“That’s because we weren’t cleared to give you that information.”
A man in a silver cloak strode in from around the corner. His sharp blue eyes held the air of command in them. The evidence was presented as the boys moved well out of his way. He nodded his head to them.
“Until after the tests, mind you. I am Professor Ticort, and I can tell you now that ‘Emmaline,’ as she’s known by…”
Tracer and I glanced at each other with confusion. Raven’s forehead scrunched up, and he glanced at me like I might change into somebody else.
“…is a Flamerider.”
A collective, “Huh?” burst from us all at once. “Say what?” I asked. “And what do you mean ‘as I’m known by’?”
Professor Ticort turned. “I beg your pardon, Miss,” he apologized, bowing, “but ‘Emmaline’ is not necessarily your true name.”
“Why wouldn’t it be?” I countered.
“You are a Flamerider,” he replied cryptically, like that solved everything. He stood by a window, contemplatively looking at whatever was out there. We didn’t know yet.
Flamerider. Why do I feel like I’ve heard that before?
“Wh-what’s a Flamerider?” asked Raven, from the floor.
The professor spun away from the curtain. “You mean to say—can it be—that you’ve never heard of the Council of Seven?”
We all shook our heads.
“Oh, dear, oh, dear…you will need debriefing on all of this…oh, my. But first, come with me!” he ordered. “Yes, all of you!” Gator, Kael, and Wayk almost bumped into him when he abruptly stopped. “Don’t worry, Miss, we’re only going for a short walk outside.”
Yeah. Outside. More like way-up-high-side.
“Outside” was on an enormous walkway wrapped around a magnificent domed building in the center of the most gigantic city I’d ever seen, bigger than the medieval ones or the ruins of the Great War we saw on TV. It wasn’t spread around in different trees like NeverSeen was. It was all broken up into building after building, structures made of stone and wood and metal and who knows what else, on a massive stone platform. Sections were separated by colored flags and bizarre symbols, all surrounded with a high-rising solid marble wall, and turrets posted around the circumference.
Like they needed it.
“Welcome to Pellabor, capital of Skyline Country,” said the professor.
We were on a city in the clouds.
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