Li ch 3

We walked through the stifling humidity under a canopy patterned the ground in shadows. The forest had grown thicker since we entered it what seemed to be a few hours ago. The blocked out sky removed most of my sense of time.

I had begun walking on my own. The overlapping crowns of trees formed a vast canopy that gave off a similar feeling like one I visited a certain South American country when he once went to visit a colleague due to work.

“I can’t make head or tails of this place…”

I tried to maintain observant but this place was seriously pissing me off.

Maybe it was because I had no sense of direction.

No…

I had no sense of direction.

Full Stop…

But it was clear to me that we were going uphill due to the gradient of the soft ground. Then after what seemed to be another hour, the ground became flat. Eventually, even the canopy broke in fragmented trees which soon lead to a hundred meter clearing. I stopped at the site, with my tired feet.

A few metres from the clearing were cliffs. As we walked closer a vast panoramic view of overlapping canopies underneath appeared. It was breath-taking. It really was…

Part of the canopy broke into plains. Other parts had a rocky landscape which further melded with sharp cliff and luscious trees.word untamed.

Untamed…

Scenery like this…

I wonder if I could find such a place back home?

A small but kind smile appeared on the man’s face.  It was then that I noticed that my mouth was slightly ajar. It was not just that the view,  There was something special about here. There was a calming power in the air. I could just sense it… I somehow understood that the spot I was at was special for some reason. But that might have been my mind playing

This place was special for some reason. It reminded me how small I was in my life. But it made me realise just how vast the world could be.

But it also made me realise just how vast the world could be…

But even if that was the case, doesn’t that make me small minded? I wanted to reject this thought. But I don’t think small means insignificant? Or is it?

The man moved to another part of the clearing and lightly stomped the earth. Accompanying the small rumble was a pillar of earth which rose from the ground.  It had the appearance of a cylinder that contained a roughly cut surface which looked like a door.

I was unable to get a proper look at what he was doing so I slowly approached the container. But I was stopped by something which was tossed in my direction.

I rose his hand to my face.

*puff*

Something landed at my feet. Whatever it was, it was wrapped up tightly. A delicious fragrance floated up into my nose. Blood rushed to my cheeks as I kept my sight I couldn’t see the man then but that the man’s pity  burned more than it should.  Such was the pitiful sight of a man cowering at the sight of a wrapped up meal.

I stooped and picked up the item. After unwrapping it, it appeared to be a type of dried meat. My stomach growled even louder than just before I had arrived.

I didn’t think too deeply about it as it went down my stomach.

“A bit salty but it’s good!”

While he was preoccupied with eating, the man took of some metallic looking objects. Then he tossed one to his side. There was an audible clang. Maybe the food eased me so I was okay this time. I grabbed the cylindrical object. He examined it and saw that there was a screw lid on the top.

“Is this some kind of flask?”

The container didn’t have a finish on it but, it looked rather new as there were no signs of corrosion on it. The warmth of the flask entered my hands.

“But how is it this warm?”

There was no sign of a fire or smoke around.

Well, that was the least of my worries anyway. I was still hungry so only its contents interested me.

“hmm… I wonder what is inside”

However, I could not ignore that metal’s lustre as I gripped the bottle. It was also hard yet was some elasticity.

 

As I got more intrigued, I unconsciously suppressed my hunger until it reminded me of my current state again. I moved the container around, Try pulling the top off, twisted it, then tapping it with my finger. Then a hand came down and twisted the lid opening it as which it placed it on the ground beside me. and went back to the pillar.

As I look up the man was returning to the pillar.

Now he must think I’m retarded or something…

Then I brought my attention back the bottle as I took a whiff of its the contents.

It smelled like alcohol…

***

By now this world’s sun was beginning to set and an orange hue was cast onto the liquid. I was hesitant. My common sense didn’t seem to apply here so my dulled sense of danger was fatal if it remained so I should be cautious. But not drinking it may insult my guide and that may be more pressing.

“Well… a bit should be ok”

I first sipped it.

It was not bad!

Contrary to my first thoughts, the alcohol content appeared to be low, maybe around 2-3%.

I drank about half of it before putting it back down.

From the size of the container, I estimated it to have originally contained about half a litre…

So that was more than just a little…

It tasted like a cider made from pineapples and golden apple but it went down like a refreshing tea!

An unusual drink to say the least but tasty nonetheless.

After I had finished most the drink, the fatigue I felt had rapidly diminished.

My body was still sore from all the walking but my mind felt especially sharp.

I was like the opposite of alcohol which made ones thinking sluggish and dull.

“What a mysterious beverage.”

But then as I was raised the bottle prepared to take another sip my hand stopped. I gazed into the liquid which held the reflection of a strange face.

***

It was dusk this one afternoon. On that day, I had found myself forced into a new world. Now on the ending of the very same day, I had yet to catch a break…

An image had formed on the reflection of the drink.

Without even thinking my voice leaked from my mouth…

“who is that?!”

But then slowly, it dawned on me as the reflection and I moved in perfect synchrony…

Looking closer, my face was largely the same except:

My hair was not black…maybe light orange?

My ears were pointed ear with…fur?

My heart raced and my pulse quicken.

“This is me?!”

No motion came from me until after a full minute.

 

I parted my head.

“such softness…”

Well, at least it was not all bad…

***

When I thought about it, the thought of my body somehow changed when I was transported to this universe didn’t seem impossible.

But it raised questions about the soul and consciousness that I couldn’t stomach right now so I left it as is.

what other changes were there?

I deal with that later was my response.

However, After glancing at the man by the pillar, It seemed that we were not to leave this area soon and it was important to know what other changes occurred with my body.

I took off my shirt and examined my upper body.

The fat that had surrounded my abs was gone. they were well toned. My pectoral muscles were well defined but not to the level of one who weight lifted.  However, my upper body generally how it was before apart from a few changes.

But as I was bout to remove his pants I noticed that the man eyed his with suspicion.

With a face as if to say…

What the fuck are you doing?

I froze within the arkwardness, my hands fixed onto my belt.

“…well that will have to wait”

I released my hands and the man left into the forest.

***

I watched as the man returned quickly with some fire wood.  He placed the on the ground and somehow a fire was lit.

I don’t get it…

Watching it, it might as well be magic, especially if I can’t grasp the principle behind its operation. All he did was place his hands on the firewood and it instantly burst into flames. Seeing this, I began to wonder if I could do it too.

But at the moment, the stark contrast of the bright flames of the fire to that of the unwavering darkness was striking. I got the feeling that I would get lost the moment I left from the site.

“Well, there no doubt that we will spend the night here.”

With some materials and his rock moving abilities he made a wind breaker and a tent. The atmosphere was very different from during the day as the forest became noisy. It appeared that most of the animals here were nocturnal. I guess this was the same as back home.

The disparity between the day and night was huge.

 

***

“……!!!”

In the middle of the night, my sleep was broken by all this a roar so loud that I literally leapt from the ground.

“……”

The night was silent unlike before I fell asleep. The huge wail had silenced the forest. Then after a minute of silence, the sounds continued once again.

“……?!”

Alertness shot up!

A few metres away I watched the man lazily opened an eye from his meditative stance and got up to face the cliff.

Since I could only see he back he could not tell what face he was making.

I felt the not earth shaking but it was his own trembling.

‘what kind of animal can make such a demonic sound?!’

The Sky was still dark. The moon was last crescent. In the faint light I could feel an uncomfortable sensation being emitted on his back.

I stood and went to see want the man was watching. All I could see was the black outline of the cannopy and gray sky. Since I couldn’t see anything, I went back to the camp to try to rest despite my terrified condition. However, I thought it was wise not to fall into a deep sleep.

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