Chance - Another Side, Another Story
“W-What is he talking about?” I asked. My throat felt dry, and there was this funny feeling that was dancing on my skin. And then there was my heart dancing like some kind of war drums were beating inside of my ribcage. My forehead began to sweat, and the tingling sensation grew more powerful for every second that passes. “What’s happening?!”
Before I could speak another word, the man was pushed away, and there was a rapid windstorm around me. It was spinning at furious speeds, and I was inside a small but powerful tornado. Then the enemy tried to attack me by summoning more blades and throwing them at me. It was all but a futile effort since the wind just deflected them. A couple of it was even shattered to pieces.
And when I looked back at Trevor, and I saw his hand make some sort of gesture. Slowly, he was trying to write something in the air, and the tip of his finger was glowing. I knew then that he was the one who caused the wind to be stirred. After a few more seconds, the wind stopped. Suddenly, he was beside me again. He put a reassuring hand on my shoulder and squeezed it softly.
“Sorry for getting dragged into this.” He whispered to me. There was a rising pressure in the space between us. My head felt light-headed as I tried to get ahold of myself. “This wasn’t part of the plan.”
“You have a lot of explaining to do.” I muttered. And with a quick flick of a finger, I summoned a short blade using my own powers. The man looked at me, and he was nowhere from being taunted. To me, he was even enjoying what was taking place. “Any plans in mind?”
“Plan A, don’t get killed. Don’t be shy from defending yourself to your last breath because he’s no simple threat.” Trevor was so quick to disappear beside me. My eyes weren’t even able to follow his movements as he sent the enemy flying again. But the man also made a move, and a set of blades were already flying towards me. It was so fast because I wasn’t even able to raise my blade and defend myself. But my body suddenly sent bolts of lightning as if it was protecting me. The blades were then deflected and fell on the ground. It caused me to lower my weapon. “Chance, don’t put your guard down!”
And there it was, a swift upward stroke of a sword abruptly took away the blade from my hands. The thing was jolted into the air. My reflexes just kicked in time, and the blade grazed my shirt, cutting it open. The man appeared from my shadow as if he used it as a portal. He had another blade in his other hand and was about to slash me for good. At the corner of my eye, I could see Trevor was about to use his “speed power” again. But I knew he was not going to make it. Not this time. The only thing I could use to defend myself was my arms.
As the man pulled both his hands downwards to go for the kill, a black spear appeared in my hands. It was summoned out of a reflex and caught both the man’s pair of blades. An instinct inside me commanded my arms to whirl it around with all of my strength. It caused the blades to be guided sidewards. Successfully deflecting the attack. Trevor’s timing was perfect because he used his hands to chop one of the enemy’s arms from his shoulders. But the opponent disintegrated into a pile of dark sands.
“Looks like you’re learning fast in how to defend yourself.” He commended with serious eyes. But I wasn’t too happy about it. My actions were coming from some kind of battle instincts inside me, and I had no idea what I was doing. “He’s gone.”
“How can you be sure?” I demanded. My lips were quivering, and there was a wave of pent-up anger inside of me. My nerves were about the explode, and my heartbeat more than a hundred times per minute. “It’s like he could appear anytime and the worst possible moment! Whoever that was, he was bent on killing me.”
“He wasn’t. Trust me.” Trevor muttered dryly. He tilted his head slightly as if he was listening to something. His eyes suddenly glowed for a moment as he scanned our surroundings. “He was toying with us. The guy was allowing me to hit him over and over again, even if he had the chance to avoid my attacks. You don’t get to defend an attack from that guy. Your body will move on its own and suddenly open yourself for a direct attack.”
“Trevor, if that really is your name, what on earth is going on?!” I grabbed him by the shirt. Both of us stared at each other eye to eye, and I knew that he would not merely say everything in one go. But he was not even intimidated. “Answer me, damn it!”
“That was Samael, the son of the Black Sorceress.” He stated and gently took away my hands from his shirt. “Calm down, Chance. I know you’re not the kind of getting all hysterical. It’s the cost of using Vladimir Magic. Your emotions can easily get a bit sketchy whenever you go beyond your limits.”
“You have a lot of explaining to do!” I demanded him. When I looked at his eyes, they were filled with worry. But at the same time, there was a strong sense of relief. The boy in front of me sighed and smiled as if I wasn’t serious enough. “Is there something funny with what just happened?”
“Nothing. There’s nothing funny, actually.” He admitted. Then he started walking towards the direction of our houses. I had no choice but to follow and walk beside the person who suddenly turned into a stranger. “In fact, I’d be trying my best not to have a meltdown right now because a stranger tried to kill me. But no, that man wasn’t trying to kill you. He did it to taunt you.”
“Yeah, a few show of powers here and there. A blade that almost took my neck. And not to mention, I have no idea how to explain to my mom why on earth was there a tear in my damn shirt!” My voice escalated by a small notch. I was probably frowning at him in a way that I have never done before. But Trevor was calm and collected. He was trying to empathize with me, and I could see it in his eyes. “Then you’re going to tell me that he did that, whatever that was, to taunt me?! Please, enlighten me. I’m begging you!”
We both stopped walking. I was breathing heavily, and I was probably fuming in anger and bewilderment. My guts told me to punch the heck out of him. And that was a thought in high considerations that very moment.
“It’s not you that he wants.” Trevor replied grimly. It was a serious tone. We stared eye to eye, and I knew that he was telling the truth. “He wasn’t interested in you.”
“What?!” I exclaimed in disbelief. And my voice was raised by another notch. A little more and we could get attention to ourselves. When I looked around, there were no people for some reason. Weird. “What do you mean by it’s not me that he wants? This is confusing. Everything is confusing.”
“I understand you, Chance.” He tried to put a hand on my shoulder. But then I swatted it away. Honestly, he could have overpowered me. Yet he didn’t. “Please, trust me. Everything can be explained.”
“Tell me, Trevor. What does he really want from me?” I emphasized my words to make sure he got it. And being the brilliant guy he was, he did. “I am no one special, so I have literally no idea why would he try to approach me that way.”
“You’re not a normal person, Chance. This is going to sound insane, but you have to believe me.” Trevor attempted to put both hands on my shoulders, and this time, I allowed him to. He looked straight into my gray eyes and stared at his blue pair. For some reason, I was fully convinced that he was being sincere. “You’re an extraordinary person because inside of you is another person named Israfil. He is my best friend. That’s why I will bring forth hell if I need to just to protect you. If you can access magic, then that means you have it in your blood.”
I stood silent in front of Trevor. A million things were probably running around my head, and I didn’t know how to make it. Magic. Israfil. A guy in black. Trevor. Ventus. Lightning sparks and stuff. Shadows turning into swords.
“Chance, are you with me?” Trevor snapped his finger and took me away from my trance. He stared at me to check if I was still listening. And then, out of nowhere, he hugged me. My hands suddenly hugged him back automatically. I lost control for some reason, and something else moved from within. “You’re an important person. If Israfil found an incompatible vessel, his soul would have disintegrated. And that means he would never have peace. I wouldn’t be able to imagine that. Let alone think about it.”
“Sorry, Trev. I’m just not following anymore.” I mechanically said. Even my tone of voice seemed bored. Then he moved away and looked at me again straight in the eye. I knew he was serious and sincere, but I still felt betrayed. “I never knew that I was in the middle of such things. And I’m sorry for almost losing it in front of you. I almost forgot to thank you for saving my life. Thank you, Trevor. If that’s your real name.”
“The man was right. My real name is Ventus. You can call me Ven for short. I know it sounds weird because I am not from this world. Where I come from is somewhere far more weird called Altimeraea.” And there was suddenly a smirk on his face. My brows frowned in, trying to figure things out. He was definitely someone hard to read. “And I can take you there right now if you want to. It’s going to feel weird when traveling between the two dimensions. I really need to warn you about that. One of my friends threw up the first time he got here.”
“You know, you can be really good at killing off the excitement.” I mumbled at him with a whiny voice. Ventus just smiled at me warmly because he knew the tension between the two of us was already gone. “Just because you get to teleport me to another world will not mean you get a free pass from the explanation you owe me.”
“So, is it a yes?” He clarified. I just nodded my head. It was filled with both fear and excitement. Both because of the unknown. A whole new world was about to be disclosed in front of me. And it was a world I have never heard of before. Altimeraea sounded a bit off. As if it was pulled off from one of the chapters of Narnia.
“Okay. But let’s go back to my place. I don’t want anyone following us.” Ventus motioned. Then quickly started walking away from me. “Faster! We don’t really have much time.”
“Damn it, Trev.” I almost snarled at him. He just smirked again as if he was intentionally trying to annoy me. “I thought we’re about to go right now! And I do mean right this very instant. And don’t think I forgot the explanation you owe me! I know you’re more powerful than me but don’t think I wouldn’t be able to whoop your ass.”
“Well, you’re kinda wrong on that one.” Ventus exclaimed. Both of us were already in front of their house. But from the looks of it, there was no one at home. “Israfil could over-power me if he wants to. And now you have his magic. You just need to learn what he had already learned, and you can sweep me on the floor.”
“That’s really good to hear because I would really love to know how I would be able to defend myself properly.” Ven entered the house, and I followed. It reeks of quite a foul odor due to the old tenants who used to live there. Even my friend was annoyed, and from the looks of it, it was definitely on his to-do list of chores. “I assume you’re not living with your parents.”
“No, my mom is already long dead, and my father is working for the Knights like Israfil’s older brother. He has a lot of things in his head right now, so I wouldn’t really try bothering him.” He said in a matter-of-factly way. His tone was dull at the mention of his mother. But I just probably expected more. “We were able to get this house because two of the Knights were posing as my temporary parents. You’ll meet them later on.”
“And I assume these Knights are clad in battle armor.” I stated flatly as I sat on one of the sofa chairs. Then Ventus started removing the rug and rolled it neatly. My eyes bulged when I saw what was underneath. It was a huge magic circle embedded with symbols I was not familiar with. It looked complicated, and it seemed that it was only drawn by some kind of chalk. “You’re not going to offer me to Satan, are you?”
“No, and no.” He replied quickly before grabbing my hand and dragging me along into the middle of the circle. I knew that he felt that resisted him for a second before I gave in. There was no way I was about to stand in the middle of that thing! “This is a transportation circle that we use. See those six gems that engraved with specific rune commands? It’s the formula to momentarily converge two dimensions into this spot so we can both jump to the other side. And no, armors are heavy. Where I come from are Elemental Mages, and that means we focus on moving a lot. That’s why we don’t like wearing those.”
“Yeah, yeah, yeah.” I said. My eyes were still fixed on the circle that was starting to glow. And when I looked at Ven, he was muttering a chant I don’t understand. But I should have expected that, of course. “Now, this is just too much!”
“Shut up!” Ven hissed at me. And for once, I did. Because if I disrupted him, I might end up being teleported to the Himalayas. There’s no going back from that! “E’ti mis y ciere. Ei’goh con ven’ien tum. Hai’eh dae’uhm ratii i’ones fa’si tigium mei y iubees col’laidi fasere’ite!”
And out of nowhere, there was a flash of blinding light. It dazed me as I fell on my back. My balance went perfectly fine into perfectly haywire. It was already half a minute, and I was still crawling on the floor. My insides went jelly, and I almost hurled them out. It seems Ven was right. Dimension traveling was a dozen times worse than riding an extreme roller coaster. There was still an awful ringing inside of my head, and everything seemed to be in slow motion. Plus, I could barely see. Everything just looked like a blur of colors.
“So, did you enjoy the ride?” Ventus asked. He was sitting right in front of me and was cross-legged. It looks like he didn’t suffer at all from the side effects. There was a smug on his face, and if he only knew how to take a selfie, then he would’ve used this awful chance.
“Screw you, Trevor! Or Ven! Or whatever your name is!” I grumbled. While he seemed to be very delighted. “You could have warned me that it was supposed to be this bad!”
“I did, but you weren’t really listening.” He replied. “And that’s not my fault. I gave you a warning beforehand. That’s fair, and don’t say otherwise.”
It took another minute or two before my insides started to settle down. And finally, I was able to sit back up. Ventus was sitting there with his eyes closed, and from the looks of it, he was meditating. My nose twitched, and I wanted to take a photo of him. But when I checked my phone, something was wrong. It was not responding, and the screen remained shut no matter how many times I pressed the bottom. I tried to force restart it. But it was unhelpful.
“Trev.” I called out to him. But he shrugged it off as if he was playing with me. It was something familiar. Probably something Jaden would do. “You’re still not free from my wrath, you know.”
But there was no response. I waved my hand over his face. Again, Ventus wasn’t bothered by a bit of it. I also tried making funny and awful faces, although he would just have laughed it off if he suddenly opened his eyes.
“You know, you can really be a killjoy.” I mumbled to him, not caring if he heard me or not. Then he started to stir, and his eyes shot open. They were suddenly glowing orbs of light before it slowly dimmed until his pupils can be seen. “Now that was beyond freaky.”
“Sorry, I had to travel without leaving you here.” He said. Of course, that didn’t really give me a clue about what really happened. Ventus just sat there as if everything was normal. And believe me, his definition of normal was my own version of a Freaky Friday.
“Are you sure we are in Altimeraea?” I asked. “It doesn’t feel like it.”
“Come on, let’s go outside.” Ventus replied. He said it quickly and giddily. As if he was about to jump up and down like a ten-year-old kid. “You’ll see what you’re looking for. And I wish you could see your own expression.”
He was right. My mouth almost fell when we went outside. It was a whole new world out there. The buildings were high, and they were in the middle of huge fields, and the grass was neatly trimmed. I thought we were somewhere underground, but we were in some kind of terrace located on one side of the tower. It was probably as high as a twenty-story building, and the peak was pointing towards the sky. To put it simply, the towers looked like umbrellas that weren’t in use.
And then I saw the sky. A tear escaped my eye as I saw the most incredible view I have ever seen. There were so many scattered stars. I could even see some meteors that were traveling around the vastness of space. Most of them were twinkling, and clusters of them formed like the shape of a galaxy. For some reason, it was as if I was seeing into deep space. Northern Lights can also be found at the far end of it. My eyes were just captivated as they danced gloriously in the atmosphere.
“What have you not brought me here sooner?” I asked a rhetorical question. Ven knew that he didn’t need to answer. But I kept staring at the beautiful sky above. “The view is amazing! The guys back home would kill for this!”
“Bringing you here wasn’t really part of the plan, Chance.” He replied. “The plan that we had was a whole lot different. But things change because the guy we saw a while ago who tried to kill you was also moving. And no, we can’t bring Tidians here. That would be dangerous.”
“What’s a Tidian?” I asked and frowned at him. He just looked at me innocently, as if he was observing my reaction. But I just shook my head. “Sounds like an insult.”
“Not really.” Ven assured me. Then he motioned me to follow him back inside the tower. The place was actually filled with objects of weird shapes. I was already having a hard time trying to figure them out. “It’s what we call those who are not capable of using magic. And if you’re still curious, it’s dangerous because their body might not be able to handle the strong flow of avroi in this place.”
“I see. But am I not a Tidian? I mean, if it wasn’t for Israfil then I would have been classified as one. And what’s an avroi?” It dawned on me that it wasn’t really my magic. I only borrowed it from the other soul inside of me because I had no choice. “I can only use it instinctively as of now. But I don’t really know how to use it on my own. That means I won’t be a good ally for whatever is to come.”
“No, you’re not a Tidian.” Ventus admonished. I just glared at him as if he was telling a lie. Honestly, I was waiting for him to tell me that it was a joke. Because as far as I knew, I am an average person. “I told you before that you’re a special person. The reason why you became an effective vessel is that you have magic in your blood. You can tap Israfil’s knowledge of how to use it, but it’s actually your own power. And avroi is what we call the magical energy that we use to conjure magic and spells.”
“Seriously?” I was oblivious to that fact for thirteen years now. But Ven stated it so forwardly that it took me a few seconds to realize it. But it wasn’t really the time to deny because it was something I asked for back when I was a lot younger. “You mean that I am an actual mage? I find that disheartening, actually. For some reason, I do.”
“You’ll get used to it.” Ventus guaranteed me. And the veins inside my arms loosened up when he said it. The way he was always calm was beneficial. “I won’t be the one who will be teaching you because that’s not the magic I focus on. There’s another person that would be able to help you with that.”
“And who would that be?” I wondered. Ventus just smiled at me, and I knew that he had the best intentions for me. No wonder why he was Israfil’s best friend. “I’m sure you have some friends, but I am kind of excited to know what kind of person will he or she be?”
“He will also be the one explaining to you what really happened. And no, I won’t be owing you any more of that. I believe that it’s his job, to begin with. Besides, the plan to retrieve Israfil was his idea.” He explained blatantly. “Speaking of which, he’s already here. And he’s just behind you.”
Then I made a quick turn.
I gulped at the sight of the person. My fingers twitched in disarray, and my brows almost crossed themselves. Something boiled within me as I looked back at Ventus then back at the person waiting for us. A vein on my forehead would nearly have popped because I knew my blood pressure was steadily rising. Even my breathing went rigid and shallow.
Before me was the guy who knocked Jaden out, almost having his neck broken. It was none other than the man from the alley.