seemed less likely that that would happen. They really werent going to let us go. Maybe, though, maybe theyd let one of us go, and if it should be anyone, it should be Lissa. Shed been the target of Victors plan, and though her going alone stirred up that nervous idea about how maybe she didnt need me to guard her, Id still rather take the chance and see him put away.Dimitri, understanding my need to rush in and take action, seemed surprised by my unusual behavior. Youre right she should be there, but again, its nothing I can do anything about. You keep thinking I can control this, but I cant.But did y ou do everything you could? I thought back to Adrians words in the dream, about how Dimitri could have done more. You have a lot of make. There must be something. Anything.Not as much influence as you think. Ive got a high position here at the Academy, but in the rest of the guardian world, Im still pretty young. And yes, I did actually speak up for you.Maybe you should have spoken up louder.I could sense him shutting down. Hed discuss most things reasonably but wouldnt embolden me when I was just being a bitch. So, I tried to be more reasonable.Victor knows about us, I said. He could say something.Victor has bigger things to worry about with this trial than us.Yeah, but you know him. He doesnt exactly act like a normal person would. If he feels like hes lost all hope of getting off, he might decide to bust us just for the sake of revenge.Id never been able to confess my relationship with Dimitri to Lissa, yet our worst enemy knew about it. It was weirder even than Adrian knowing. Victor had figured it out by watching us and pull together data. I guess when youre a scheming villain, you get good at that stuff. Hed never made the knowledge public, though. Instead, hed used it against us with the lust enrapture hed made from earth magic. A charm like that wouldnt work if there wasnt already attraction in place. The charm just cranked things up. Dimitri and I had been all over each other and had been only a heartbeat away from having sex. It had been a pretty smart way for Victor to distract us without using violence. If anyone had tried to attack us, we could have put up a good fight. But turn us loose on each other? We had trouble fighting that.Dimitri was silent for several moments. I knew he knew I had a point. Then well have to deal with that as surpass we can, he said at last. But if Victors going to tell, hes going to do it whether or not you testify.I refused to say anything else until we got to the church. When we did, Father Andrew told us that aft er going over some more things, hed decided he really only needed one more box brought over to Ms. Davis.Ill do it, I told Dimitri crisply, once the priest was out of earshot. You dont have to come.Rose, please dont make a big deal about this.It is a big deal I hissed. And you dont seem to get it.I do get it. Do you really think I want to see Victor loose? Do you think I want us all at risk again? It was the first time in a long time Id seen his control on the verge of snapping. But I told you, Ive done all I can do. Im not like you I cant keep making a scene when things dont go my way.I do not.Youre doing it right now.He was right. Some part of me knew Id crossed a line but just like with everything else recently, I couldnt stop talking.Why did you even help me today? I demanded. Why are you here?Is that so distant? he asked. He almost looked hurt.Yes. I mean, are you are you trying to spy on me? Figure out why I messed up? Make sure I dont get into any trouble?He studied me, br ushing hair out of his eyes. Why does there have to be some ulterior motive?I wanted to blurt out out a hundred different things. Like, if there wasnt a motive, then that meant he just wanted to spend time with me. And that made no sense, because we both knew we were only supposed to have a teacher-student relationship. He of all people should know that. He was the one whod told me.Because everyone has motives.Yes. But not always the motives you think. He pushed open the door. Ill see you later.I watched him go, my feelings a tangle of awe and anger. If the situation hadnt been so strange, I would have almost said it was like wed just gone on a date.