Via did not exactly know why she made that suggestion in the first place.
She was intrigued by the whole thing, without a doubt, but she also knew that matters like these were best left alone. Maybe it was just an excuse to spend some more time with these girls. That was how you made friends after all, right?
Meddling with the supernatural. Strengthening your bond by overcoming adversities together. That’s how it went in her novels at least.
The Mystery Club was located on the second floor of the main building. The area surrounding the room seemed more well-kept than many of the others. After all, the school had a genuine interest in keeping up the club.
“What are we doing up here?” Via found herself asking, despite somehow also being the reason for finding herself in this situation.
“You said we’re going to solve the mystery, so we’re here to do just that,” the blonde girl explained.
“If we wanna do the research, then where best to start, then with what the mystery club has already found out?” Alba explained.
“Okay, but do we just go in, or ...:”
Via didn’t even finish her sentence, as one of the girls had already opened the door, which gave in to the force with a loud creak.
“My grandma always says something about staring into the darkness and the darkness staring back ...” glasses-girl said.
“Honestly, I’m getting the vibes of an occult club, more than that of a mystery club,” Alba said, as she took the first steps into the room. The other girls followed, and Via shut the door behind her.
With the snip of her finger Alba cast an illumination spell and lit the room.
A few desks and chairs were gathered in the middle of the room, almost making it seem like a conference room. The walls were lined with shelves filled with books and folders. Windows spanned across the wall opposite from the door but were partially covered by even more bookshelves. The shutters were closed, not allowing a single ray of sunlight through.
“Okay, I’m not reading all that,” blonde girl immediately said upon seeing all the bookshelves lined up.
“You can’t tell me that’s all just on the seven mysteries, right?” glasses-girl commented.
Alba who was already a few steps ahead held one of the books in her hands and said: “Nope, seems those books are all about magic studies. Maybe they’re trying to figure out the magic behind those mysteries?”
“Do you think these occurrences could have a magical origin?” Via, who had approached Alba, asked.
“Magical ghosts? I don’t know, I’ve never heard of it. But what do I know, I’m no expert on magic,” Alba answered, as she put back the book she was holding.
“I mean, what else should it be except for magic? What kind of forces are there, that could make undead people or additional staircases or ...”
“Oh my god, girls, you need to look at this.”
The blonde girl was interrupted by glasses-girl. The group gathered around her and looked at the open folder she had spread out on the table in front of her.
“Me?” Via exclaimed. The folder in front of her was full of candid pictures of Via, as well as countless pages of writing.
“That’s right.” A male voice startled the girls. They faced the door in an instant, where the silhouette of a young man turned on the lights. He was small, around the same height as Alba, wearing big round glasses, that seemed to hide his entire face.
“Who are you?” Alba’s blonde friend asked, as she and the other went between Via and the guy.
“Name’s Maverick, and I am the leader of the occult club. I’ve been trying to figure out what’s behind the seven mysteries and I think I am about to have a huge breakthrough.”
“Huh, and what’s Via got to do with this? Stalker!”
“Say, have you ever wondered: What happens when you try to kill a ghost?”
A tingling went up Via’s spine at those words. There was no doubt: this man wanted to kill her.
“Not with us, ya dingus! Let’s whoop his ass, Barb,” the blonde girl said, placing her bag on the floor.
“Got it, Namina,” Barb said, as she took of her glasses and handed them to Alba.
Via would make sure not to forget their names this time.
Alba folded the glasses and hung them onto her collar, as she simultaneously grabbed Via’s hand.
Via was startled by this sudden move and looked down at Alba in surprise.
“We’re gonna make a run for it,” Alba whispered with a stern expression.
“We are?” Via thought she was perfectly capable of defending herself, if only she had a weapon.
“I’ve been preparing for this a looooong time. Don’t think, just because you outnumber me, you’d be able to stop me,” Maverick boasted, suddenly procuring a knife out of nowhere.
“Hope the knife’s not all you got on you. NOW!”
Barb jumped in front of Namina, who ducked under her, so they could simultaneously cast spells at their assailant. Before he could make a move Namina sent Maverick flying against the bookshelves behind him, while Barb let the wooden planks below him rot away in seconds.
In that same instant Alba tore Via away from the spot she was standing in and ran toward the door.
Maverick lost his footing and almost fell towards the lower floor, where a group of shocked students stared at the hole that had just opened in the ceiling.
“And my goal for this school year was to not get detention again!” Namina complained, as she and Barb ran after Alba and Via.
Via was too busy running to think about ... what to think. Her head was a mess. You couldn’t blame her really. She was trying to survive her first assassination attempt after all.
In a way she was thankful for Alba to just drag her along the hallway like this. Via herself, without a doubt would have gotten lost in an instant and gotten captured shortly after. Via looked behind herself, being relieved to see Namina and Barb running after them.
“Alba! Where are we going?!”, Namina called after them.
“I don’t know! Just away from here! Outside!”
The girls quickly descended the stairs, only to nearly bump into each other on the landing, as they saw Maverick approaching from below.
“Crap,” Alba cursed and turned around on the spot, still holding Via’s hand.
Namina rummaged through her bag, for something to use as a weapon. Grabbing a book from it, she threw it at Maverick in an exaggerated motion, akin to a baseball pitcher. She hit him in the head with the corner of the book, cracking his glasses.
“OW! Are you insane?! You could’ve seriously hurt me!”
“Huh, you are trying to murder my friend and you’re worried about getting hurt? What kind of nut-jobs are there at this school! Does the staff not worry about their reputation?!” Namina retorted.
“Well, you are a student here, so...” Barb commented.
“Huh, true. Anyway, you’d better stand down. There’s a lot more, where that came from,” Namina said, readying another book. “I’ve always wanted to throw these books around in anger, and boy, are you giving me an opportunity.”
“What do we do now?”, Via asked Alba. The two girls were upstairs again.
“This is the only stairway down. So, either we rely on Namina and Barb to hold the fort, or we ... I don’t know, jump out the window or something.”
“That does not sound like a good idea.”
“Never said it was.”
“Oh right! We can use the hole in the floor Barb made to descend!”
“Great, let’s go!”
Alba grabbed Via’s hand again. Via hadn’t realized she’d let go of her hand, so she was startled for a second and stood still.
“What’s wrong?” Alba asked. “Oh, that.” And quickly let go of her hand. “Sorry.” And quickly turned around.
“No, it’s fine,” Via said quietly, glad Alba couldn’t see her face right now. “Let’s go.”