Hoping back into the world of Legend, checking back in with June. I feel so awful for her. She has lost her brother, the one remaining family member she has. It’s absolutely tragic. An interesting note is that Commander Jameson has helped June with the arrangements for Metias’s funeral. This is not something she usually does for her soldiers. June wonders if the Commander is taking pity on her, but it also does make sense. June is just a teenager. Her parents are gone and now her older brother is gone. It would be difficult for her to take care of everything herself, especially when June specifies that wealthy families (like hers) always have a large, formal funeral service.
I also like this detail about the story world of the Republic: they don’t wear black to funerals. They wear white.
All the mourners wear their best whites. I have on an elaborate white gown, laced and corseted, with a silk overskirt and draped layers in the back. A tiny white-gold brooch of the Republic seal is clipped on its bodice. The hairdresser piled my hair high on my head, with loose ringlets cascading over one shoulder, a white rose pinned behind my ear. Pearls line the choker wrapped around my throat. My eyelids are coated with glittering white eye shadow, my lashes are bathed in snow, the puffy redness under my eyes erased by shining white powder. Everything about me is stripped of color, just as Metias has been stripped from my life.
It’s horribly sad, but I have to say that June sounds absolutely stunning. The tradition of wearing white began after “the first floods and volcanic eruptions.” The victims of the volcano were coated in white ash and, as such, wearing white became a way to honor the dead. Which is beautiful.
The funeral, though, is pure torture for June. Let’s be honest: funerals are always hard for the families of the deceased, but since June is from such a high profile family, she has to put on the act. Be gracious. Stay poised. She is surprised that some of her classmates from Drake have come to pay their respects, since she was never really friends with any of them. She doesn’t really care about any of the people there, except for, perhaps, Thomas. He comes up to sit next to June, paying her a compliment, but also just sitting beside her in silence. From what I have learned about June, that is probably more comforting to her.
The banquet starts. June doesn’t want to eat anything, but at least tries to stay polite. Thomas sits to her right and some of her classmates are across the table from her, but sitting at her left is a new character that we had not yet met.
On my left side is a man named Chian who organizes and oversees all Trials taken in Los Angeles. He administered mine. What I don’t understand is why he’s here — why he even cares that Metias died. He’s a former acquaintance of our parents, so his presence is not unexpected — by why right next to me?
Then I remembered that Chian had mentored Metias before he joined Commander Jameson’s squad. Metias hated him.
Hmmm. This is strange. If he’s not a close friend or family, why was he placed next to June?
First off, I get super creepy vibes off of this guy. It starts off innocently enough, with him asking how June is feeling. But then this.
His eyes look me up and down. “That dress polishes you up like a fresh snow blossom.”
Ew, ew, ew, EWWWWW!!!!! I don’t know anything else about him, but I hate him too, Metias! This guy is officially gross! The problem is that June knows that he is a powerful and influential person and she can’t do anything to offend him.
Chian goes on to say how much he loved Metias and tells stories about Metias as a child pretending to be a soldier. He also says how well Metias did during his mentorship, of who Metias was a natural leader. Chian had wanted Metias to work under him work with the Trials and had taken him on as an apprentice, but Metias had requested to be transferred to the city patrols, claiming that he didn’t think he was smart enough to work the Trials. Chian says that Metias was smarter than he thought he was, and Chian feels the same way about June.
Turns out that Chian also made June take the Trial twice. Since she got a perfect score and finished it so quickly, he was sure that she had cheated. Well she didn’t, creepy man! She’s just that much smarter than you! June accepts Chian’s compliments towards her brother, claiming that Metias was a better leader than she will ever be.
Chian shushes me with a wave of his hand. “Nonsense, my dear,” he says. Then he leans uncomfortably close. There’s something oily and unpleasant about him. “I’m personally devastated by the way he died,” he says. “At the hands of that nasty boy. What a shame!” Chian narrows his eyes, making his eyebrows look even bushier. “I was so pleased when Commander Jameson told me that you’d be tracking him. His case needs a pair of fresh eyes, and you’re just the doll to do it. What a gem of a test mission, eh?”
This guy just keeps getting worse. June is slowly losing her composure and when Chian finally turns away to talk to someone else, Thomas takes hold of her hand under the table. Thank goodness June at least has someone there for support, someone who seems to actually care. Thomas also gives her some interesting insight: Chian really, really hates Day. With a passion. Turns out that Day gave Chian the long scar across his face. June wonders how it could have happened, especially given Chian’s standing and skill. For a brief moment, June is “on Day’s side.” The feeling makes her uneasy, especially since Commander Jameson is staring at her from the other side of the table.
Thank goodness for Thomas, that’s all I can say.
Thomas’s hand touches mine again. “Hey,” he says. “Day can’t hide from the government forever — sooner or later we’ll dig that street brat out and make an example out of him. He’s no match for you, especially when you put your mind to something.”
June appreciates Thomas’s words and kindness, but at the same time, he reminds her so much of Metias that it hurts. Metias, who had always encouraged her, who always told her everything would be okay, who promised to stay by her always. As June turns away to hide her tears, all she wants is to get this charade of a funeral over.
I’m so sad right now! Poor June! I can’t even imagine what it’s going to be like when she and Day inevitably meet. It has to happen at some point, right?