Li Ch 4

Upon awakening, I was greeted to blue heaven streaked with the residual tint of the red dawn. Faintly hungry, I stood outside of the tent alone.

After calming my panic, I surveyed the area and soon found something amiss in the middle of the clearing.  I approached, I was greeted with an elevated

I approached it.

There was an elevated mound of rock that had not been there yesterday. It was only a few feet higher than the surroundings. On its flat top was the man. He sat at its the centre.

“-?!”

But even stranger was that there was an eerie halo of light with peculiar markings of various colours rotating slowly on top of his head. The ring covered what looked like a five to eight-meter radius. But the halo itself look around no more than a tenth of a meter thick.  Below the ring was a shadow. The shadow was quite visible.

The ring’s sole occupant spoke, his mouth voiced noise filled with meanings, incomprehensible to me.

I watched as there was a sudden change in the formation after a few minutes. The ring dimmed, its rotation slowed sharply almost stopping completely until it was just a crawl. Its light was like that of the faint glow of florescent paint. But in return, the man’s right hand shone faintly which then peaked in a fierce brightness. A Golden light it was, intense but I found it calming. There was no doubt in my mind that it held a power of the mind and may even be able to sway the mind from its owner’s path.

Moving his right hand to his forehead with his pointing, and index fingers straight and while he curled his free hand to a half open palm. The light seemed to concentrate to these fingertips after which he meets them with the centre of his palm left hand. There was beam of light which seemed to flow from a small halo which had formed on his right index finger. Then separating his right from left, he placed his left palm onto the earth.

A flash of light rose from the earth which forced me to raise my arms in defence from the brightness. It was truly spectacular.

As I turned back to the spectacle, an additional halo surrounded him. The shapes inscribed onto it seemed to want to leap from the figure as the constantly shift even more than the last halo. But as if to signal the climax of the event, He closed his right hand into a fist. The surrounding temperature seemed to spike in that moment. I could feel a heat shift around my stomach as if my body had reacted to whatever he did.

The ground shook.

He then it opened. It was empty before but now there was rock which shone like a small sun. No, it would be better described as the glow of the moon within the black night. The shiny crystal held that feeling of nobility. He then placed it next to his left hand which he thrust into the elevated earth. His whole hand up to his wrist seemed to meld into as it then sunk into the rock. lines of light formed on the ground which disappeared as quickly as they came. Moments later he took off his right hand and where there was only rock before now had a shiny translucent crystal ring.

“What was that is heaviness?”

I looked around. I thought it become difficult to breathe for a moment. But it was gone.

“I wonder what was that?”

I turned to face the ring with a gentle blue glow.

***

The surroundings seemed to slowly return to the one he had become familiar with yesterday. After a few second, he tossed me the ring. I caught it, this time without any hesitation. I examined it.

As I held it, a cool feeling seeped through my skin as if it was as if it was made with from transparent ice. At the sight of this, I was reminded of the weapons that were welded again us yesterday.

‘The two are likely related somehow.’

I then saw from the corner of my eye that the man motioned me to wear it on my right index finger. It was odd being asked to do this without knowing why. I had a few ideas for the ring’s purpose but either way I had to put it on. Therefore I did as to want was asked without any resistance.

***

Soon after this, He seemed to have restored the place to how it appeared before we arrived after we had eaten. The pillar sank into the earth. As he made what seemed to be a last round about the place, he grabbed a bag with what I assumed was filled with to be food and drink. I was tossed a similar bag. Upon closer inspection, the bag felt like a high-class leather and the opening was bound by a thick string and straps. Opening it confirmed  my assumption but it also contained some kind of cloth or fabric.

***

Some distance away from the clearing but still within short walking distance was a stream. It was convenient as my thirst had become unsettling. I confirmed that my hair was indeed  white and my skin took on a more ash brown-grey tone. I reached out to fill my cup with the clear liquid.

I must have been absorbed by my thoughts as it was only when I saw that the man took out one of the empty bottles to full it that I bought the cup to my lips.

The memory of the terrifying howl returned to my mind and thus I thought that it must have been the same for him. I quickly washed my face to distract myself…

 

***

The forest path was more pleasant than yesterday. As I walked, the mosquitoes which I grudgingly realised existed here yesterday were hardly as annoying as before. I wondered whether it was the ring that made the difference. The notion of a ‘magical mosquito repellent’ sounded ridiculous to me for some reason especial after the glamour it took to make it.

“Sigh…”

But my body did feel lighter than before despite not stopping to take a break even we did before.

It must have been hours from departing when we eventually came to a region which sloped sharply enough so to be able to see a sheer drop into a valley a few tens of metres away. The area was not as forested as before, which allow me to see more of the forest below. Though not as magnificent as before as the view space was significantly smaller, being lower down made me be able to appreciate the green rising hills in the distance emphasised by the valley’s which were etched at their feet. Once again I took notice of the current elevation. We sat, likely to allow me to cool off in this humidity. I slowly nodded at the site.

I slowly nodded in appreciation of the view. I had etched the sight within my mind and now I was doing the same to this one.

After some time, we had taken out some of the water to drink as it was easy to get dehydrated in high humidity. It was significantly higher than at the camp site and as we descended, it appeared to increase. I could deal with much. However, this also meant that the ground was becoming increasing moist which made my footing bad and my stamina drained had faster than before.

As we sat, I was lost in thought about the earlier scene. My mind darted across ideas even as I knew that I need more information. It is information that rules the world. With the right kind, even money comes easy and enlightenment can be reached.

So without a concrete base of knowledge about this ‘magic’ phenomena, it would likely be futile.

But I still couldn’t help my thought wondering to it.  As I visualised that scene, the words that were etched into the halo flash across my eyes. I could feel my stomach heat up and a similar sensation, though much weaker, pulsed through my skin.

As I visualised that scene, the words that were etched into the halo flash across my eyes. I could feel my stomach heat up and a similar sensation, though much weaker, pulsed through my skin.

‘Just what was that?!’

But as rapidly as it came, the feeling was gone…

No matter how many times it tried to evoke whatever it was again, I would fail. I gave up soon after realising that I likely would be able to force myself to do it anyway and instead tried to remember the events which lead me into this world. But I was interrupted before I started.

Apparently my break was over and it was time to continue. Since I rather enjoyed the time nature watching and contemplating as to the meaning of earlier feeling might have been I was satisfied and quickly rose to my feet.

But as I did, I hoped that such good feelings would last…

***

 

While we progressed, I glanced at my watch several times. last night when I tried to use my watch it staty off. Apparantly the power was low and I needed more time for it to recharge. But it had reached the point where it must have been close to dusk due to the noticeable decrease in the light. Eventually, we came across a particular treacherous strip of high land. While it did not look difficult to cross, the ground felt loose and combined with an abundance of mud and cliffs were terrifying.

The Man turned to face me, giving me a deep look as if contemplating the best course of action to act on. I truly wondered whether this path was always in such poor conditions but seeing such a face, it made me wonder that he may have not realised sooner the difficulty that it may have posed to me as he rubbed his head over his hand in annoyance.

What did this guy want from me? Was there any value in saving me?

I didn’t know and frankly, I had pushed down those questions until now.

“There is no such thing as a free launch” or as they say…

But I will take paying for my launch over becoming launch any day. That was certainly better than being cut up like meat. Or was it? However, I think I would be heartless to say that the world was only filled with actions that all had ulterior motives. Well, at least I could say this about my world… Whether the same or not applied here is something that I will have to assess.

Maybe the fate that I had was worse than being killed then…However, I think I would be heartless to say that the world was only filled with actions that all had ulterior motives. Well, at least I could say this about my world… Whether the same or not applied here is something that I will have to assess.

However, I think I would be heartless to say that the world was only filled with actions that all had ulterior motives. Well, at least I could say this about my world… Whether the same or not applied here is something that I will have to assess.

I knew that it was illogical to feel such but emotion is any but logical. It was slight but I felt a bit pathetic… To feel otherwise I guess would make me a bum after getting saved, given food and even protection.

I throw a glance at him as he observed the area closely for some reason. I knew that though my thoughts were logical, I felt a bit pathetic…

I guess to feel otherwise would make me a bum after getting saved, even after given food and protection.

“Right…I will be okay.”

“I’ll get through this…”

He quickly came to a decision and reached out to me which I understood from before that he would carry me over his shoulders.  The movement was swift and there I was again, same as yesterday.

He didn’t waste any time accelerating, much to my displeasure. The scenery blurred for an instant as the colours because melded together. But in that instant, my ear tickled as if it was hit by a warm breath. It was only for an instant that I believed to have smelled a sweet fragrance not unlike that of a sweet fruit.  Within that instance was a voice was pleasing to my ear. Even within that faction of a second I heard her whispers, clear and without imperfection but filled with a mischievous tone. At her words, my thoughts halted and my body stiffened. Soon after and at the corner of my vision, something leaped from the underbrush. In my panic, I attempted to move but there was no way that my body could keep up with my thoughts.

The next instance that I was aware of was my feeling of weightlessness and a slowly revolving world. The sky became the ground and span around as if it was stirred as one would stirred a cup of tea.

‘Crack’

Following that sound was a blackened vision, which was restored as quickly as it came. My body collided into something. As I came too, I felt it being dragged downward. Panicked but still somewhat sensible, I instinctively tried to slow myself by clutching at whatever was in reach. When I made sense of my vision, I could see that I was sliding down an incline at quite a rate.

But in front of me, the ground vanished and a horizon spread out…

“Cliff!”

I dug my feet into the muddy ground.

“Ahhh!!!”

My ears were filled with shouting that I only soon realised to be coming from none other than my own mouth. I tried to slow down by using my legs and arms to grab whatever I could grab on. But the inclined had surprisingly sparse of such things. In the process, I smashed my arm into a tree trunk, which caused an intense pain to shoot from location.

As the edge approached quickly, I was unable to turn my head away even as I heard someone call out to me at the edge of my awareness. It was a deep sounding yet uneven voice that was laced with anxiousness.  Though the words were quick, I was surprised that I could make out some of them. Then at the corner of my vision, a bright light surfaced. But I had not the time to see was it was as at that moment. Ten metres without delay became one and then I was left wanting when that final feeling of solid ground left. My heart sank but yet I was airborne.

As I fell, the words I heard earlier echoed in my mind:

*sniker*

” If you think it will be so easy…”

“Think again!”

 

 

 

 

 

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