2.9 – A Year in China
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2.9 – A Year in China

Chloe’s PoV

Spring bloomed into Summer, and Summer faded into Autumn. Though you couldn’t tell just from glancing out the window. Shang Simla remained, for the most part, green, but there was a bite in the air that hadn’t been there before. And it rained all the time.

Even with the rain, it’s so peaceful here, I thought, gazing out the window at the countryside.

I was taking a moment for myself. For the past four months I had been decrypting an ancient code Donovan had found. He’d been so ecstatic when he’d found it. Supposedly it would lead to some warlord’s forgotten treasure. I’d finally finished it this morning. It had been a pain, since I’d never seen the entire manuscript, just bits and pieces. Journal entries, mostly. Very difficult and time-consuming for me, but whatever Donovan was doing, the elders were paying him nicely. Between him and Thomas, I hadn’t had to resort to hacking for over a year. They’d kept the rent paid and all of us happily fed.

It had been a good year. Donovan had had such fun running about the countryside, especially when we’d all agreed the buddy rule was unnecessary. Donovan was more alive than I’d ever seen him. The way he told the explorer’s tales, full of drama and intrigue, like they were his own.

Shaye’s bug collect had grown…extensively.

Lucy and I had enjoyed the house. It was very open and airy, and we both agreed that the scent from the chinese maples was exquisite. Often, Lucy and I were the only ones left in the house during the day. She and I would often read together or chat, something we hadn’t done before. Possibly because of our age gap. She was undoubtably intelligent, not a genius, like Donovan or I, but she saw things that others would miss. She was normally quiet, not because she had nothing to say, but because she was in deep contemplation. Our conversations were fascinating.

Medea’s skill at martial arts had grown. And she had as well. I gave up spying on her a long while ago, but I’d still seen the change. She was happier, less angry. She’d made some friends and seemed to find her place. She’d still never joined the Academy proper. She was still Medea, still stubborn, and would happily rage at the explorers for hours at a time. But she and Shaye had grown closer. She’d seemed to find that inner peace Shaye was always talking about.

And if Medea and Shaye had grown closer, Lucy and Medea had become inseparable. They’ve always got along, but now it seems they’ve become best friends.

Living in China has changed us all. Even me. I’ve felt calmer. Less in control, but happier with that. It’s like I left a part of me behind when I came here, a part I no longer needed. The Elders would say I’ve grown.

I gazed out over the still countryside and shook my head. It’s not fair, I thought angrily. We’d finally been able to rest, to relax, to live! Donovan was more alive than I’d ever seen him. And China had had such an amazingly good affect on Medea! We were happy!

I’d let down my guard. Allowed myself to think we could settle down again. Just move countries and all would be fine. But no. It’s not fair!

I took a deep breath and sighed it out. This won’t be easy, I thought, glancing back into the common room.

Thomas was playing. Donovan was spinning around the room. Shaye and Lucy were dancing together. Even Medea was swaying a bit. But it needs to happen. I won’t let them take Donovan. I won’t let this family break apart.


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