Something’s warm? Yes… it’s nice and warm… and soft? Whatever, I'm so tired, I want to sleep just a bit more.
“What is that? Is it human? Are you sure it isn't some kind of shapeshifting monster?”
“Monsters don’t have a heartbeat dumbass”
“HEY WATCH your mouth-”
Who’s arguing so loudly? Wait… did I faint? Fuck… who are these people? Should I even open my eyes? I was in the middle of the forest with nowhere to go, surely they will leave me alone if I stay still?
“Stupid be quiet, what are you gonna do if the director hears you? How are you going to explain a random girl popping out of nowhere?”
“We… we can just say this girl stumbled in and we took care of her.”
“Yh no chance that the director is believing that, the best thing to do is wait for her to wake up and leave. So try to keep your loud mouth shut.”
“YOU REALLY THINK YOU CAN JUST…”
‘They’re so damn loud…’
“Can you two stop yelling for just a minute?” I hadn’t opened my eyes yet but I could tell they were standing far away from me.
“You…. You get up if your awake”
I finally managed to open my eyes and took a good look at my surroundings. A room lined with beds and all occupied with children except the two beside mine, which probably belonged to the two blonde boys who were standing together grasping the door handle, looking ready to bolt out and scream for dear life if I was ever perceived as a threat.
“I’m not going to eat you two, can you get me water? I think I'm dehydrated as sh..” I shouldn’t swear, these are kids and kids shouldn’t hear such foul language.
“Ahem anyways, water please.” They looked less wary of me and one of them grabbed the water jug by his bedside table and gave me a glass of water.
“Thanks” With that I chugged it down.
“O… Oi… where are you from?” the loud one asked.
“Does it matter?” I threw out a reply without much thought.
“Yes, it matters. We… we risked a lot by saving you, the most you could do is answer our
questions." So one’s loud and the other is cautious… reminds me of people I used to know.
“I don't know what to tell you, I myself don’t know who I am.” The two looked at each other, brows furrowed.
“I told you she was weird, she doesn’t even know who she is, she must be a monster.”
“How many times do I have to tell you, monsters don’t have a heartbeat stupid!” the two started bickering again…
“Listen, just tell me where we are and I can be on my way.” The two paused and looked at each other once again. This was starting to become a little frustrating to deal with, I was never good with dealing with children but this… this was too much.
“You… you really don't know where we are, do you?”
“Like I said I don’t know anything, all I know is that I woke up from a carriage accident and I was looking for help.” Let’s not go too into detail, there’s no point in traumatising kids.
“You’re in the middle of the devil’s heart, the only way out would be through the director-”
“I mean honestly how in the world did you even get into this forest to begin with? Most people without the medallion can’t enter or leave this forest since this is a monster den.” said the cautious boy.
“The medallion? So I can’t leave this forest without it? How do I get the medallion?”
“Dude… you’re asking the wrong people, we don’t know how to get out of here, all we know is that the director has the medallion and the only real way to leave is by sucking up to the director.” the loud boy replied, avoiding being smacked by his friend for raising his voice again.
“Okay, where’s the director? Let me go ask.”
“No no no no no no, you are not doing that. If the director finds out that we brought a random girl she’s going to flip out. You’re going to get us in deep trouble… If you found your way in here then you must know a way out, just go back to wherever you were headed to, we can’t help you.”
I looked towards the two boys who were trembling ever so slightly.
‘How can I ask for help from these children when they’re so visibly afraid of this director… I should think of another way.’
“Hey, I won’t do anything that puts your lives at risk, just tell me how you guys got in here. Maybe It’ll help me find a way out.”
“We came with the director in some carriage”
wait a minute… came with the director? I thought this was a forest with monsters… What adult in their right mind thinks bringing children here is a good idea?
‘I smell real bullshit, bullshit that no human has any business doing.’
“What is this place anyway? Is it an orphanage? Why is there an orphanage in the middle of such a dangerous place?”
“We don’t know why either, the earliest memory we have is riding in that carriage with the director.”
“Do you think the director will believe me if I knock on the front door and tell her I got separated from a group I was with and I just walked into the forest since it was the first area I saw?”
“Dude no, the only time a child comes through is with the director herself, so why would she believe you? She might even kill you.”
“I don’t know… my eyes are red so maybe she’ll believe me if I say the forest simply let me in.”
The two looked at each other again, rubbing their eyes like they were seeing things they shouldn’t be.”
“You don’t have red eyes, your eyes are golden.”
“Yh really gold like the tip of the director's staff.” wtf are they talking about? I need to see the mirror… golden eyes? My eyes were red in the past, they were for sure red. I would know I suffered so much hatred because of them.
I stumbled towards the long mirror that was tucked away in the corner of the room.
‘What in the fuck is going on here? They’re gold… like really gold… Why did this happen? Is it because I came back to the past?’
“Were my eyes this colour when I first opened them?” I asked
“Yh… what else would it have been?” The two were looking at me, once again, with one brow raised confused at the question.
“Anyway, since you’re awake now you should really go, it’s almost time for the teachers to come by and wake us up and if you’re found here we'll really be…”
“I got it, hey if we ever meet again, I’m going to need you to pretend you don’t know me, got it?” I said while going towards the bedside table and putting on the yellow dress from before.
‘Hmmm, it’s still damp but that’s okay.’
“Obviously! We’re not trying to get kicked out.”
“Good,” I said while walking towards the window, the sun had already started to come back up.
“I’ll head out the window, see you soon.”
- - -
I swiftly jogged towards the forest once again, making sure to subtly mark my way back towards the orphanage.
I’d only walked for a little while when I finally found the lake.
This lake was popular in the past that I remembered, the war that lasted almost 10 years started because of this lake… to be precise it started because of the incident that was uncovered at this lake, I never looked too deeply into this incident but I know that 100’s of children, all with incredible amounts of mana, were found in the lake.
The aristocrats of the empire were taking commoner children who possessed great levels of mana and dumping their bodies in the lake in hopes of creating an elixir that extended youth and life itself.
The people who had had enough of the Imperial family ignoring their pleas started a revolt which led to a 10-year-long civil war… and I was at the head of the revolt, I was sick and tired of being used and trampled on purely for the fact that I was a commoner.
I did hear in passing that the lake actually held some kind of power before it was contaminated with the souls of the children.
Let’s see, surely I'm able to awaken my powers in this life too, well… here goes nothing. I jumped into the lake, at first it was hard to even open my eyes but then I soon got used to it.
‘How did I feel when I first awakened back then? I think it felt hot, hot and lonely.’ Yes, like right now, there is no one here to save me if something were to go wrong.
“You’re finally here… I’ve waited a long time for you… I will give you fragments of my powers… I hope this time you will find your family that you longed for and get back to your rightful seat…” A voice, no perhaps an echo, no close to a whisper resounded in my ears and a warm sensation enveloped me.