A few minutes after Leena had entered Lumia, her light started to shine and expand. As it expanded, it consumed the darkness that had covered Lumia completely. He light reached all the way to the forests, where a mass concentration of darkness reigned. Not even Leena's massive light could consume that. Etherin looked at Leena and said "it seems with your light alone we can beat this. It might even be easier than I though". He smiles at her and she smiles back. Suddenly there was another loud roar, this one made the ground shake, and Amy jumped on Kayla's arms, shaking. The people of Lumia started to come out of their houses, some would look up and be amazed by the sunlight, others wondered about the loud roar, but then they looked up to Lumia's entrance and saw Etherin, accompanied by three outsiders. Some started to cheer, calling them saviors, while others just questioned Etherin's decision to letting in the outsiders. Out of the alley, where a large crater could be seen, came out Xato yelling "Stop cheering, this INSTANT!!! These aren't saviors. The woman with no light right there, that is the daughter of that witch, Meraii!" The people gasped, some got afraid and others entered their houses. Some started screaming "get out of here" "How could you, Etherin." Etherin looked at them in disgust "what in BLAZES is you problem. Who's light do you think pushed back all this darkness? He pointed up and as he did, hi grabbed Leena's hand and lifted it. The people noticed how the light above them reacted. They were speechless. Xato looked surprised. He looked around over and over, but he could not say a word, so he leaves quietly. Etherin escorts Leena, Amy and Kayla to his house "sorry for bringing you here, but I doubt the inn will let you stay, said Etherin to Amy and Kayla. Leena entered and sat down on the table, looking around. The house was big. The kitchen alone was very comfortable, although a bit dusty and messy. The living room area has things she had never seen outside. A square black box made of plastic with a black glass box inside, rubber strings attached to the box, she was amazed. Etherin explained before anyone would ask "that is called a television. With it you can see transmitted signals that include shows... like theaters. Five hundred years ago, the outside world has so many of these... oh, the gray and white things are called Video game systems. We play electric games on them to pass the time" he smiled and noticed Amy was more curious about it, since he said the word "games" so he showed her how to turn it on, insert the game disks and how the controllers worked. She picked that up and was already playing as if she had already played those before and said "anything faster? Too... slow. Too easy" She was zombified in front of the television. Etherin smiled and started to prepare a meal. Kayla, Leena and Etherin all ate on the table, but Amy would eat bit from her plate while playing more videogames. Night falls and soon it is time to sleep. Amy had fallen asleep in front of the television with a video game controller in her hands. Kayla picked her up and they went to Etherin's room. It ws a bit stuffy, so Etherin tampers with a box with grills on it. It was an air conditioner, but the sound it made scared the others stiff. "Don't worry, this will make the room cooler, nothing else... the world outside had these as well, some cities still do. You'll sleep here, the bed's quite spacious, so you'll fit in fine." "Where will you sleep?" asked Leena, to which Etherin replies "don't worry, I'll just use my parent's room." Etherin frowned then looked down to the ground. "Don't worry" he said as he lifted his sight, smiling at Leena, "you three just rest", and so Etherin closes the door and heads to the living room to pick up the mess. He then remembered how his mother and father suddenly vanished without a trace. He started to remember his childhood, and how he spent hours playing videogames, and so he fell asleep on the couch, dreaming of days past.
Morning came fast. Etherin had already waked up by the time Leena got up. He had prepared a large bag, with food, two tents and supplies and healing kits for their trip. He smiles at her "good morning", he said, and Leena groggily replies "good morning... I need to brush my teeth... but I forgot my toothbrush back in Kelin-Tao". Etherin points at the dinner table and there were three toothbrushes ready for them "I went and bought those just a bit ago" said Ehterin, and Leena replied "you sure are full of energy in the morning." Kayla wakes up and said good morning, and shortly after, Amy gets up and goes directly to the table, grabs her toothbrush and asks "what's for breakfast?" then heads to the bathroom. At mid-day they all head out, and Etherin looks at the house, as if saying goodbye to it, then they all head to the forest. The people of Lumia were staring at them, quietly. Some would insult them and cuss at them. Others closed their doors and windows, while others looked down on them. After a long walk, they reached the forest. Etherin looks up and sees the swirling dark clouds. Doubt ever takes over his mind, evident in his face. Leena grabbed, and hugged him tightly and said "no doubts, no fear. Let's not back down now, alright? Remember, as long as we have each other, we can never lose." Etherin's face fills with determination once more, he looks at Leena and nods. This gave Leena the courage she needed to move on, as she too, was frightened. Amy looked as calm as if nothing was happening, while Kayla looked a bit worried. The forest was a very beautiful place, filled with all kinds of flora and fauna, all happily going by their days, but the deeper they went into the forests, the darker it got. Trees looked dead and gray, animals looked mean and hungry, but they pressed on. Amy bonks a black fox that was behind her, sniffing her legs. "Bad boy" she said as the fox creeps away. Deeper into the woods, the trees grew dark purple colored. They seem to be trying to reach fo them, looking ominously at them, but all four continued on. They reached a clearing in those dark woods, so Etherin decides to set up camp there. He sets up both tents while Amy and Kayla would start a fire large enough to use as cover. Leena looked up, the clouds looked very dark purple, swirling above her head. She felt as if the clouds were trying to grab her and pull her up, but Etherin calls her close to the fire. She got a bit startled by his call, but she rapidly went to him. "Is it night... already?" asked Leena. Etherin nodded and said "although I cannot be too certain, this place is always like this. I remember when Xetto would bring me and Xato here for training." Leena and the others opened their eyes wider and Leena asked "you and Xato? You were friends?" Etherin looks at them seriously and says "yes, we have always been close friends. He's actually the son of Xetto, one of Lumia's greatest adventurers. He married a wolf woman named Geerenma and they had Xeto. That's why although he is very strong, he is also quite agile for a wolf. I'll tell you, Xato can be a pain, but he's only doing what he believes is right." "Right" said Leena in disbelief. "I know you don't believe me, but he's usually very kind and caring to others" said Etherin as he kept looking around. "We never went as deep as this before, mind you" continued Etherin, "I sure wish we had." They all went inside their tents for sleep.
Etherin woke up then sat down near the fire that was about fizzled out. He was lost deep in though, constantly grasping his chest, as if trying to grab something and pull it out. Kayla silently came out of the tent. "Think it's morning yet?" she asked, but Etherin hadn't noticed her, so he jumped a little and said "Kayla... you startled me. Sorry... umm yes, I believe it's morning. Unbelievable, huh? It's so dark, one cannot truly tell." Kayla smiled and said "you'll soon understand, Etherin, you just need some more time. These things are hard to understand sometimes, but they become quite clear when you give them the chance. You'll see. You will make the right choice when it comes." Etherin looked at her puzzled. How could someone so young know about what he was feeling, or thinking? She smiles and said "just because I'm fourteen and a half, doesn't mean I'm ignorant." The others wake up soon after. They picked up the camp and continued until the had reached the foot of the mountain. Amazingly, there was a strong ammount of light illuminating that area, revealing a large door with the image of a large god. With one hand, this god has light, but the other, behind it's back, was a dark bloody knife. "This is it" said Etherin, "this is where we'll find that evil and rid of it from the world. And to think it was right here in Lumia all along." Leena gave him a serious look "then why did you come back here in the first place. And don't give me that coincidence crap, I won't believe that!" Etherin looked at her straight into her eyes and said "because I thought you hated me and... I don't understand why, I just didn't care about anything else. I don't under..." Leena pressed her finger on to his lips to quiet him down and said "I'd never hate you, but..." she backs away and looks to the ground "but it really hurt... when I thought you were using me. It's a terrible feeling, you know?" Etherin looks at her smiling and as she looks up to him, she smiles back. They both turn around to face Amy and Kayla, but before they said anything, Amy had already set up a tent and was sipping on tea, saying "it's alright, we'll stay here until you return." Etherin opens his mouth to say more, but Amy continues "I know, you've already dragged us far enough, we'll be safe her, so don't you worry... kay?" Etherin looked at her, very surprised at her, his mouth still open, since she already knew everything he was going to say to them. He closed his mouth then Looked at Leena.
Suddenly the doors started to open on their own, and so, walking side by side, Leena and Etherin entered. As they entered, they disappeared inside the darkness. Kayla sat down next to Amy looking worried. Amy kept sipping on her tea calmly. "So that's it, no fuzz, no bellowing, no trying to convince me to follow them?" asked Kayla. Amy looked at Kayla and smiled. She gently put her tea on the ground, and in a second she picked up the entire tent and the supplies, grabbed Kayla by her hand, then ran at incredible speeds into the door that was just about to close. Kayla, not surprised by this simply sighed and said "well, now what? Do you know where they went?" Amy shook her head, but then they both saw white stairs going up, so they followed them. Kayla was uneasy, she felt this was all way too easy. The steps behind then started to fall off, Kayla shrieked, but Amy had grabbed her hand once more and started running at great speed upward until they reached a beautiful courtyard. It was very large in size and perfectly round. In the center, there was a white castle, and at the side of the stairs leading to this castle were many white statues depicting a man with a hand made out of a different weapon each. The girls got closer to have a better look, but a blue lightning hits in front of them, barely missing them, but the impact sent them flying back to the grass around the courtyard and away from the castle, unconscious.
Etherin and Leena were in the dark room below. There were many marble pillars, but only four of them had torches lit and each torch was far away from the other, dimly lighting the room. The floor appeared to be made of large squares made from black and white tiles, like a gigantic chessboard. Etherin and Leena held each other close and tightly grabbed each others hands. As they began to walk in, an eerie sound reached them. It sounded like music, but it was faint and they couldn't make out what the sound was. Etherin felt strange and felt their steps were in rhythm with the music. Louder and louder the music played until they could make out what the music was. It sounded like a waltz being played by carnival instruments. Etherin wanted to speak to Leena, but he couldn't, then he noticed how his body would move to the rhythm of the music. It was a psychic attack, but when Etherin tried to warn Leena, it was too late. He could not speak, and before he knew it, they were dancing all around the dimly lit room. Etherin's face immense amounts of fear, but it soon changed to determination when he saw Leena's blank stare. He had to free them from that spell, but how? He had never faced something like this before. Leena's blank stare was driving him mad, but slowly, he felt his own consciousness fading. They continued to dance until Etherin could no longer keep conscious, now both dancing to the sound of the music on their own. From Leena's left eye a tear would fall to the ground; as soon as it hi the ground, the music stopped, their bodies bowed, and all that was heard after that was a loud thud, as both their bodies fell on the cold, unforgiving ground, still holding their hands, one body in front of the other in the dimly lit room.
To be continued
FEB. 20 2009
A Willie G.R. Production ©