The orientation was held in the basement of the auditorium. The closer Daniel got to the auditorium, the more he was impressed by the grand size. At the front were many magnificent pillars shooting straight up into the sky. Residing high on the pillars were a beautiful garret and a terrace covered by sky blue roof. The roof was shaped like wings, which gave Daniel an impression that they were going to take the terrace and fly away at any moment. The body of the building sprawled on the top of the hill like a giant beast.The basement of the auditorium was very big. The walls were made of big blocks of stone. Even though it was nicely lit, it still seemed dark and oppressing. There was something sinister about the basement that Daniel could not put his finger on.Only Daniel and the girl in his class were there."You're new too," the girl said.It took a moment for Daniel to realize that the girl was talking to him. Her voice was unsure and hesitant."Yeah," said Daniel. "I just got in yesterday.""I got here the day before. Bit of a shock," she said, letting out a nervous laugh."But I like it here a lot," she added quickly."So do I. By the way, I'm Daniel Ray.""I'm Kerri Bale," she said.The professor walked in at that moment. He looked intimidating. His lips were thin, and he had eyes like a bird of prey."My name is York Corgnon," he said. His voice was cold like steel."Let's see, we have two new students here." He looked at a note pad in his hand. Then he looked up and looked at Daniel and Kerri for a few seconds."The first thing is to find out what your power is." He looked at Kerri, "why don't you go first?""I-I think I'm a-chameleon," said Kerri with a very small voice."Let's have a look, shall we?" said professor Corgnon in a voice telling that it was nothing special.Kerri stood there. For a while, nothing happened."Don't be nervous," professor Corgnon said. "You are not being graded on this. We just need to document your power."Kerri concentrated so hard that her face turned red, which wasn't exactly the right color. After a few minute, her fingertip started to change color. Then her arms turned into dark stone color of the basement wall, but her face remained the same after a long time."Alright," said professor Corgnon. "That's good enough. I get the picture.""Now tell me what you think your power is," he turned his attention to Daniel."I was told that I have eagle eyes and bat ears," said Daniel."Really? Now that's quite impressive. We have to go through a little trouble to test that though.""Wait here," said professor Corgnon. He walked out of the basement and came back in after a couple of minutes."Could you tell me what I said out there?""You were calling Bluewing.""Quite right, now follow me." They climbed up to the roof of the building. Daniel felt like he was standing on the top of a mountain peak. The whole school was lying beneath him. The lake was brilliant under the sun. Every building, every tree, and every person in the school seemed familiar. He realized that the place had become the center of his world in just one day.Professor Corgnon pointed to a small dot in the sky: "What kind of the bird is that?""Er-an eagle sir," answered Daniel."And how many strips does it have on its forehead.""Three.""Very well then," said professor Corgnon curtly without looking at either Daniel or Kerri.After that he gave advice to Daniel and Kerri about what classes they should take. He suggested that both of them take transformation, Daniel take clairvoyance, and Kerri study mythical creatures. He also showed them how to ride a sword. Daniel was finally able to hop on his sword without falling off. Kerri managed to fly her sword, but every time she jumped on the sword, she and the sword both hit the ground.When they left the auditorium, Kerri seemed a little upset but there was also determination on her face."Normally, I can change color without even trying," she said in a small voice as if she was talking to herself, but Daniel knew that it was meant for him to hear."Where are you going?" asked Kerri after a while."The library," said Daniel."Do you mind if I go with you?" asked Kerri carefully."No," said Daniel without thinking."I had a lot catch up to do," said Kerri. "I bet you knew a lot about magic before you came here?""No, not at all," said Daniel."Really?" said Kerri. She sounded happy to hear the news, but she didn't ask more questions.
"You are back," said Miss Leventis. "I presume that professor Corgnon was in a good mood today. Tell me about your powers.""And you, you must be new too," she turned to Kerri. Daniel was glad that Kerri was there to distract her attention. She kept asking them questions for almost ten minutes."You can ask me for help any time you have trouble finding any book," she said before she finally let them go."She's nice," whispered Kerri when they walked away. Apparently she liked the attention."Yeah.""Are you going to go through the notes professor Haldan gave us this morning?" asked Kerri."Yes, sure," said Daniel. He waited until Kerri sat down, then he found a seat close to the door that led to the left side wing. He put down the books and hurried into the side wing.Appearing in front of him were hundreds of shelves full of books. There were ten times more books than any of the library he had been too. For a moment, Daniel stood there, not knowing where to start. He wished that there had been a computer, so he could search the database. With his power, Daniel could find a book relatively easy if he knew the title of a book. He, however, only had a vague idea what he was looking for. He could also ask for help, but he really didn't want to go through the interrogation from Miss Leventis again-Daniel had a feeling that the library was so old-fashion had something to do with Miss Leventis.Before Daniel could really browse through the shelves, the sounds behind a shelf caught his attention. He had heard of them the moment he stepped into the room. At first, he thought that it was a mouse, but then there came the sound of the batting wings. A chubby boy the size of a dove appeared from behind the shelf. He had a pair of transparent wings. His face was like a baby's. His voice sounded like the tinkle of a bell, but he talked like an adult."You look like you need some help.""Who-who are you?" asked Daniel. The boy seemed harmless, but it was still a big surprise."My name is Colossa. I am what you call a book fairy. I am the guardian of the books.""Against what?" Daniel blurted out and regretted right away. The book fairy looked quite offended."Enemies of the books," he said with a very serious tone. "Do you want my help or not?""Yes-I'm looking for books about mythical beings," said Daniel, trying to sound as serious as Colossa. "Those who can do magic-like doing charms.""Ah, I know exactly what you are looking for," said Colossa. "Follow me," he turned around and flew down the aisle. He landed on the top of a shelf and pointed at a big book with dark green binding. There was no title on the cover. Daniel suspected something was wrong, but he was too late. Colossa made a gesture, and the book opened itself. All Daniel heard was a very soft sound before he lost consciousness.
"What are you doing?" Daniel heard Kerri ask. He opened his eyes and found himself standing at the same spot. The green book was back in the shelf, and Colossa had disappeared."Er-I'm-just looking around," said Daniel. "You know, getting familiar with-where things are.""Are we supposed to do it for the class?" Kerri sounded like she had a panic attack."No.""Are you sure?" asked Kerri."Yes," said Daniel, feeling annoyed."OK, I just want to remind you that it's time for dinner," said Kerri. She left the library quickly without waiting for Daniel.
Daniel went back to the library after dinner to finish his homework. This time Owen joined him.The Library was more crowded than during the day. Kerri was sitting at the same desk, as if she had never left. Even though most people were quiet, all the sounds and noises kept flying into Daniel ears. In the garden, the crickets were batting their wings. Other insects cried as loud as they could. Daniel could hear people talking in the distance. There were also the sounds of pens on paper, the individual breath from every student, and the occasional whispers.Daniel found it was really hard to concentrate with all the distractions. He managed to finish the homework, even though he wasn't sure if it was any good. Then he picked up the notes professor Haldan gave him that morning. When the words and images finally made senses, Daniel realized that it contained some of the answers he had been looking for. It was kind of an irony that he spent most of the afternoon in the library without any success, while the answers were lying right under his nose.The first chapter gave a summary of all the magical beings. The immortals Daniel had known about were the immortal counterpart of the mortal human beings. Many advanced species also have immortals. For example, most merpeople were mortals. Immortal merpeople could acquire a human form and walk like a human being. The same was true for dragons and unicorns to name a few other species."Have you ever seen immortal merpeople or immortal dragons?" Daniel asked Owen on their way back to the dorms. Now that he knew it had been covered in the history class, he was more comfortable talking about it. He had feared that Owen would ask why he was interested if he had brought it up. He wasn't ready to talk about his father's disappearance with anyone yet."No, not that I know of," said Owen. "They're really rare-there're not as many mortal merpeople as human. Even fewer dragons.""It's hard to tell though," he said after a while. "You know, they can look just like us, so I might have seen them without knowing it. Even you might have...""Do immortals usually live together-like in a community or village?""No, not really. There are villages like my hometown, but half of the immortals are recluses. They like to avoid the mundane distractions and practice their inner peace and strength. I have no idea about the other immortals, but I don't think there is much difference though-I don't think I can ever live like that. I like noises too much."
That night, lying in his bed, Daniel thought about his father. The day had filled his head with so much information to be digested and so many questions still without answers. What had happened to his father? Where was he now? Why had he decided to live as a mortal? Daniel found that he was nowhere closer to finding out the answers with the information he had found. His father could be anywhere in the world. It could be any immortals that had kidnapped him.When he was trying to sleep, it happened again. All the sounds and noises rushed in his head. There were the squeaking of the beds and the sound of running water in the bathroom. A couple of boys were making fun of their roommate, calling him names like Birdy or Ratty. Older boys were also talking about girls. Sleep only came slowly when almost everyone else was asleep and he was too tired to think or listen.
The book is available at barnes and noble, amazon online bookstores.Search by the title.Author's blog: 360.yahoo.com/gcgustopher