4 4. Tutor.

They returned to the library which was empty save a few kids still studying. It was raining heavily outside now, and judging by the lightning striking ever so often and the fierce thunder, it might rain for a while. Her heart was still beating frantically, to say she was frightened is an underestimation. She know what she heard, that wasn't her imagination. She never believed any of this, no matter how much she learnt about supernatural beings through Nana, she never believed any of it. But with the recent attacks at the city and now this, she didn't know what to believe anymore.

Thankfully Soph had forgotten about the plant and didn't ask about it. She didn't even know where to begin. The girl was busy typing away on her phone, occasionally smiling lost in her thought.

It was well past into the afternoon, which means it's time for her therapy session with the old librarian turned seer. She weaved her way through the maze of shelves to the back of the library but this time to a secluded area dragging her feets along. Even though Nana had been nice to her, scratch that, was always nice to her, the session was boring. She was tired of all these shams that never really helped with her. All she needed was some peace, which she clearly was never going to get anything soon.

"Que, you don't have to go back there. Mrs. Tahira can't do anything to you, you know." Soph said as she was half way through finally done with whatever she was doing.

"Where do you think I'm going?" She deadpan, "It's time for my lessons."

"Oh, I almost forgot. Let's go." Soph tagged along. She wanted to get rid of the girl least she remember about the promise but like always, the girl was glued to her side. When Soph finished college 2 years back, she got a job as a sales assistant at some small company, and whenever she close from work she drop by every day to keep her company. For some reasons today, she close early.

They arrived at an opening separated from the rest of the library by a dark wooden partition where an old looking lady with a head full of grey hairs sat on an animal skin in the middle. To her left hanged a lantern, and on the dark wooden wall, there were various jars with animals carcasses and herbs, and some dull looking rocks alike. In front of her was a wooden surface which held a large brown book with a orb in the middle.

Nana used to be the old librarian (probably over a hundred years old, no one knows her real age) before she retired and spend her days at the back of the library where she practice her meditation (and sorcery) to purify her mind her and soul, her words. She moved into the neighborhood years back alone with no family and spend her entire days in the library. Ever since Que was a child, the three of them accompany Nana and help whenever its needed. She was among the few people that didn't avoid her like a plague and even reach out to her for help. So when she finished high school years back and couldn't attend college due to financial struggles, Nana offered her a job as a Page here in the library.

They bowed their heads in greetings as a custom and sat quietly waiting for her to finish. If there was one thing she hate is interruption, none of them dared to talk to her. Adjusting her position when she started losing feelings on her legs, Soph motioned for Que to come closer when she was sure the woman wasn't looking.

"What?" Que whispered when she was close enough keeping an eye on the old lady.

"Ah, I just remembered why I'm here at this time. Guess what?" Soph made a face. "Remember the guy from the marketing department I told you about? Nose-buds?" Que nodded. Like she'd ever forget that guy who has been ingrained into her brain. "Nose-buds", a tall and lanky young man with a unbelievably long, pointy and straight nose thus the nickname, Soph was sure he got tons of surgery for, got hots for Soph ever since the first time he saw her 2 months ago. Although Que had never met him, she feel she could paint him from how often Soph complained about him to her. He even started visiting Soph's grandma when she refused to talk to him.

"Grandma invited him over for dinner tonight. Tonight! She even threatened me if I refused to come back early. Can you believe that? Seriously, she didn't even...." Whack! "ouch!"

Cradling her head Soph whipped her head up and caught the glare from Nana. She massaged the base of her neck mumbling under her breath.

"Are you talking back to me?" Nana quirked a dangerous grey eyebrow to which Soph shook her head frantically. She turned her gaze over at Que briefly before averting her gaze, returning her attention back at the bulky book. Que bit her lips to stop herself from smiling at her friend's misfortune, Soph would kill her if she find out. The girl couldn't keep her mouth shut even if her life depended on it. But that was certainly interesting.

"Have you read the book?" Nana asked.

"Er...still reading." She scratched her head. How was she supposed to finish that in 7 days. It was the book she was studying in the morning. Yet another book about mysterious creatures and demons Nana had given her. According to the aspiring shrink Nana, her curse is related to supernatural beings who had supernatural abilities, that was why she was forced to read books about creatures that probably never exist in reality but Nana was hundred percent sure they did at one point in time. She said someday she might be able to figure out what is truly going on with her.

"You are slacking off Que, the earlier you master this the better. Your condition is getting worse by the day."

"I'm trying, Nana, I am. The book is just too bulky and a little bit creepy." She refused to believe in humans with hooves. No, not centaurs.

"What do you mean creepy? What's so scary about mystical beings?"

"Everything about them is scary. The first topics about dragons wasn't much hard to comprehend. It's the demon part. I'm starting to feel like I'm seeing things."

"Demons? What about them? Do they really exist?" Soph said seemingly genuinely curious about them.

"No, but unfortunately according to this boo ..." Smack! "...ouch. What was that for?" Soph snickered under her breath earning a glare from Que.

"Demons exist, the earlier you agree with that the better."

"I see. It is possible that these recent attacks might be related to the demons, right?" Soph rambled. "It's not farfetched. I mean if they do exist. They are the only supernatural beings with extraordinary powers and invisible to mankind out their, right?"

"Do you think demons are capable of hurting people?" Que eyed the girl who was getting hyped.

Finally, Nana looked up and eyed her with disdain, "Did you come here to purposely annoy me? Are you asking me if demons can hurt people? Seriously Que?"

Okay she admit, that doesn't make sense.

If they exist, they could right?

"What I meant is, with all that's happening lately, do you think that demons are involved? The killings and missing people, it's so unnatural. Nothing like ever before. But come to think of it, since the beginning of time, humans and demons have been coexisting peacefully, they never attacked before why wait until now?" Soph interrupted impatiently.

"Keep your voice down, would you?" she chided. "And who says they weren't at war with mankind? Just because humans are oblivious doesn't mean the world is at peace. They might not have declared an open war as they are doing now, but that doesn't mean they weren't prepared. They probably were waiting for the right time."

Right time?

"Right time?" Soph echoed her thoughts. "To what? Exterminate us? This is ridiculous!" Nana raised her hand to smack her but she was alert this time and dodged which earned her a glare from Nana but she answered nonetheless.

"There are a lot of tales relating to that, some of which can be found in many scriptures, while others remain just folktales. But from what I heard from my grandfather who also heard from his father, passed down through generations is that Jinns or what we call demons are the first inhabitants of the earth." She began.

"It all began when God created Jann, the father of all Jinns and his wife, and placed them on Earth to worship Him. Unlike Angels, He gave them free will, just like man. After few years, the wife laid a number of 30 eggs which soon hatched 30 offspring, who in turn up made the 30 different tribes of Jinns. Each tribe consisting different races. They dwell in their kingdom known as mountain Qaf. After years passed, they rebelled against God so He destroyed them save a few worshippers. These few survivors left behind procreate and multiplied in population and they too rebelled. They met the same faith as their predecessors. When it happened yet again, God sent down His Angels to destroy them and take some as captives to heaven. The rest were banished from the lands and the handful that survived took refuge in caves, mountains, deserts, seas, etc.

Among the captives Jinns taken to heaven was Satan. They were disciplined and trained, taught to worship God alone and soon Satan excelled and became among the high worshippers and vastly learned. He became a tutor and garner a lot of students, amongst Jinns and Angels. It was said that he taught his students at the foot of God's Throne. With God's permission, Satan descended down to earth with an army of Angels and waged war against the remaining Jinns and concurred with them. He became their ruler. But unfortunately for him, Satan became prideful and placed himself on a high pedestal, seeing only God above him. God was aware of this all, so He said 'I will create man and make him My vicar on Earth, and I will teach him that which you did not know. When Satan became aware of this, he let his pride took over him and outraged he boasted "A being, created out of mud, surpassing me, created out of the smokeless fire, in knowledge and rank? I refuse to bow to that!" When God created Adam and bestow upon his vast knowledge, He commanded the angels and Satan to bow to him, Satan rebelled. Thus, his banishment from Heaven. Ever since then he vowed to be the sworn enemy of man. And ever since then, he and his defendants, the dark Jinns have been harming mankind with all methods available to them."

That... was a lot to take in at once.

"The evil jinns," Que tried to recall, "I read about them somewhere in the book you gave me earlier this morning. King Solomon, God gave him the power and control over Jinns right?"

"Yes, Jinns, humans and animals alike. It is said that God gave him a ring made of brass and iron of which he uses the brass to command the Jinns and while the iron to punish and imprisoned the evil jinns." She answered flipping through the book in front of her.

Que hummed. "Then Queen Makeda, his wife is also half human half demoness? According to the book, it is believed that she is partly demon and that together they ruled over both demons and humans."

She kept quiet for a while lost in her thoughts and a dark look washed over her face. With a deep breath, she replied.

"Well, that is one story with lots of controversies. And for our sake, I do wish it is not true. What we do know from the scripts is that he did rule over demons and mankind but only a brief story is provided. Our ancestors do believe that Queen Makeda, who is known as the Queen of Sheba, is half demoness and half-human. Her father is said to have once upon a time, helped a demon prince disguised as a snake.

In order to show their appreciation, the demons gave him a demoness princess, Queen Makeda's mother. Thus, half-human, half-demon. She ruled over her people until she met King Solomon, the greatest king that ever ruled. When the two married, the Jinns feared that they might forever remain in submission to man. For if a child is to be born of them, he will be strong and will have immense power, so they did everything in their power to prevent the queen from having a child. Despite their plots, Queen Makeda gave birth to a son, named Menelik, in other traditions Rohaboum, and the ring is passed down from King Solomon to him. The ring was passed down through the bloodline for generations but was lost somewhere along the line. Ever since then, it is said that the Jinns have been in the search of the Ring in order to end their slavery and free their prisoners."

She paused as she reached the middle of the book and look up.

"There are dark demons out there that held grudges against mankind for being in submission to mankind for generations, and for the punishment inflicted upon them by King Solomon, thus they would do anything to get hold of the Ring. They are brutal and fierce and are capable of destroying anything that stands in their path. Most of them are caged, but a handful of them are out there. It might be just a tale, and for the sake of our lives, I hope it is."

"If not.." she begin,

"If not, then pray the Ring remains hidden forever. Cause when these dark demons are freed, then humanity will be ruined."

"Wait, before we come to that, you said demons can posses people right? Then does that mean Que is possessed?" Soph whose presence was forgotten interrupted staring wide eyed at the two.

"Why do you think she's possessed?"

"Why would they possess me?" Que and Nana asked simultaneously.

"Well, because of the curse of course. And earlier during the day she even met one. They probably came to visit one of their own." Soph shrugged as if it was the most obvious thing in the world.

Que could only gape at her speechless.

"Sweetheart, you don't have to be this surprised. I knew you for almost ten years, remember?"

"Is that true?" Nana gave her a cold look.

"It was a ghost. Yes, earlier at the storeroom but it was only a ghost." She answered glaring at the girl. She should have known.

"Then why haven't you told me about it?" Que only shrugged, could they do anything to a ghost. She eyed the grey haired woman, she isn't thinking about exorting the ghost right?

"How many times do I have to tell you to keep me informed about your condition?" Nana began, it was obvious she was angry.

"But this isn't even about me. The ghost is inside the the storeroom, not attached to me." She defended.

Nana gave her the look, you know that type of look that says "slap my face why don't you?", the watchful stare made her uneasy and she started fidgeting avoiding the probing eyes. She tugged on her gloves subconsciously.

"What is it?"


"Don't make me repeat myself, Que. What are you hiding?"

"You are fidgeting. What's wrong with the glove. Why are you even wearing one?" The ever nosy Soph had caught on her gestures and now both their attention was on her, there was no way she could continue to hide. Clearing her throat, she replied.

"The curse had gotten stronger. When I touched a plant today, it crumpled and died."

"It what?"

"The scentless tree, when I touched it's leaves, it turned brown and crumple to the ground."

"Holy shit...you killed Jiji's plant?" Another whack sounded followed by Soph's cry and Nana's chiding.

"What did I do?"

"Watch your language kid."

"Yes, it died. It's getting stronger, I can feel it in me."

Nana soaked in a long breath scrambling something down on a paper. She folded it and gave it to Que. "Find this woman, she might be able to help. I'm afraid time is running out." She said curtly before closing her eyes.


... leave." She said returning to her mediation state.

The girls bowed out of curtsey and left. Each to her own thoughts.

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