A strange voice suddenly catches me off-guard. I spun around to the direction of the voice. A male cervine, around his mid-twenties sits on a leather couch, beside the glass pane.
Legs crossed ahead of him, addressing me properly with courtesy like a gentleman. His eyes glisten behind the glasses like an opalescent lavender. So as his Element nestled in between the bridge of his eyeglasses. Dressed like a connoisseur in that formal attire, he’s giving me a classy vibe.
I stood frozen not knowing what to do next. Do this guy really know me? By the looks of it, he appears too rich to know a lowly person like me.
“That book,” he said, pointing at my sling bag strapped around my shoulder. I hadn’t notice my grimoire poking out of the bag. I’m pretty sure I locked it earlier.
“Oh, this?” I pulled out my grimoire, handing it over to him.
Scrutinizing the book from the spine, to the front cover, and the pages inside. His jaw rests on his other paw as he tilts the book around like a wineglass.
“Intriguing,” he murmurs. Once he’s satisfied, he returns the grimoire back to me.
“Are you a noble perhaps?” he asked. “The design on your grimoire is aristocratic. Much similar to mine.”
He reaches for his satchel and pulls out his grimoire. Both look almost the same, but his is purple, more regal-looking. The print on his grimoire is a lighter shade of purple instead.
“What kind of power do you bear?” he asked.
“Actually, that grimoire is just given to me…” I told him.
“Oh…” he murmured. “So you don’t know your Element yet?”
“Yes?” I scratch the back of my head in embarrassment “That’s why I am here, to ask for direction. Is that why I think you know me?”
“Clever,” he tittered. “Never thought you’d see me right through. Please, take a seat. I don’t want to see you stand like a lamppost there.”
He opens his palm pointing the direction of the couch across the table. Accepting his offer, I lower myself on the couch opposite to his. Soon as I adjust myself, he held his paw forward facing sideways for a formal handshake.
“It is nice to meet you! I am Ramyl Von Maulair, a pronghorn, and also the town scholar,” he introduces himself.
“My name’s Ruelo, just Ruelo, a human, unlike you, I’m pretty much a nobody?” our hand/paw clasps to shake.
“Is that so?” he raises a brow in skepticism. “Even a nobody is a somebody, you just have to find yourself then.”
“Exactly what I’m aiming,” I said, afterwards, pulling my hand back from the shake.
“You lost your memory or something?” he asked.
“You’re able to read me like a book,” I admitted. “That’s scary.”
“Not really,” he said, humbly. “Lucky guess. Just luck. I actually turn out to be correct. How long has it been since you’ve lost your memory? Have you recall anything that hints your past?”
This conversation has turned into an interview of some sort with him throwing questions, I thought.
“It’s been at least nine months,” I said. “Recently, I remember only fragments. Just voices. And images that are vague as well. They’re nothing useful.”
“Strange,” he hums, scratching his chin. “Most people that have amnesia remembers things within a month or so… disclaimer of course. I just find your case rather… bizarre.”
There was a pause at the end. He’s finding an appropriate word that doesn’t sound so offensive.
“My guardian thought so, too,” I replied. “Maybe someday it’ll come to me. Unexpected, in a way that I can relate to my current situation. Things that trigger déjà vu for instance. It’s been nine months and I wonder if my family or friends are worried. Do I have any? Where do I come from? These questions kept me bothering for months and it only given me hints that aren’t helpful at all.”
“The dilemma of having an amnesia,” he sighs. “Things will come to your favor, eventually. Time will tell you some days. Be positive even if time only gave you a fraction. Even a fraction is more than nothing, no? Hold on to the thought you’ll get what you want. Have faith in yourself and to the Giver. The world may be unfair, but you’re not alone. It’s courageous of you to share your problem to a stranger you’ve barely know,” he titters again.
Even if he’s a stranger, I feel like I should tell anyone besides Grey. If I’m going to live here someday, might as well befriend people. He’s not bad for a stranger like him. Although classy, can also be sympathetic to one’s problem. He’s more than a scholar, most likely a counselor.
Time will tell…
“… Excuse me, Ruelo?” he turns to me concerned, stretching an awkward smile. “You kind of spaced-out there. Is everything alright?”
I sigh. “Nothing big, the only problem I’m dealing is my memory. That’s all.”
“Remember to have faith like I said,” he reminds. “It’ll eventually surface from the ground like the undead. Just don’t be afraid of the revelations. Whatever you find out, just accept it.”
“Yeah…” I told him. Looks like this conversation is about to end here, and I don’t want this to drift to an awkward silence especially we’re all alone in the second floor. There’s one thing that nags in my mind as soon as we got here, and it might help me in this situation. “A-Anyway, I was curious… What’s the deal of having an Element? Is it like, mandatory? What happens if you do not own one?”
“Elements are fads simply dug by the Armaggons here. Our world uses magic, or so, that runs every part and every biome. It’s ancient in fact, the ancient people use magic a long time ago until it’s forgotten and nobody uses it. Magically vanished, wiped out of existence. Until the Armaggons came and discovered auburite and aggetite, and reintroduced magic once again. As consequences to their action, certain species of wild, magical beasts emerge out of nowhere. The magic that’s long been shunned shouldn’t have been discovered,” Ramyl suddenly gets off the couch and moves to the shelves lying on the dimmer area of the room. “Wait here, I’ll get some references.”
I nodded, then he disappeared in the vague darkness, only making out his fuzzy form from here. Now I know why he stayed close to the windowpane. What kind of library would make their customers squint in the dark?
Ramyl returns with a book cradled in his arms, tucked to his side. Lowering himself, I began talking to him about my opinion about this place.
“How could you even stay here?” I said.
“Hm?” he utters, catching me.
“I mean, it’s too dark in here,” I replied.
“What do you mean?” he raises a brow.
“A—I mean, can you even make out what you’re reading with this kind of lighting?” I batted an eye to the shadier part of the room. Ramyl glances as well, and he only utters a chuckle.
“There’s an explanation to that,” he said. “You see, each species has their own perception of light. Some can see wavelengths beyond others and some don’t. Others can see perfectly well in the dark and others can’t. That’s how beautiful diversity is.”
“Looks like a piece of crap to me,” I said.
He utters a soft chuckle. “Don’t be. You should be proud of what is given to you. Anyway… for reference on the earlier topic, this book will help us.”
He places the book on the mahogany table, sliding it to the center. Leaning over, he blows the dusty cover. Sparks fly all of the sudden. Dancing around like fireflies before ultimately disappearing in a few seconds.
My eyes widened in amazement, amused by the magical thing happening before me.
“Sorry, it’s covered in spark dust,” he said. “They usually stick to leather when not touched for a long time.”
“It’s cool, though,” I admitted.
Ramyl opens the book, an even interesting thing happens next. Images printed on the pages begin to levitate, dancing and moving midair. The illustration itself is alive right in front of my eyes!
My eyes widened in awe. Ramyl utters a soft chuckle as he scrolls through the following pages. He stops on a page, showing an image of a mountain with a halo of a rather familiar circular shape encircling the summit.
“Long before we existed, the Giver created twelve primal sources of magic: Lightning, fire, ice, earth, water, wood, sound, wind, mind, force, light and dark. All these natural forces embedded on twelve divine beings known as the Guardians. And each is assigned on creating the edifice of the world. Mountains rise from below, seas sloshing from the ocean, the sky bringing breeze fresh breeze, and vegetation sprouted everywhere enveloping the landscape, towering trees bearing fruit. Soon, Sylvan-kind emerge from the forest, gifted with the power to manipulate all twelve primal source in the later eras. All magic was first sealed and preserved in the orb known as the Core. After the world’s creation, the Guardians rested among their creation. That is how the world is made.”
“Okay… so how does this relate to the Elements that you have nowadays when you guys are originally embedded with magic?”
“Well get to that part, be patient,” he said. “In order to maintain the balance of nature, the Giver gave tasks to the Guardians. One that involves magic imbued to Sylvans. They alone can’t do the task of maintaining balance. They must have their subordinates as well. In that time, twelve tribes emerge close to the Guardian’s den. Each giving offerings to the Guardians for blessing, eventually bestowed upon them.
“One day, the Giver appeared in the dreams of twelve selected individuals, giving them the task to meet with their Guardian. Upon meeting, the Guardians acknowledges their presence and taught them how to manipulate specific force.
“By that time, they do not have the power. Each tribe, designated uniquely with one of the primal sources. The Guardians blessed their selected individuals with their magic, later shared by them to their fellow kin. The selected ones granted with the title Advocates of the Guardians, also known as Primal Mages.
“As direct attendants to the Guardians, they did everything to preserve life and in return, blessed with bountiful harvest.
“Life was good back then, but it is not balance at all if it is only good, there must be evil as well. From the deepest shades of rot and decay, emerges the thirteenth advocate. The Reaper. Considered a very bad omen that cancels out the primal sources with its ominous power. The Guardians warned not to interact with anyone suspicious. But then, they also forget they weren’t fully aware with consequences at that time. All the Mages cared about was achievements and power to the extent. Whatever it takes to be strong.
“The Reaper did a magnificent job of fooling the Mages. Telling them the stories about the most powerful object of all. The magic-dwelling orb, the Core. Instructed to head the highest peak of the world where the orb lies at the very top.
“The Mages traced high and low, along with their fellow kin, in search for the infamous orb. Then, they found their rendezvous at the deepest area of the world. Their arrival was coincidental. They meet the other tribes sought to retrieve the Core as well. This only led to tension. Eventually drove into a war that spilt blood and severed bodies. Their magic, originally used to do good things, used against themselves. And the Guardians are unaware of these events.
“Each mages fought their way to the very top. Eyes filled in determination as they climb powered by greed. Roars and cries of their fellow kin rumbled from below. Shed lives continue to paint the landscape in bloody red as chaos reigned. The Core lies at the top, watching as the twelve Mages raced for it. Little did they know that the Core, once tainted with evil, would lead to regret. Which eventually did.
“Overwhelmed by the surge of evil power, the orb cracked, and shattered into pieces. The Reaper appeared once again to thank the Mages for their attempt, and laugh mockingly for the deceptive disguise he made to destroy the only thing keeping life on the world. Without life, the wheel turned downside giving birth to the Taker. The twelve pieces were jet black. Dark rays tendrils upwards, animating a powerful entity that absorbs the power of life. The Mages feel treachery of their action, and gravely regret their selfish, greedy attempts. Before the Taker emerges from the shadow, the twelve Guardians clashed to confront the chaos. Sealing away the dark matter before it animates to life in another dimension. Skies brighten after, but that doesn’t give light to lives that were taken.
“The Guardians were furious of their chosen advocates. The Giver is in distraught. To compensate for their mistake, the Mages promises to restore things the way they used to be. However, they were too late. The Guardians cursed the Mages into beasts, banished into the wilderness. Life returns by repurposing the shards into powerful, separate orbs, now hidden in the most treacherous parts of the world. Magic, now eternally condemned from the Sylvans. Since then, we are unable to manipulate magic, as debt to the lives shed during the arcane wars.”
Ramyl ends the story solemnly. Closing the book slowly as a soft sigh escapes his lips.
“How awful,” I admitted. “How greedy.”
“The price of greedy, of course,” Ramyl said.
“Yeah, but how did anybody know this story when their memory is erased?”
“This story remained a legend for thousands of years. Until now, actually. Legends remain a legend, passed from one ear to the other. Nobody is certain if this is the truth or not. This book, found in a cave system in Glacyne, with the legends of the world inscribed here. That is how we come to know.”
A beeping sound suddenly echoes. Alerted by the alarm, Ramyl stick his paw into his satchel and pull out his watch.
“Looks like it’s about time I take my leave,” he said, stretching his arms up. “I have some places to go now.”
“Oh, yeah, me too!” I admitted. “Where are you exactly going then?”
“At the coliseum, we’re the guest of honor after all. Our escort will not be happy if one of us gets late,” Ramyl shoves his things into his bag and brings the book with him. “See you later, Ruelo!” Ramyl starts to walk away to the staircase. “Oh, before I leave, I forget to give you this.” He throws something at me, which I caught firmly with a hand.
It’s round and metallic like a button. Inside the object is a pointy thing, which I can only assume is the needle of the compass.
“Use it on your way,” he said. “It will lead you to places you need to go. Catch you later, then!” he then slides the book in the bookshelf, then departing from the establishment.