The Peculiars' Tale Chapter 48
/48/ Last Time
"Miss Morie, I want you to know that I am very proud you've been part of White Knights Academy."
"You are?" I can't say if he's tripping on me or what. I was summoned to the headmaster's office just to hear this? Mr. Melencio enthusiastically stood up from his chair, motioned me to sit on the sofa facing his table.
"Of course we are!" I don't feel comfortable at all. This was the first time I've been to this office and was made to sit as if I am a visitor. "I have good news for you, Miss Morie. I am very sure your parents would be proud of you if they learn this. Four students from our Academy have been invited to study in one of the prestigious and elite school that you can't easily find out there. And you are one of them. Congratulations!" He extended his hand for a handshake. Probably because he's very excited he failed to notice that I didn't accept it. He brought out something from under the small table between our seats which he handed to me.
The only thing I want to do is return it to him and just leave. It was the same envelope shown to me by Baldo yesterday. The seal was same with his – black diamond with a white letter M in the middle.
"Why don't you open it?"
I don't have any option but to open it under his prying eyes. My hands shake while slowly opening it. Mr. Melencio sees it as a good sign because he only takes it as if I was nervous and overexcited for it. But he's very dead wrong!
The first thing I picked inside was a trifold brochure, the cover featured a smiling student wearing uniform, looking extraordinary enough. The background was a magnificent looking building. On the topmost part of the brochure, there was the font text 'Mnemosyne Institute' and under it was the probably the school's motto – 'Conquering the Universe since 1999'
Another piece of paper was inside the envelope, a letter.
'...you have been accepted to our school...'
"But I didn't apply to this school. How can they say I have been accepted? Why me?"
"Mnemosyne Institute is a very prestigious boarding school, Miss Morie. Not everyone has the opportunity to study there, they only handpicked chosen and outstanding students every year. I believe you're chosen because you're special. And those who attended were guaranteed a full scholarship including dorm, books, uniform, and so on. Isn't that amazing?"
Literally, I can't find anything to say. I couldn't answer because of shock, not because of I've been amazed by the scholarship. I was a fool for asking why I was chosen. He's right. I was chosen because I am special.
"I know you're surprised, Miss Morie." Not really. I was already surprised yesterday when Baldo showed me his invitation.
"I don't really know what to say, sir."
"Heh, don't worry. You're not the only one who couldn't believe it. I understand that this is too sudden. The entrance examinations from the different universities are yet to start but here you are, already accepted for a scholarship without undergoing any hardship for tests." The principal paused for a second then continued. "Listen, Miss Morie. This is the first time that Mnemosyne Institute picked delegates from our academy, and this is a once in a lifetime offer. Aside from your scholarship, the school will also receive some benefits. Moreover, White Knights' reputation will be elevated to a greater height!" Ah, now I understand why he's so enthusiastic about this.
"What if I refuse the offer?"
Mr. Melencio's smile slowly vanished, obviously he's against the possibility of me refusing the scholarship. "After all, you said four were chosen. It means it should be okay for me to ignore this, right?"
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"Miss Morie, I can't believe that you're saying that." Disappointment was very much displayed by his tone. "How could you pass this great opportunity? There are other students there willing to give up everything just to receive this chance. Look at Mnemosyne Institute's dictum – 'Conquering the Universe' – don't you want to be part of it?"
Mr. Melencio wouldn't understand that this is just another Memoire's trap! Smart move. They are using the school.
"I appreciate your concern, Sir." Yeah, even though you were only thinking of the academy's reputation when you insisted on it. "I need some time to think about it sir."
"What? But Miss Morie this is – "
"And I hope you could respect my decision." I almost sighed in relief when he took and a deep breath and not contrasted me anymore.
"Well then, the board will contact your parents to extend the offer. You can go now. Have a nice day, Miss Morie. I hope you could make up your mind sooner."
"Thank you, sir." I hurriedly left the place, still holding the envelope. I still can't believe it. Now the White Knights is involved, I felt how desperate they are to get what they want from me. I can feel them coming closer and closer, bit by bit. Where should I go to escape them? I don't know.
"Excuse me?" The moment I set foot inside the bar, my eyes were greeted by the scene where the chairs were placed above the tables. It means the resto-bar was not receiving any customer yet. After the band practice with Enriquez this noon, I didn't bother checking out the afternoon plan of the class and just went ahead here at C'est La Vie.
"Hey, Miss. We will only open the place for customers when evening comes." Said by the man who came out of the staff room. It's actually Finnix. "Eh? Wait. Jill Morie? Is that you?" His coffee-colored hair was very messy, he's in his uniform and he's even wearing apron. "Sorry, I didn't recognize you a while ago," he said while scratching his nape and grinning. "Take a seat." He lifted down a chair from the table top while I sat after he brought it down.
"How may I help you?" he removed the apron he's wearing.
"I wish to talk to Seraphina and your group. However, it seems I'm bothering you from your work."
"No problem. It's okay. But Seraphina is not here yet. Anyway, what do you want to discuss with us?" While he was speaking, I couldn't help but stare at the red line trailing his tattoo on his face. Only now did I wonder why he had that on his cheek.
"I plan to say this to Seraphina since the matter is quite complicated." I muttered. "Where are Cecilia and the rest?"
"Jing is surely asleep because she's drank last night." From his voice alone, Finnix was obviously annoyed. "Otis is at San Isidro, setting up the carnival together with Pascal. Cecilia is at the market, at the part occupied by fortune telling people. And lastly, Madam Seraphina is at school."
"Yeah," it's evident how he's hesitating whether to tell or not, "Seraphina is studying."
"Were you surprised?"
Now Seraphina and I are walking side by side, coming from a public school near the town proper. It's a walking distance to C'est La Vie bar. She's wearing a faded uniform which smells like pencil, white blouse and blue pleated skirt. I fetch her after Finnix directed me to where she could be found.