A miniature wave crashed onto the beach, waking me from my reminiscing dream. I was furious as if the wave had awakened me from my joy.
Seeing the surviving sailors piece together what was left of the stranded ship, I felt conflicting emotions within me. On one hand I felt an urge to help, but on the other hand was completely disinterested.
A storm was approaching, and it did not look good for the poor sailors. Everything was wet and in complete disarray, including my motivation to pursue the situation any longer.
I felt weary, cold, feeble and languid, but I could not remain here, so, I ventured aimlessly into the rainforest, in hopes to gain some semblance of order in my mind.
As I walked the dense and humid rainforest, it was quite dense and packed with creatures. Sometimes I envy them, these creatures I had only read about in books and heard about in teachings. Imagine having so many books written about you, imagine being admired by children and explorers. It was both intriguing and depressing to me that the ants which crawl on the ground were more present to the human eye than I was. –()-
“There is, but a handful who can peer in both realms, some of which we call: The enlightened ones… Whoever named them has zero creativity.”
The alchemist continued his tangent about realms, the enlightened ones or something on that line. He also seemed to be looking all over the study for the silver pocket watch; he had insisted I take from the well-dressed man.
As he anxiously and persistently began searching his study for the pocket watch he in turn began knocking over candles while moving bookshelves and tables. He continuously checked the pockets of his long black coat and dark striped trousers.
“Have you seen my pocket watch, young Augustine?” The professor asked me, as he continued his frantic search.
“I gave it back.” I hesitantly answered.
“Why?” The professor asked.
“It was my watch. So, I decided to do with ‘my’ watch what I thought was the best… So, I gave it back, sir.”
I felt a sense of worry, since I did not know how the professor would react to such an act.
“Why didn’t you enlighten me with this act of good kindness before?” The professor sarcastically inquired. “I’ve been searching for it for bloody months!”
He then threw a book, which at the moment he had in his hands, and sat down on his chair of books, with his frustration mounting.
The professor then retrieved his book, which he had angrily tossed aside along with a cookie which he had been sitting out for three nights.
I tried to change the subject, in an effort to ease the tension.
I had for considerable time now strived to discern my predicament. Many times, I came close to discovering who I was, only to be disappointed. It was obvious that the professor knew more about the realms and its entities than did I. For this reason, after moments of silence I inquired.
”So, what exactly am I, sir?”
“First things first dear boy, don’t call me sir, it makes me feel old. Professor sounds more fitting“ The professor wittingly asked, as he continued to gaze at his book, and nibble at his cookie.
“Yes, I g-”
“Secondly, slow down. When the time is right. You shall be acquainted with the knowledge you seek.” It was this answer that ignited my fury.
“What do you mean ‘when the time is right?’ ” I emphatically raised my voice.
“Wait, is this one of those questions which I have to repeat twice? Since, I clearly remember telling you?” Every word which the professor uttered only served to fan the flames of anger. Even more so what angered me was his lack of interest in the words I uttered.
“Is it that hard to answer a simple question?” I angerly asked.
An eerie silence filled the strange vintage room, as the professor paused from his nibbling. He continued to read his book, but distracted, as if looking through it instead of at it.
The sound of crackling candles could be heard as we both remained in silence.
Abruptly, he rose from his chair, grabbed his staff and walked toward the exit of the study.
I felt arrogant and childlike. Regret filled my mind and I made a feeble attempt at an apology.
“I am sorry, sir. I did not mean to impose.”
The professor halted in front of the exit and turned to face me. ”I have given you a place to rest, along with an archive of vast knowledge which your curious self oh so desired. I am now quick to realize it might have been a mistake.” His words punctured my chest harder than any words I have ever heard. I was struck speechless. “I shall put a restriction on what you can read and what you cannot.”
“But sir, do I not already have restrictions?” I asked in desperation.
“A greater ones shall be bestowed than which you presently have.”
As the professor closed the door behind me, I sat in despair. I cannot argue with something which has truth to it.
Seconds later the professor cranked the door halfway, peeking his head through the door “Class begins tomorrow, earlier than usual. “
I was befuddled for an only second. Quickly letting the matter pass from my mind while falling asleep.
“Get up you nitwit!“
The professor poked my back with his blasted wooden stick. “Get dressed. I will be waiting outside.”
As the professor closed the room to the study, I slowly and lethargically, got dressed, then clumsily, toppled over a pile of books.
Before exiting the study, I noticed under the long wooden table a book, on which lay a seal. Books which were forbidden usually, always bore a scorching red seal. It appeared as if the professor was certainly a man of his word.
As soon as I emerged from the study and onto the wooden pathway, which overlooked the grand canyon of books, a fierce ball of energy struck me. I tumbled over the hardwood fence of the pathway, barely hanging on to it.
“Never gets old,” the professor called out as he slowly descended onto the wooden pathway. “You must learn to fight, since in this realm there are beings which neglect any form of reluctant mercy. Grace and honor are nowhere to be found in their vocabulary.“
The professor approached me, whilst I was still clinging to the fence. “You must do the same. Reciprocate!“
The adamantine wooden staff crushed my fingers, which had been gripping fiercely to the fence. I plummeted down into the unknown, until a floating bookcase broke my fall.
I was in significant pain and it felt as if all my bones where crushed into a million pieces.
“This is no time to wallow in pain, young Augustine!” The professor chided as he approached me, standing on a soaring bookshelf.
As he pointed his wooden staff my direction, it started to illuminate. Hastily I rolled out of the path of the hovering bookshelf, grabbing onto the side of it.
“It’s not fun when you hide.” The professor sarcastically uttered as he soared around the floating shelf.
I noticed an island of bookshelves, wafting around beneath me. Waiting until the professor came around. As he at last approached my side, I jumped onto the very edge of his bookshelf nearly breaking my feet on impact.
I quickly hid in the midst of the shelves, conjuring my next move.
“Impressive, at least for you,” the professor uttered.
Out of the corner of my eye I noticed an old dagger with exquisite carvings and embellishments. Allured by its beauty, I slowly approached it.
It lay in a glass box, untouched by time itself. Lifting the glass box from the dagger I took it in my hand. The embellishments illuminated a cold blue light and I felt a sense of power and exhilaration. As I gazed at the peculiar dagger, a thought dawned to me…
The professor was soaring around the floating bookshelf island, trying to uncover my position. He, at last, landed in the heart of the bookcase island. Full of pride and self-absorption, knowing he was vastly superior to me; he lifted his chin high and staff low.
“Now, now, young Augustine. I shan’t hurt you bad.“ He fearsomely uttered.
Closely, I observed him, hidden behind a bookshelf. I knew he could sense my presence, so I kept low until the opportunity presented itself.
As the professor grew more impatient, my opportunity revealed itself.
“C’mon, young Augustine. I do not have all day.” As soon as he uttered those words, I threw a book in the opposite direction.
As the professor turned his back from me to face the book, I pounced, tackling him to the floor.
This was short lived, however as the professor was skilled in the art of combat.
He swiftly scrambled to his feet and faced me. I held the alluring dagger in reverse, so the professor could not have a clear view of it.
“What do you hold in your hand boy?” The professor questioned, worry lacing his tone.
“It’s not of your matter, sir!” I uttered with pride, as if I acquired an edge in this battle.
The professor calmly stood his ground, while I walked back and forth around him, like a panther stalking its prey. As soon as I felt I had the advantage, I pounced upon the professor. At that precise moment the professor’s staff illuminated, thrusting me back, and pinning me to the shelves.
As my exquisite dagger fell to the ground in front of the professor, he gazed upon it with seriousness in his eyes.
“Have you ever heard of the phrase; you should not let your mousetrap smell of cheese.” He asked me with inquisition in his voice.
“Yes, sir.” I breathlessly uttered, whilst pinned to the shelves.
“And has your mother never taught you not to touch things that are not of your possession?” The professor asked as he carefully picked up the dagger from the cold stone floor.
I stayed silent, as the professor gazed back at me, squinting his eyes.
“Well, that explains a lot,” the professor quipped then lifting the dagger to inspect it. “Do you know what this is, young Augustine?“ He asked.
“A dagger, sir.”
“Oh, I thought it was a chicken!? Of course, it’s a bloody dagger, but do you know to whom it might belong?” The professor sneeringly inquired as he fixed his gaze on me.
“I wouldn’t know, sir.” I barely answered as I was suffocating, still pinned up against the blasted bookshelf.
“It is the dagger of Athelios, Athelios the god killer.” As I heard those words being uttered, I gazed in dismay at the dagger, fathoming what I now held in my hand.
The professor gently tapped the ground with his wooden rod and released me. I tumbled on the ground, gasping for air.
“Ask before you touch, young Augustine.” The professor commanded me.
“I’m sorry, sir. I did kno-”
“Tomorrow, at the same hour. I hope you will be better prepared.”
As he uttered the words I slowly rose and returned the fallen books to the shelf.
“You may have the rest of the day off. You will need it.”
“Thank you, sir. “ I replied in pain.
“And quit calling me “sir! It makes me feel old!” The professor exclaimed as he floated off on a soaring bookcase.
Still dazed from the session. I collapsed upon my bed, not even having the strength to read any of the books I had been given, however as I lay on my side the sealed book that was under the long wooden table became more alluring and intriguing. In an instant I halted my urge, extinguishing the candle and entering a state of dream.