Chapter 3

Dinner was an odd event. Everyone there was wearing their black uniforms and instead of sitting around a table in chairs, we sat on plush red cushions on the floor. The table, when sitting, set a little above everyone's waist, it was made with the solid wood of the red wood trees. The colour was a dark red almost maroon, and on the edge of the table was the same border as the one that was carved on those doors. I would soon discover that the rose pattern, with the twisting vines and knife like thorns with their tear drops of blood resting on them like early morning dew; was kind of like the school symbol. Though at first I thought it odd, in time I came to understand its meaning, and decided it fit all too perfectly.

'Evening meal,' as they called it was just like having lunch at school, mind you the food was much better, not that awful 'food' you get from the cafeteria, but then again it wasn't gourmet either. There were five different tables in the mess hall, one for each year or level. First and second years wore what seemed to be the same basic uniform. Third years wore the same uniform as the first and second years but had a red trim on theirs, were ours were black. Then there was the fourth years, the fourth years seemed to have no uniform at all, except that they were all wearing black. Then of course there was the staff table. Within the different years you could see groups of people, clicks is the best way to describe them, sitting and chatting with one another, although I must say that the noise level in the mess hall was no were near as loud as a high school cafeteria.

I ended up sitting with the third years since Nyomi had not yet entered the mess hall, and because Vik was a third year. We sat at the end of the table nearest to the double doors. I was warmly welcomed by her group of friends, mostly girls although there were some guys.

They talked about lessons and answered any questions I had about the university. Some times they would ramble on about some odd thing. But in the end I felt as though they were keeping something from me, although they seemed friendly and talked with me their words seemed guarded; they never said anything of any great importance and mostly talked about nothing. I found it odd but said nothing and in the end I didn't know any more about the school then before I came.

After dinner, Vik walked me back to my room and wished me goodnight. I sat there thinking for a while about the university, would I decide to stay? What was everyone so afraid of letting slip? What was this big secret every one was avoiding mentioning? Excitement and anticipation was building up inside me and I couldn't wait to find the answers.

I sat on my bed reading one of my most favoured books, which I had managed to stuff into my suitcase along with some others, when there was yet again a knock on my door. I lazily got off of my bed and sauntered over to the door. Opening it just a crack to see who it was, there stood a well built boy wearing a black muscle shirt and baggy black jeans, nearly covering up his black combat boots, clearly a fourth year, for the lack of uniform.

"Who are you, and what do you want?" I asked irritated that he had interrupted me while I was just in the midst of one of the best parts of my book. "Nyomi sent me to bring you to her office, she has just got back, and wants to have a word with you." He replied gruffly.

"Hold on a sec and let me put my shoes back on, do you whish to come in? Or do you want to wait out here in the corridor?" , opening the door a little to allow him to enter if he wished. He stepped in cautiously as if there might be some danger lurking just beyond the door. "Don't worry I won't bite." I said teasingly. To my surprise jumped and took a small step backwards, looking terrified at the statement. I looked at him with an odd expression on my face, one filled with amusement and astonishment. He seemed to relax when he saw the look and realized I was just joking. I got my shoes on quickly lacing them and stood up signalling that I was ready to go. He seemed glad to be leaving.

I tried starting a conversation with him but he seemed quite reluctant to talk; not as reluctant as the driver mind you, but reluctant none the less. "So what's your name? Or am I just to keep calling you 'you' or 'boy'?" I looked up at him with an amused look showing in my eyes. He just kept on walking, looking strait ahead. I raised an eyebrow giving him a look that said 'well then if your going to be like that'. Apparently, finally realizing I was staring at him, he looked down at me scowling, and saw me scowling right back up at him. Finally a grin spread across his hansom features. "Nickolas." He said looking down at me once then continuing on, down the torch lit corridor. "Nick…"I said pondering out loud, waiting see how he reacted to the shortening of his name, he flinched just ever so slightly. "I use to have a cousin named Nick, he was seven the last time I saw him, though. He has to be at least ten now. Amazing how time flies isn't it?" I continued to ramble on not really talking about anything in particular and nothing of importance. For now I knew their game, and it was a game I played well. By the end of the walk I knew almost everything about him; how he carried himself, his shoe size, his weight, his height, that he had little patience, and was quick to get angry, also that he was anxious, shifty. And if you wished to make him really mad all you had to do was call him Nick or Nikki, or any other abbreviation of his name; for he loathed it, I don't know why probably some bad memory or something of the sort.

We came to a halt at a black polished wood door, Nick (which I had decided to call him weather he liked it or not) lightly knocked on the door and waited. Someone from inside the room hollered at us to come on in, the door was unlocked. Nick turned the door knob painfully slow it seemed, and opened the door into a poorly lit room.

Nyomi was sitting on a polished black desk just like the door, which had little on it but a lamp and a few papers and pencils. But what currently occupied most of the room on the desk was a first aid kit and Nyomi. She was just finishing wrapping up a wound on her upper arm and pulled her three-quarter length black sleeve down over it turning to acknowledge us. "Well don't just stand there come in and shut the door behind you." She said waving her hand in an irritated motion.

That meeting would change my life forever. To say the least, the academy was exactly what I had been looking for…and more. For you see it was an assassin training school; but it wasn't humans they were after, it was vampires and the occasional shape-shifter. It turned out that Zenth was one of these heinous creatures. He was one of the oldest and one of the most feared of his kind.

I spent the next two years there and I advanced quickly among the ranks. I only had two years of training when most had at least four. I made friends there and was respected among all the students and teachers. Nick and I became friends; it ended up that he was only a second year and we were put in the same training classes. I learned quickly and practiced hard. And by the middle of my second year I was given my first assignment, and was asked to dawn the garments of a fourth year.

At the end of that same year I graduated, and moved back to little Sena, Minnesota. I bought a house on the outskirts of town but I still kept my apartment on Marshville Way, the same one that I had lived in before I had left for school.

I had now been searching for Zenth for nearly four and a half years without success. I had found him once when I was on an assignment but was not able to get close enough to kill him. I reluctantly took down my prey and left fury building inside of me. It seemed that every bash I attended, every house I tried, he somehow managed to elude me or be in such a position that I could not harm him. It was so frustrating! I wanted to scream every time I lost a chance. But while I was lacking success in that area, I was now considered the most feared and most efficient assassin in the business.

But any ways back to what I was saying before…