CHAPTER 8 Part 1: I’m Begging You
[I don’t know what to do anymore…]
I thought to myself while staring at the sunlight that was trying to peek through the roof of the old-worn-out wagon, both Sura and I were in. My adopted father Luke insisted on pulling the wagon alone saying ‘you guys should rest’ or something like that, his upright ear now drooping from exhaustion.
We don’t own the wagon, we found it outside of the village, though skeptical at first since it was left out in the open, we were still thankful since it had some basic supplies like food and water and it also provided some shelter to rest and a place to hide ourselves.
Sura was in a corner opposite to mine still grieving over the death of his father Griffin. I know what he feels that’s why I stayed quiet, knowing that anything I say now will not help him.
I remembered the day my parents died protecting me, allowing me to escape, but I was eventually captured by the same bandits that killed my parents, it was only for a while until both Luke and Ophelia found and adopted me, treating me like their own.
Both were loving parents, giving me the space, I needed. Though I never forgot my real parents I eventually came to love both Luke and Ophelia. I am thankful for everything they’ve done for me, teaching me magic and giving me a chance to avenge my parents’ deaths.
My adopted father silently followed a stone path as he pulled the wagon, deep in his thoughts, probably thinking about the demons that destroyed our village or most probably the death of his best friend, Griffin. He looked scarred from head to toe, clothes were tattered, I can only imagine how long he fought last night.
I knew Luke tried to protect the village but the Demons were many thus he was unable to, I don’t know where he was or how many demons, he had fought during the night but somehow, I have a feeling that he was led away from his subordinates just like Griffin.
Thankfully he was able to spot us during everything that was happening in our village, his radiant expression faded as quickly as it appeared the moment he saw Griffin’s lifeless body, replaced by an expression I never knew Luke was capable of. I always saw him as a person who never knew how to stop smiling, now I know that he can.
We didn’t even have the chance to bury Griffin because Luke saw a group of demons were about to ambush us, I didn’t even notice until Luke carried us away, avoiding their strikes and spells.
I couldn’t even feel a spec of Ki from my father, maybe that’s why he didn’t even bother looking back to try to fight the demons. We eventually lost the demons’ pursuit and took refuge inside a small cave.
[Why did I even train so hard if I couldn’t even help!]
Lost in thought, pretending to be asleep, trying to hide the tears that wouldn’t stop from surfacing while Luke silently gathered firewood and dried leaves to make a campfire, burning them with the little Ki he had left.
“Get some rest kiddo we’ve got a long day tomorrow,”
Luke said to Sura, making him crawl near the campfire next to me to lay down and sleep.
“Ophelia… I hope you’re safe”
I heard him whisper… the way he talks now was different from the way he talked before, I know that he trusted his wife but I also knew that no matter how much you trust in someone’s abilities, you still can’t help but worry.
[I also hope you’re safe mom…]
Luke continued to pull the old wagon and noticed a small village afar, despite being close to Gadvell, the village seems to be safe from harm. Luke looks at both Sura and me, both of us still depressed and exhausted unable to fall asleep.
[They still look exhausted, might as well let them get some rest while I get some way for us to travel around. A horse-driven wagon would be nice.]
Is what I thought my father was thinking, trying to read him.
“Yuna, Sura, we’ll be staying only for tonight, we’ll eat and leave first thing in the morning after I secure us a mode of transportation.”
Luke proceeds to pull the wagon towards the village, I was curious, wondering why it was completely intact and was not attacked. When we arrived, Luke began to search for an inn and immediately found one, he parked just outside the inn, we went inside not leaving one another.
We paid for a room for one night using the skin and hide of monsters Luke killed for food. We entered our room which had a single twin-size bed and a side table with a lamp on top, Luke then told us to stay inside the room while he goes around the village looking for a cheap horse drawn-wagon.
I let Sura fall asleep first as I sits on the opposite end of the bed, feeling mentally and physically drained.
[can I do anything to help him?]
I thought to myself remembering the thoughts I had when I was in his state, forcing my mind to recount the things I wanted either Luke or Ophelia to do for me.
At first sight, I thought he was cute and needed to be protected, the way he stood beside his sister holding the book between his arms was adorable. I always wanted a little brother, someone I could protect but Sura was different, the more I spend time with him, the more I realize that he was more mature than any boy I came across.
Although he treated me like every boy treated me at first, but he also listened to me when I gave him advice, something not any prideful person would do. I eventually came to respect him as time when on, seeing something in him I couldn’t put into words. I want to help the boy I called my friend… the first friend I ever made.
Hours passed of me just rummaging through my mind thinking of a way that could cheer Sura but nothing fruitful came out. I laid down onto the hard mattress beside him and closed my eyes, telling myself that I could think of something after a short nap.
As I opened my eyes, a familiar feeling course throughout my body, a familiar room of dark mist and mystery caught my eye, darkness filled my vision no matter where I look, however, there was no throne nor the man that sat on it wasn’t there. This time an unclear image registered into my retina, white smoke forming into a man occupied my vision, a tall man with an athletic figure stood in front of me, he wore some kind of armor my vision can’t recognize through the smoky projection, on his back was a fur cape.
He opened his eyes as he completed his form, dark black eyes opened like a void or a black hole trying to suck in every light possible, bags under his eyes were visible, his hair was disheveled like he never tried to take care of himself. Comparing him to the man I saw before in a similar vision, I knew he was different, he doesn’t give this authoritative atmosphere, although he still gives this pressure that tries to squeeze the air out from my lungs.
I don’t know why I am here… but despite his appearance he gives me this feeling of… desperation… like I want to kneel in front of him and ask for his strength. A technique, power, knowledge, connection, anything that could help me avenge my father and home.
As I was rummaging through my thoughts, he conjured magic and a smoking sofa fit for one person appeared from the misty floor, he sat down, sighed, and met my eyes as he spoke.
“I… don’t know if you’d be able to trust me but I’m here to help, because of some circumstances I’m unable to reveal my name, but I would have to ask for yours.”
“…My parents told me to not talk to strangers.”
The smoking figure raised an eyebrow at my retort
“I understand how you feel kiddo, long ago I too lost people I care about and fought for…” the man shook his head not continuing his sentence.
“But… I hate to say this, but you have to move on, right now. There’s no time to grieve as you need to focus on what’s to come and not on what could have been.”
“You were watching me? And you still say that I can’t even mourn for my dead father, my family, my friend, my mentor… my hero…”
“I know it’s hard, I too-”
“Can you leave me alone? You can’t possibly understand what I’m going through, given the carefree statement you just uttered.”
“…Look, this may sound stupid but there’s more to it than meets the eye, your destiny leads to tragedy. Everyone you hold dear will suffer and you’ll see them suffer and die in front of you, you need to get stronger. Stronger than Ashura. If you remain the way you are now Yuna and Luke will die because you were too depressed about losing your father. Aishita and Mary will die because you’re weak, and Ophelia will commit suicide for the death of her family.”
“How would you even know all that?”
“Because you receive a certain book, binding you to me, making you go through the same fate I suffered in life. I believe you know what book I’m talking about?”
“You opening that book binds you to me, it allowed me to look into your life, and from what I’ve experienced through the years of binding with others just like you, you’ll see everyone dying in front of you. Unless you want to feel helpless just like you have been feeling until now, I suggest you seek Tiffany Fareas out and learn magic from her. I’ll do my part as well, during the day, you train with her and at night while you sleep, in this ‘Dreamscape’ or ‘Dream Realm’ I’ll train your body how to fight and help you control and wield your shadow magic. Don’t worry about your family they won’t die unless you go see them, as for Yuna and Luke… I honestly don’t know… Everyone that I bonded with… had their loved ones killed in front of them.”
“…How can I even believe everything you’ve said? And earlier? You were saying that you are ‘unable to reveal your name’ why is that?”
“The only thing I can say to you is that ‘You have to believe in me’” as he said that he bowed deeply and slowly straightened.
“You were not the only one who opened the grimoire, you’re not that special Sura, you’re just some random unlucky guy that got cursed, just like the rest, and when I reveal my identity, they died… I don’t know why but after some expe— time I was able to know when I would be able to reveal it but for now, I should not… And… I’m sorry I couldn’t warn you before… and um… when you meet the woman called Tiffany Fareas, she’s an A-rank King Elementalist and your father’s half-sister, tell her your connection to Griffin, she will hopefully accommodate you and your companions. If anything, out of the ordinary happens to LouwenDale tell her to go with you and head towards Neon Village.”
“I’ll believe you because you were sincere. But what would happen if I didn’t do as you told me to?”
“I don’t know what would specifically happen to your family, but I’m just sick and tired of people not listening to me and them reliving my pain, can you just listen? I’m begging you. I don’t want to share your pain, I don’t want to feel what you feel, I’m sick of watching, I’m sick of people not listening to my pleas, I’m sick of this powerlessness that I’ve suffered for an eternity, unable to do anything.” he clenched his fists, shaking vigorously.
“What would I say to Luke if he ever finds out where Aishita and the rest are?”
“you’ll know when the time comes… and be careful, you will encounter a lot of obstacles… for now, this is goodbye.”