A strange whisper woke me up in the middle of the night, sending me shivers, making me gasp. A poltergeist?
Still dark, both Johnnard and Grey are both asleep. They’re not the ones who whispered.
There it is again. The call came from the inside of the cave. Cool wind blew from its inner chamber.
The voice, terrifying enough, knows my name. I sat frozen still, waiting for another call.
Should I trust this voice? If I keep ignoring it, it’ll just won’t stop calling me. Tuning it out isn’t going to be helpful, and it will keep terrifying my skin.
Somehow, my gut feels like I should follow it. Telling me that it’s a matter of something important.
I let out a huge sigh, then, unzipping myself out of the bag. Grey and Johnnard hadn’t notice me, a good thing though.
The whisper returns, this time, it’s lingering, and more incoherent. A trail I must follow.
I start to walk, following the voices command. Under the spell of the voice, taking me to the inner cavities of the cave.
Grey and Johnnard are both sound asleep taking a glance back at them. The path gets darker as the flame of the campfire eclipses with the shadow. When I got shrouded by the shadow, I had to pull my phone out and switch the flashlight on.
A soft, cool breeze meets my ears, going against the opposite direction. The whispers become louder and closer. I squint my eyes and then shone the light randomly to the direction where the whispers could have originated.
One specific direction and the voices could have come from behind the rock. My heart races within my chest. The suspense triggers the beating. Anxiety shrouds me.
My legs tremble in each step, growing closer to the limestone stalagmite. Whatever is behind that stone mound is yet to reveal itself.
The voices suddenly stopped, when I turn around the backside of the pillar. I spun around frantically, wondering why the voice had silenced. Then suddenly, by accident, my feet kicked something soft that set me alarm.
“Aaaahhh!!” I stepped back in surprise, defensively shining my light at the ground.
I kicked something dark, stuffy and made of textile.
“My bag?” I said in my confusion. “How did it get all the way at the back of the cave?”
Confused, I lower myself and scrutinize the bag on the floor. I thought I placed it against the wall behind me. There’s no way it waltz all by itself in the dark. But, why though?
With the other hand gripping the phone shining the darkened area, I let the other search for the zipper. Some thieves may have found our place and dragged my stuff here. Who knows what they stole in my bag, I did not even pack anything that’s even worth the steal.
Once I unzip the bag open, I scramble to check for my belongings.
“My clothes… still intact… toothbrush… at the corner… my towel… lying at the bottom…”
It’s so dark, very difficult to rummage around with. Knowing that pulling my bag back into the light would be a perfect solution has its inconveniences too. Right after I get a roll call on my belongings, I will move.
“First chamber… all present and accounted for,” I confirmed, exhaling in relief. Glad nothing was lost.
The looks of the second compartment left my head tilting. It looks askew, as if something hard is underneath it. Something odd is inside the second chamber, I’m sure of it.
My hand reaches for the zipper then pulling the zipper to the side. There’s something hard poking out of open. It’s green, minty color revealing itself. It’s…
“The book,” my eyebrows furrow in confusion as I raise it. Its golden insignia glistens in the light. I cannot recall the time packing it, nor Johnnard shoving the book in here. “How did it—” I gasp in realization as to why.
I return to my sleeping bag along with my belongings. Sinking into the bag, I pull my backpack close to me and shut the flashlight setting off of my phone.
The voices… it could only mean one thing. Yesterday, I briefly open the pages and then revealed some sort of flashback pieces. Barely giving me anything at all and just hinted with words.
Maybe this book has to offer more from yesterday’s. Once this book’s cover is open.
I take a deep breath, bracing myself for the revelation. Trembling with my fingers holding the edge of the hardbound cover. My throat gulps instinctually, still hesitating to make a move yet eager to know the truth at the same time. My indecisiveness torments me.
In one forceful move finally, I bravely wavered the anxiety in my head, gingerly pulling the green hardbound cover open to the side.
I expect something to happen.
Waited for a moment… then nothing.
“Come on, I walked all the way into the inner part of the cave. Give me something or else I’ll throw you into the flame—”
The pages of the book suddenly glows. Bright light escapes from the paper, shining the entire cave blind. Looks like I triggered the book, somehow. Good to know it doesn’t want to be barbecued.
My eyes were glued shut by the intensity of the light. Through my eyelids, I could still see it burn brightly. One open of the eyes and I’m blond for eternity.
So I wait for the light to simmer down. And it did. Once it’s over, I open my eyes and everything is white. My surroundings disappeared. Just this eternal white void and me, seemingly stretching forever.
Grey and Johnnard vanished, so is the cave, my bag, the campfire, and the world. I’m lost in this unknown world where the book had taken me.
Did I go blind? I ask myself. Then, my hands appear before me, confirming this to me. Even so, it hadn’t shook away this anxious feeling I’m getting.
Where in the world am I?
“Hello?” I called. Only echoes of my voice replied. “Is anybody around? Where am I? Grey? Johnnard?”
Still, dull silence. A kind that is painfully deafening. My heart starts to drum within my chest. Loud and heavy. Each palpitating beat deafens my ears. I’m losing myself!
“Fear not!” I gasped in alarm. It’s the voice from before! Loud and encompassing, sounding almighty to me.
“Wh-Who are you?” I stuttered, holding onto myself tightly.
“Time will reveal myself to you. For now, let me feed your desires. Your desire to know the truth, intentionally what your guardian brought you with.”
Grey, is he the one that brought the book? That would be probable, he’s the one that told me yesterday to keep it. I did not know he’d snoop with my stuff and shove it in my bag without my consent.
“Let your worries falter. I know what your heart wishes. Everything is falling into place, as it should be.”
“What do you mean?” I asked.
“Collect all four primes of your domain: lightning, fire, ice, and earth. Overthrow the Armaggon government, and restore mammalian life in Adaminno and the rest of the world. As you progress, I shall reward you.”
“Is this some kind of extortion?” I asked. “Why? Why am I here?”
“You are Adaminno’s last hope. You inherit the powers of life. Proceed to the next town, and you will receive what you shall need including those whom you need.”
This vague explanation isn’t helpful at all.
“Please, I just want to know who I am! Where I came from. Don’t give me responsibilities I cannot guarantee!”
The voice went silent.
“You shall be instructed, fear not. Your grimoire will reveal every instruction, once you complete each phase—”
My mind suddenly bursts into pain. Throbbing and sharp. My hands gripped my temples, my eyes shut in agony.
Then, series of flashbacks slideshows. They are familiar. The clothes, the school, the people, my friends—wait, are these my memories?
I return, mildly convulsing from the phenomenon. I gasped hardly, feeling nauseated and shocked with the revelation. Those voices belong to somebody I know yet I still don’t know.
“M-My memories, my past. D-Did you do this? I-If you do, please, I’ll do anything instead, whatever it takes to get my memories back!”
In the last minute, the only thing I could do is bargain desperately. This voice… claims to hold my memories. It seems unfair, but why would it do that to me? Why would I go through these series of hardship just to get my freaking memories back?
“Very well…” the voice said. “On your journey, you will meet four individuals: one imbued with intellect of the mind, one with kindness of the heart, one with generous soul, and one with instinctual courage. They will guide you on their way, and you shall guide them as well in return.”
“Time will tell…”
I gasped as I wake up. Not knowing why I did that. Grey’s eyes staggers into mine. Both filled with utter concern. His paws are on my shoulder.
“Grey?” I said.
“Thank goodness you’re alive!” Johnnard said in his relief.
“What do you mean?” I asked, raising a brow in confusion.
“You were unresponsive, for nearly twenty minutes!” Grey cried, hints of trouble escapes from his mouth. “I would consider resuscitating you… I thought you were—”
“I-I’m fine now. No need to worry,” I told him.
“You’re making me worry right now,” Grey said, unconvinced.
Grey hasn’t calm down when we packed our belongings moments after waking me up. I feel bothered now that I was dead for twenty minutes and felt like my soul just returned when I woke up. Grey’s eyes glued to me the entire duration. Very unsettling.
That disappeared the moment we exit the cave. Compared yesterday, everything is sunshine again. Johnnard confirms it to be sunny all day and we don’t have to worry about being soaked again. Trust the scout of course.
Just over the hill and surprise meets us. Our cabin wide open. The distance of it and the cavern is so close. Johnnard had us fooled with one of his mischiefs again. We could have ran straight instead of going into the cave needlessly. I couldn’t care soaking all the way home instead of being drenched in a cave.
Curse Johnnard and his sick antics. His tricks were admittedly funny. Grey disagrees though.
Like what we planned, We repacked everything we needed and left home, onwards to the town. Johnnard stayed home this time. Grey’s fear seems to have diminished on the way. Thankfully, those eyes weren’t set onto me.
What happened to me earlier was a mystery. The voice left me perplexed until now. Rest assured, it promises it would guide me. I just need to trust it. Do I though? What if this voice is deceiving me?
“… Only time will tell,” I murmured.
“Excuse me?” Grey turns to me, ears perking.
“Nothing,” I shook my head.
Those words, skeptical enough to believe. The voice claimed to have hold of my memories. Still, this hesitating feeling resides in me.
Do I really hold the future? If I mess up, will I just end up with the previous hopes that tried to rescue their continent?
Things will unfold… hopefully in my favor.
I will be guided by these imbued with lightning, fire, ice, and earth. So I assume my guardians will be helping me. If it’s them, that would be great! Imagine going to save the world with them. As long as it’s them, it’s fine by me. Going through adventures, slay monsters, freeing the world from the aliens sounds cliché. Will it be though?
Few hours later, rooftops poke from above the trees over the hill we stood. The view is divine our long, and boring escapade will be over soon. The distance between the town and the cabin is tolerable though, no wonder Arctic preferred to walk. Though to be fair, the cabin lies in the most isolated place in the mountains.
“We’re here, Ruelo,” Grey announces, holding his waist proudly overseeing everything from the elevation.
“Yeah… this is it!” I said to myself.
Everything is going well, as planned. Not even lagged by a monster on the way except for some Aulken creatures scampering about.
Grey seems proud and mighty.
This is it. I can’t believe that this day would come! It’s expected to say the least, but this will be a great moment for me to be introduced to other fellows besides Grey.
Would I be welcomed though?
A gentle kiss from the midday breeze tells me things it will. The positive radiance of the surrounding suggests so, too.
Grey himself told me not to worry, and this time. I know time will tell me.