Chapter 9: Guided Tour pt.1
“This place flows with spiritual energy, master.” I feel the flow of energies… from all around us. I felt my worries passing me by as I take in every moment.
“I feel nothing… Spirit, are you sure this is the way?” Mira doesn’t seem to sense or believe in it.
“Up ahead..” I saw an oak tree ahead of us… I noted its appearance. It had red-cherry leaves on its branches, its bark being touched by the ravages of time and yet its roots stood firm in the soil.
“This is where I can enter the dream world from here?”
“Not just that, master. You can enter the spirit world from a place like this.”
“Can I just do it from anywhere?” I asked Fenrir if such was possible.
“You can, but do you remember the basics, Quinn?” Mira spoke up in this case. I didn’t think she would speak up. “She has placed her hopes in you would succeed her.”
“I have a feeling there is a ‘but’ coming.” I know she is still struggling to come to terms with having to watch over me.
“I am still not convinced you won’t seek to give up.” She plunged her ax into the ground. “If you do… I will end you now and wait for another successor to come.”
“Then why are you even protecting me? You didn’t even like me from the very beginning!” I pointed out that I don’t like her attitude. “In fact, why do you hate me that much? Is it because I am not a big-strong Lycan who would be up to the task.” Mira ran toward me the moment I’ve said it.
“It’s not I hated you, Quinn. I am not into these big strong lycans that you were speaking about…” I stood my ground. I need to know what is her problem with me. “You nearly gave up when things get too tough and I would have ended you…”
“Had mentor not stayed your hand.” I understood where she was coming from. “I am not the strongest, swiftest, fierce, or able-bodied back in my clan. My former clansmen were more than happy to have me killed or treat me like an outcast. My father was pressuring me to be ‘strong’ and ‘showing my strength’...” I flexed my muscles, but barely… I grit my teeth. I had forgotten that my ribs still need time to heal. “But my father even allowed them to do whatever wanted me as long he gets what he wanted. They even called me an ‘Ill-Omen’, Lycan without a wolf! Do you even know what it is like?”
“We don’t have time for this! And we need to get-”
“Make time, Mira!” I cut her off. She is always in a hurry to get stuff done. “You always make an excuse to not listen to what people are telling you. Matter of fact…” I grabbed my head. This is not getting anywhere. “Then leave! Since I am obliviously a burden to you and not worth your protection. Fenrir seems to do a better job than you ever had!”
“I disagree, Master.” Fenrir stood in front of me and looked at both of us. “Mira has already made an oath to protect you. Her skills and her strength are invaluable. I can only do so much on my own.”
“Don’t you have the power to levitate or something?” He shakes his head at the idea.
“Master… I am a spirit. Not a beast of burden. Mira is protecting your vessel, master. Should she fall or an enemy…”
“I am finished, just like that.” Mira stepped in front of me and kneeled.
“As that spirit said, I am not leaving you, Quinn. Even if clear, you say the wrong thing at the worst of times.”
“And being impatient with people.” I played with her for a bit.
“Shouldn’t you begin your training, right about now?” Oh! Right.
Starting entry into the world of Dreams
As I crawled over to the tree, I placed my hand over it. Charging myself with all the energies from within this place. Okay, I closed my eyes and took a deep breath… I feel the world moving around me… through me and I felt I was being carried to my destination.
That… was more pleasant than last time. When I opened my eyes…
“Oh my! I thought you were sleeping!” That bird… I remember.
“No! Mentor! ANGHARAD!!” I struggled to reach out to her. “Let me go! Let me go!”
“And let that madman slay you, young man?!” I stopped struggling when I notice the spirit raised its voice at me. “Angharad is the one who requested that I take you out of the dream world! There is nothing you can do for her!”
“BULLSHIT!” I continued to push back… the bird with its feathers white as silver. Her eyes are clear and piercing. She moves me back. I felt… I felt warmth from it.
“She wants you to live. Not to avenge her but to exceed her.”
“What do you mean by exceeding her?”
“When you return to the real world…” She flew backward. “My name is Salana! Please remember it.”
“Salana! It is you!” I noticed she was the one who is carrying me into the dream world.
“Yep! I didn’t think you would come back, youngling.” We are flying to a tropical island. The sun descends, the water sparkles like the stars above glistening with their presence. Salana landed on the beach, which as soon as my feet touched the sand.
“Wow!” I feel the water splashing on my feet. “Thank you. How can I repay you?”
“This is where you can establish a connection, Master.” Fenrir! How did he get in there? “Don’t worry, I can enter the dream world as well. It is time to continue your training.”
I stood to attention as he goes into details about connections. Connections are a bond or a contract that you make with a dream creature or a spirit. Contracts allow you and said creature/spirit to form an agreement for an exchange of greater power. The drawback, however you must meet the requirements and honor said contract. Breaking one can cause the loss of abilities and the severe repressions of doing so.
“A bond, young Quinn, is where we can link beneficially and cooperatively to the powers and abilities we can get from a bond. There is no contract, but we are free to support however we can.”
“But that would make me weaker.” I know Bonds don’t offer greater boosts of power and they are not obligated to aid you, but you are free to aid them of your own volition.
“I would rather form a bond, Salana. I refuse to bind you into a contract.” Her eyes widen the moment I state my intent to forge a bond.
“Are you sure, Quinn? Your mentor had us make a contract to get access to my power. By making a bond, you will be weaker… It will not be enough.” I nodded. I know what I am doing. “If you make a bond, I will not be obligated to help you all the time. Please, form a contract with me instead.”
“I have made my decision. Plus, you are a mother to your children. I will not stand in the way of that.”
“Very well.” I felt strange energy pouring into my body… it’s faint, but we have forged a bond between us.
“Thank you, Salana. Go in peace.”
“Be careful, youngling. Not all of us spirits or creatures will eagerly accept a bond with a Lycan. They may force you to make a contract with them.” With that warning… she flew to rejoin her children in the skies.
Time to train!
With the guidance of Fenrir, who drilled the basics into me on how to master my powers, I learned to use my thoughts to bring forth anything that I need or want. With a thought, imagined myself clad in armor with a sword and shield.
“Move around, Master.” He is smiling at me.
I move around for a bit; the armor felt… heavy on my body. I took a deep breath and bit by bit; it felt light as a feather. I transformed my sword into a gun and then into a crossbow; I tossed it up into the air to fire at the target set up. Indeed… My abilities rely on my creative imagination.
“Stand and Deliver!”, I looked around and noticed a black knight with reddish hair stand before us. “I can feel the power of the strong… You must be Angharad’s whelp.”
“Who are you?” I moved back from this imposing knight who was on his horse.
“Coward! You will not escape me.” The knight vanished from view, only to reappear on my right side view. He raised his spear to skewer me.
“Fenrir! Help me!” I called out to Fenrir while I was dodging his spear strokes.
“Master. This is your fight. Be brave! Put together everything that you learned!” Right…
With that, I charged toward the knight, conjuring a noble steed of my own. Rode up to engage with the knight himself, clashing with my sword. I know I don’t have any experience with a sword, but in this case; I had to learn quickly, as the knight has more experience at these battles than I do.
“Is that all you can muster, Dream walker?” The man smirks at me. “Perhaps Angharad chooses poorly on her successor?”
“Long ago, I would have agreed with you there. Didn’t ask for any of this, nor did I seek to become her successor.” I can guess… He made a contract with my former mentor. “I take it as you have no wish to forge a bond with me, correct?”
“Why should I be friends with you, whelp?” The knight raised his spear, twirling around where the wind came out of it. “I only seek strength, nothing more!”
“Lend me your strength, Sir. I will need it for the time to come.” The man laughed at me as if my request amused him.
“Earn it, whelp!” He launched a large gust of wind at me. I struggle to hold on to my horse, which the winds made it hard to do so.
Eventually, I lost my grip and got swept by the winds… Thankfully; I recognize what I need to do.
“Wind gushes forward like a powerful hurricane. Descend!” The spell worked as I descend to the ground, only to push out of the way of a thunderbolt.
“Thunder!” A bolt of energy touched the edge of his spear. “May the heavens roar with life, the drums beating above the sky.” He fired that energy in my direction.
“Thunder!” I stretched the tips of my fingers… the energy… I will redirect it! “Surge! Flow back into the atmosphere!” I pointed my finger at him. My body… it can’t take anymore. “I release you back into the ionosphere!”
The bolt of energy flung back to the knight, who cast the spell. He… He absorbed it!
“Ha! Nice try, whelp!” With the knight charged with the energy provided to him, he lunged himself at me.
I grabbed his blade, flowing with energy; I watch myself grow bigger. Narrowing my eyes at him as he realized, I turned the tables against him.
“I am a force to be reckoned with. And you forget I am in my element in the Dream World.” I flung his spear away from him. The knight simply conjured up another spear in his hand.
“Such spirit!” Now… the knight is growing to my size. He is getting off of his steed with his spear in hand. “But you forget as well… You are not only one who can become a force of nature.” I walked up to him. This knight is something else…”
“Let’s end this!” I materialize my armor, sword, shield on myself, and I pointed my blade at him. “Let us begin!”
As we moved toward each other, the sky darkened. It filled the clouds with water. Thunder was coming to life. I swung my sword at the knight, who blocked my attack with his spear; I block most of his attacks with my shield, sparring some of his strikes to look for opportunities to counter.
I am sweating; the knight is still fresh, as if our fight has barely begun; he jumped toward me intending to finish me. There! When moves they would be a delay in his movement, he would swing his spear toward his left.
I Rolled away from his strike; swung at the weak spot of his armor, which the man recoiled. I grabbed his spear while the knight was moving back; he charged himself up with energy to prevent from taking his spear.
I clad my hands in ice. Electricity couldn’t properly conduct itself. I wasted no time yanking the spear away from him. In a blur, I targeted all vital points of his armor. Pieces of him fall as I swung the spear, revealing organic and mechanical parts in his body.
I kicked him down to the ground and pointed the spear at his throat; the knight looked at me as I was a monster in his eyes.
“Go ahead!” I dared him to power his way out. “Call on your thunder!”
“No?” I don’t understand… he was a jerk a moment ago.
“You have proven your strength. Who knew that Angharad would choose someone worthy. “
“You aren’t a coward that I know.”
“I am a warrior and I will die like one.”
I thought about offering him a chance to bond with me but remembering what Salana said: Not all spirits or creatures in the Dreamworld will accept a bond, some will accept a contract but no more.
“Offer me a contract!” The knight smiles as soon as he heard those words.
I heard a screeching sound from all around us; I looked around… I saw a face. It was white as snow, it’s look like a clown but it’s floating in the air. It laughed at me as it fired a beam of lasers at me.
The knight blocked it using his spear, despite being exposed.
A newfound power
“Forge a contract with me, Sir!” He pants as he continued to block its blasts.
I noticed a creature with eyeballs all over its body; it joined in the fight. I conjure a barrier to protect myself and the knight.
“Okay, how?” I forget to ask how these contracts work & function.
“My terms are simple: I only serve the strong & worthy. You will direct your blade at my foes. I am not your servant or maid. I will test you if I feel you are being weak.”
“Okay!” I noticed the barrier is cracking from constant laser fire.
“Do you accept my terms?”
“I accept!” I felt a surge of energy that threaten to tear my body apart. My muscles… it was rippling by the immense energy within my body.
“Sign and sealed.” He knelt before me, plunging his sword into the ground. “My sword is yours to command.”
The barrier is crumbling; it is now or never.
“Okay, Sir Dalmut! Let’s go!” I learned of his name as I heard whispers from the contract.
With the newfound power at my disposal, I summoned a dark-shape sword to swipe at the creature with multiple eyes. As I heard the laughter from another, I block the laser using my blade.
I swung my blade to gouge its eyes out as it screamed at the loss of its sight. Materialized two chairs by its side, I flung one of them at the monster, hitting it with the object.
I stretched my hand to charge myself with energy…. Power! MORE POWER!!
With that, I directed an electric bolt at the creature. Its screams got louder, its skin was boiling, and raised my sword to plunge it deeper into its head. I smile as it squirmed in its last moments.