Chilly winds blew, ruffling the foliage. Trees swayed, on the verge of uprooting. Perched on a branch, and curled under a large leaf was a sparrow. It shivered from the cold wind; its tiny body shook, its body warmth continued to seep out.
Thunder loomed above as flashes of lightning were discharged. The air was humid, a result of the torrential rain. The sparrow persisted without giving up, letting out faint chirps to showcase its undying will.
Time passed in such a manner, the rain eventually subsided. The rays of the morning sun seeped through the gaps in the clouds, colouring the surroundings blue. A gentle wind blew past, causing droplets of water to cascade the leaves.
A water drop fell, looking crystalline, reflecting the image of a large brown tree with a dense green canopy. Followed by a gust of air, the water droplet splattered. The cause had been a bird's flapping wing.
The sparrow let out jubilant chirps, taking off to the skies. It flapped its wings in a flurry, passing above the dense overgrowth, watching the field of green beneath it. It flew without rest, seeing the greenery grow sparse, boulders scattered amidst.
A large canyon appeared; it was filled to the brim with water, the currents rough. The sound was akin to thunder, causing the sparrow to instinctively shiver. It soon crossed the canyon, travelling over a mountain range, watching a massive body of water come into view. It was a lake.
The sparrow chirped a couple of times, making a turn as it traversed along the mountain range. It was a hill, situated between a mountain and the water body. The hill was an extension, an overgrowth of the mountain range.
On the peak of the hill was a sparse growth of trees; the sparrow landed on a branch, chirping in joy as it rejoined with its family. It snuggled with another sparrow, chirping in joy as the three eggs within the nest showed signs of cracking.
Flowing near the roots of the tree was a brook, having doubled in volume due to the recent rainfall. The chirping of the sparrows resounded in the area, brimming with harmony. A leaf fell on the brook, moving along its flow.
Travelling for a short distance, the surface sloped downward. The leaf continued its travel, descending along the downward slope, soon coming across a vertical section. The brook turned into a waterfall, its flow still streamlined, reflecting the surrounding environment.
The water joined a small pond, the sound gentle, thanks to the lack of turbulence. Situated in the centre of the pond was a circular piece of land. A path connected it to the landmass bordering the pond.
It was covered by grass, emitting a fresh scent. The leaf floated on the pond and collided into the piece of land, its journey coming to an end. Prostrating on the grass was a young lady, sporting torn clothes.
Her blue hair was dishevelled, her eyes closed. Tears streamed out her eyes as she screamed in hysteria; her hoarse, trembling voice echoed, "Master!"
"It is too late, my child." A voice resounded from behind the waterfall. The voice was calm, aged even, seemingly of one who had achieved enlightenment. But, traced within it was unbridled hatred, with every word uttered causing the falling waterfall to tremble a little.
"The Qi plaguing me is an unprecedented existence. Even by exhausting all my resources, all I could manage to do was prolong this old man's life." The owner of the voice looked young, seemingly in his twenties.
Strewn around him were two vats the size of his body, their contents empty. It was a tiny cave, suffused with a pungent smell. The man had an oval face with a sharp jawline. His eyes were dull, showcasing exhaustion towards the vicissitudes of life.
His clothes were layered with dust, becoming one with them, looking as if he hadn't moved from the spot for years. A gruesome gash ran over his head; it looked to have been hacked by a blade. The wound had festered, the blood had condensed into blood-red crystals. There wasn't a single ounce of hair on his body. His brown skin had become pale, slowly turning red.
The bones on his right hand were peaking out, his muscles non-existent. His body was under a state of severe malnutrition. His damaged right hand was the only limb he retained. In the places of the remaining limbs were stumps, their ends turning red. The skin over them foamed, turning white.
"20 years," He said, heaving a forlorn sigh, "I have been trapped here for 20 years. In the meantime, my enemies have developed to greater heights, even shedding their mortal flesh to ascend into higher existences."
The sounds of the waterfall diminished further as he continued, "We are existences unbelonging to this world, and to us, this world shouldn't have been a reality. But, it has now become our reality, something those fools fail to understand."
"I have rambled enough," He turned silent, listening to the young lady's sobbing, speaking at the end, "It is time."
His right hand only retained a single finger, the ring finger. Worn on it was a ring, inlaid with a lustreless black gem. The surroundings darkened for a moment as a bag appeared beside.
His right hand trembled as the water from the waterfall converged before him, morphing into a hand. The water hand carried the bag, passed through the waterfall, and dropped it beside the young lady. "Only these haven't been poisoned yet, use them in your journey. There should be a slip inside that will inform you about the details."
On his forehead was another eye, one that had become lifeless. Blood oozed out of it, forming a thin line that travelled past his nose, eventually dropping down as droplets from the chin. The third eye slowly close shut, seeping into the skin before disappearing entirely.
The man said with a sense of urgency, "My life's accumulation, my ambitions, my feelings, my abilities, my treasures, and my hatred; I will leave them all with you."
"Master!" The young lady began to sob even harder, kneeling on the ground as she faced the waterfall. Her ears trained to her surroundings, unwilling to miss anything. A long gash coursed through her eyes. She was blind.
She felt a whooshing sound before something warm entered her body. The warmth settled next to her heart, exhibiting a certain unknown influence. A tinge of green suffused her hair, etching its presence.
From behind the waterfall, the man looked at her with a smile. On his chest was a hole; blood oozed out nonstop, "Because of me, this land will soon become a desolate area, forbidden to life. Due to the seepage of the poison, I am unable to give you the rest of my treasures. On the day when you surpass my peak, come here and retrieve them."
"Re'Kha, my only disciple, your master wishes from you two things. First, uphold virtue. Second, to the enemies that reduced me to this state, make them suffer the same fate as mine." He barely managed to lift his hand, trembling due to the lack of strength, summoning something from within him.
A three-headed beast taller than a person rushed out of the waterfall. It made a light jump and landed beside the lady. Accompanying it was his voice, "This is Trimukhya, my Pranic Avatar. In the time it can exist, it will bring you far away from this place. Now go!"
Re'Kha grabbed hold of the bag and felt the three-headed beast bite the ends of her dress. With a movement of its head, it threw her onto its back. Kicking its hooves, the three-headed beast began to run towards the mountain range.
Re'Kha turned around and shouted at the top of her lungs, "Master, I will avenge you. This I vow to the heavens."
"Haha," The man let out a self-deprecating laugh, "This is now my reality. No, this is reality. Right, reality..."
His eyes had become dim; there was no longer any sign of life in him. The air surrounding him began to glow, seemingly resisting something. His body radiated a formless substance into the surroundings, endangering it.
His skin turned white, with areas of pink, black, and violet. His body toppled, falling on the ground with a thud, the bones breaking under the impact.
Beyond the waterfall, the sounds of chirping had disappeared, followed by deathly silence. A minute later, the twitching body of a sparrow flowed down the waterfall. It died by the time it could fall into the pond. Soon, it was followed by droves of sparrows, all dead, their manner of death similar to him.
From a scene of tranquillity, the pond had become a nightmare of death. Faint black smoke swirled around, condensing above the hill.