In the distance, a fiery shooting star passes through the Infinite Continuum. Consciousness smacks him on one side; the other side is nothing but an incessant hurting sensation. Sylvester's right eye is getting bothersome and won't open for some reason, but something else catches his attention. His stomach dips down continuously, nauseatingly so. He glances down at the void below and lets out an involuntary yelp. With his muscles refusing to budge, he braces for his doom. Is this how I’m actually going to die? If it is, then … Dread…dread…thump…thump…thump… This sensation is calm yet discomforting, unlike the normal rush of adrenaline and power to get his wings going. For a moment, he is no longer a being but still is. He drifts above his own head and shifts around only to see his own pathetically swollen and bloody body. The sarong he wore has frayed from the fight, and the wings of fire disappeared. The most glaring thing of all is the missing eye, the eyelid sinking in from the loss. An amoeba-like memory takes shape, and he subconsciously slinks back to his corporeal, painful self.
“Sylvester. You're not going to say you regret being born, are you?”
“I'm tempted to, yeah.”
“Don't then. I don't know if we're going to die here or not, but if we do, remember what you promised on your sixth birthday?”
Oh that. Promises are harder to keep than he realized that time but still, a promise is a promise.
The nerves are getting to him again, but he focuses on the good parts of his life.
Feeding the freshwater fish stale
leftovers, their gaping lips greedy for more. Climbing trees for
flying practice, falling from brief flights, then repeating the
cycle. Going to the garden ruins, pretending to steal fruit from its
witch, and pretending to fight the imaginary witch before making his
escape. All that and more flows through his mind. For a moment,
Sylvester feels the atmosphere shift around his falling body, but it doesn't matter when he's preparing for death. A death in the grand scheme, but would it be the death for him?
Not too long ago …
Inside the vast throne room, three petal-shaped mosaics flanked each side of the gigantic wooden arch decorated with black pearls and flowery carvings. Inside it, a smaller but still overwhelmingly tall Reuleux triangle made of burgundy marble has imposes itself. At the very bottom, a stunning woman wearing a ruby-colored ao dai and a silver headress waited patiently in her golden throne.
A few minutes later, a blonde muscular boy looking too old to be eleven flied like lightning through the hallway with wings of fire. The levitating letter that guided him vanished. His feet began to skid on the floor, running to slow his movement down before kneeling in front of her.
“Have you called for me, Your Holiness?” he asked.
“Indeed. I have a mission for you to fulfill,” her voice rang out.
Sylvester gulped. A mission? The letter he received never mentioned that. What could it possibly be for exactly?
“Eliminate the demon-possessed person lurking in the Infinite Continuum. He threatened earthly peace and was subsequently sent there, awaiting punishment.”
He looked up to Goddess Tien with apprehensive eyes. High stairs separated the two of them, yet he felt as if this woman with cerulean, magenta, and orange skin was peering closely into his soul. Her intimidating energy was reminiscent to hot sandpaper grating against the marrow of his bones.
“I don't mean to question your authority, but...” Sylvester began. A bead of sweat forms on his forehead, and he scrunched his fingers on the floor. His throat tried to force out more words, but each upcoming word is a brick stuck in his throat.
“There's no need for formality. Speak up your doubts if you wish,” she interjected.
He raised his eyebrows momentarily before blurting out:
“I don't know if I can do this or not. This is my first time I've been requested to complete a mission.”
Goddess Tien said nothing for a few seconds before saying, “Even if you fail, at least do your best. I know for sure you have enough resilience to survive.”
She gave a disarming little smile and asked, “Oh, before you go, would you like some refreshments?”
A table full of sweets appeared from air with thin pink swirls of smoke around it.
Sylvester eyed the food, feeling hunger rise up. He definitely needed to compose himself for the mission. Perhaps Goddess Tien wasn't too bad of a person as rumors claim.
After gobbling up a few treats, Sylvester bowed again while sitting, letting his forehead barely touch the cold ground. He walked back to the exit and stares first at the floating bridge with jagged stone rails. Instead of taking a step, however, he prepared his wings and launches himself into the air. As he flied, he looked back to see her palace, the mountain with the biggest cherry blossom tree growing on it. Its waterfall poured ambrosial, glistening water that led to many rivers surrounding vegetated isles. The bluest of skies greeted him as a casual friend. The gate to the Infinite Continuum, that distant black square in the sky, lingered in his sight.