Hey! I figured I'd update now before my life gets SUPER CRAZY, which it will be beginning VERY SOON. Yay for LOADS of extracurriculars. I want to give a quick shout out to all my reviewers, who made my week with every review… THANK YOU! So, yeah. Please read, review, and ENJOY!
We landed in a docking area right by the water. Despite how sparkling and magnificent the waves had seemed from high up, it smelled. Badly. The air was polluted with the stench of dead fish, salt, body odor, and rotting seaweed. Crowds of people attempted to push their way around each other with no regard for any others. Machai stood next to me, grimly surveying the scene, while I clenched my hands as a way to try and ward off an oncoming pounding headache. Abrahm was a few feet away still talking to the girls from the zip line.
"So what's the plan?" I asked, trying to seem less overwhelmed then I was.
Machai didn't even spare me a glance. "We try and manipulate our way around the city. It's not exactly a welcoming place, so you must not venture away from Abrahm or I."
I nodded. I wasn't planning on it, not in a place this huge and unfamiliar. Abrahm, now wearing a huge self-satisfied smirk, sauntered over to us. "The princesses say they can get us a room at the Main," he said. Obviously, I had missed something, because Machai's eyes widened slightly. I had heard Abrahm give girls pet names before- he frequently went through phases where he was seeing some girl or another, so surely that couldn't have been what shocked Machai?
"Princesses?" Machai muttered worriedly- I had been wrong. "They aren't, are they?"
"They do look like them," Abrahm grinned. "But they asked me to keep their secret, save from you two, so that they don't get caught."
"We can't just strut around the city with the missing princesses," Machai hissed. "We're on nasty enough business as it is."
"Which is why we should stick with them," Abrahm argued. I bit my lip and waited for Machai to exert his status over the Apprentice, but instead the illusionist just hesitated. Abrahm pushed a bit harder. "Listen. They have access to parts of the City we would never be able to get into- for example, the Hotel at the Main. You know the other places to stay around here are shady, and we can't afford to be set back any time."
"Hold on. Princesses? The Main? What are you talking about?" I asked. Abrahm and Machai exchanged a look that made me do a double take- they were agreeing on something? Again? They needed to stop. It seemed to always get us into trouble.
"The princesses Her Majesty Liliana and Her Ladyship Regina disappeared from the Palace three days ago. It is widely assumed that they were kidnapped and the King is awaiting a ransom note any day now. But, if these two girls are who they say they are, we are in the presence of royalty," Machai sighed. "And they have just offered, apparently, to buy us a room in the Hotel in the Main."
I kept my face carefully schooled into a slightly surprised expression appropriate to finding a missing shoe under one's bed. Inside, however, I was blown away. The Main was the center of the city, the hub of life. It was huge, partially underground, and ridiculously tall. There were many parts to it- the business area, the Church for the Mafs, and the Hotel. But I didn't, of course, really know what it was like. I had heard there were some really dangerous parts with people tampering with illusion, and crazy shifting museums, and exclusive schools where only extremely talented and rich people could get in, and no one ever came out. But that was all rumor. I knew nothing for a fact. The mere idea of venturing inside threw my stomach into dizzy butterflies. "Are we going to accept?" I asked, slightly annoyed at the way my voice shook.
"Well, it wouldn't be wise to refuse," Machai admitted. Abrahm nodded, grinning like a fool, and turned to tell the girls- the Princesses Liliana and Regina.
We finally found our way to a cab. Abrahm and the Princesses piled in the back, the girls giggling the entire time, while I shared the barely-wide-enough front seat with Machai. The driver complained about how heavy our load was, but when the blonde girl, Princess Regina, paid him in advance, he shut up about that very quickly and began thanking us for our business profusely. Princess Liliana paid him no mind, just gazed through the window. I did the same. We were on a hill, with a shining white building gilded with gold leaf behind us. Capitol Hill. It separated the City and the suburbs. Ahead of us were rows of gorgeous houses and winding roads. And in the center of it all, an impossibly tall building. The Main.
I barely had time to take a breath before we were submerged in the City. People bustled everywhere, dressed in everything from rags to outlandish, elaborate costumes. On almost every corner were beggars, with tousled, tangled hair and dirty faces, hands reaching out in pleading desperation. I closed my eyes and hunkered down, ashamed that we were just plowing by. I noticed that the Princesses both had guilty, upset expressions on their faces.
After steep hills, the crowd getting less and less dense as we climbed, sharp turns, and more sights, we pulled into the u-shaped drop-off of the Main. Thanking the Driver, the girls got out proudly and confidently. Abrahm followed, also quite sure of himself. I got out, timid among all the breathtaking sights. Then Machai brought up the rear, quiet and brooding as ever. He caught up to me in two strides and put a hand on my lower back almost possessively. I swallowed, trying not to show that I felt waves of heat radiating from that spot now, and followed the others into the revolving doors.
We were inside.
So what did ya think? I left you without describing the Main… Sorry But it's something to look forwards to! I know this is short, and I'm having such a difficult time trying to describe the enormity of the City. It's based off a place in this dream, and it's such a place of contrast- rich surroundings, rich people everywhere, but very poor people also populating the area, trying to earn money to bring back to the slums. It's two extremes. I'm actually exploring that a bit more in this other novel I'm writing, based in the same world, if you wanted to check it out: /books/259758-Behind-Bars
Anyway, remember, I'm thrilled by any reviews, even if it just says "I liked it" or "it was cool" or even "I liked it because _ but I think you could approve on _." ;) but please, anything makes my day. THANK YOU FOR READING!