Book 1: The Fall of the Mountain God

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The Ritual

They were waiting for Aki, and after 10 minutes, he did arrive dressed in a garment they have only seen in textbooks. Barechested, the maroon breechcloth hung loosely just below his navel paired with a red headband adorning his now loosened long locks. He had a gold snake chain around his neck and gold ringlets on his wrists and ankles. Tattoo all over his arms, chest, and neck mysteriously glowed and he’s noticeably barefooted too.

“Wow, man just how serious is this ritual. You look like one of our ancestors in history textbooks. And are those real gold?” Rob rattled. He was expecting Aki to smile but the man’s face is just as serious as it could get.

“There’s a time for your jokes Rob. And I heard what you said about my aunt, Anita, and before you ask how she came to be my aunt when she looks way younger than I am. I’ll explain it later. But trust me when I say that you have to keep your mouth to yourself when you’re around her. For now, I need you all to wear this.“, Aki answered as he handed each of them, 2 pairs of gold ringlets. “The smaller pair is for your wrists and the larger ones are for your ankles. Wear them and follow me to the huge clearing behind the only three-story building in this vicinity.”

All the boys exited the cabin and soon, they meet the girls on the main path with Anita leading the group. Anita like Aki was wearing a strange cloth, brown tube top, paired with a skirt that reaches her ankles. The skirt had slits on both sides showing a knee-length brown short as her undergarment. She also had a gold chain necklace and gold ringlets on her ankles and wrists. Like the boys, the girls had changed their outfits to comfortable shirts and jeans with their jackets on top. As expected, it’s colder than the normal night chill. They can now even see fog when they exhale. To where the street lights ended, the full moon showed them of the vastness of the clearing.

They walked until they reach the middle of the clearing. They were then asked by Aki to sit in a circle with ample distance of at least 5 meters next to the other. Aki and Anita then stood in the middle of the circle.

“We will start the ritual,” Anita commanded in a loud voice. As she said the words, her body emitted a gold light and ancient inscriptions glowed all over her body like Aki’s tattoos. “First, feel the weight of the ringlets, they will hold you in place and you, cannot and will not escape this place and the journey that awaits you. You’ve been called forth for a special reason.”

As Anita’s words reverberated, Samel started to feel to weight of the ringlets on his ankles and wrists, no matter how much he tried to lift his hand or his feet, he cannot. He’s stuck to the current position that he’s in. He decided to take a look at the others and see that they too are struggling to understand what’s happening. Elle was situated at Samel’s right side and with the glow of the moon, he could sense that she’s looking at him. When they first met, Samel had felt an unexplained connection to her. He’s drawn to her silent ways. He tried to open his mouth to speak, but he can’t. He’s thinking about them being drugged by no one gave them the same food to eat, they were even advised not to eat a heavy meal prior to the ritual or whatever’s happening to them now. Then they heard the sound of invisible gongs like thunder. The gongs played with rhythm, starting with a slow, loud beat to a faster beat that filled Samel’s head. With the intensity, he closed his eyes and when he opened them, they were no longer in the clearing, it’s pitch black and they could see nothing except for his glowing body. The others are glowing too, bluish-white, the same color which covered him. They were floating too, as he could no feel anything beneath him, except for all of them who are currently glowing, wherever he looked, it’s nothing but darkness. Then suddenly above them, white light illuminated the dark space.

“Watch closely at the history you have forgotten, part of which will be yours soon”, Aki said, floating mid-air.

Then it started, they saw a series of images, from an old man in a white robe, creating the sun and moon, water, and islands. Then the first man and woman walking, soon joined side by side by a hoard of the first people who looked like them. Then to sky castles, with a myriad of glowing faces, and silky robes and glowing tattoos. Among those faces, they have seen Anita and Aki. All fearsome as Anita unleashed rain and strong winds to topple down the swarming undead, Apolaki with two gold swords in hand lead an army to fight huge black serpents. Then the color changed to blood red, a battle, volcanoes erupted, serpents crawled out, and the undead. The man in white robe along with those behind him fought incessantly until the land at last ws filled with tranquility, with cavepeople leaving their caves and again trudging on the lush land, building civilization. The white light vanished and all those that they have just seen, darkness once again descended and they heard Anita speak.

“I am Anitun Tabun, the goddess of rain and wind. You are here because the mountain god Dumakulem is dead. Dumakulem is the god of the mountains and one of you is destined to replace him. The deities' existence may have long left your history lessons. Some stories remained. But realize that with the journey laid out to you, the gods and goddesses do exist. The proof is your existence. Your parents have been in contact with one of the gods or goddesses that’s why you’re all here. Each of you has the blood of a god or goddess worthy of my brother’s throne. Abba, the man in white robe you have seen earlier, the gods of all gods, has forbidden the awakening of gods’ and goddesses children but not now, for the first time after the great battle, He saw the need to awaken the nine of you. There are thousands of you in this archipelago but nine of you stood out. Soon we will know who your parents are and you’ll discover hidden powers you never even imagined that you could have. ” Anitun said, her voice as loud as the thunder.

"Right now, Anitun and I will start the Lumagen dance that will call forth the god or goddess in your blood. The Lumagen dance is an ancient dance, for birth and this will be your rebirth. Some died during the awakening, too weak for the sleeping giant in their bones and blood but I expect more from you and I know that you will all survive this." Aki or Apolaki said in his deep voice.

Then the gongs started to play again, slowly and with every strike stirred an unpleasant feeling on the bewildered group of teenagers. The god of war and the goddess of rain started to dance. Their dance imitated the flight of birds, slow and graceful. As they danced, strings of light, filled with their boundless energy, stretch from their bodies towards the frozen young ones, wrapping them in all in a warm, cocoon of light. As the beat of the gongs and the god and goddess' dance become faster, the strings of light wrapped around the bodies of the unmoving teenagers changed their color except for Samel who retained the white light. Rob's strings were glowing orange, yellow for Ave, Ricka has pink, Basti's color is green, Karl has purple, Chris has blue and Jen has red. The sound of the gongs is nearing its climax when it came to a full stop replaced by an eerie silence and a loud explosion. The explosion was paired by a white blinding light and when the light subsided the teenagers found that they can move and speak amidst the golden ringlets which were too heavy for them before and prevented them from talking. They were still confused about all the information that don't make sense and were as shocked by what they're witnessing as of the moment. Anitun Tabu who claimed to be the goddess and wind and rain is glowing more than before, on top of her left palm hovers what looks like a ball of compressed wind.

"Get out of my way Apolaki." Anitun's eyes are full of rage as she shrieked the words. Apolaki was in front of her with two swords ready for battle on both of his hands, and then behind him, was Elle. Elle's strings at first look invisible because of her black shirt and jeans but against her arms, they all can see the color of the strings, hers was black. "A child of Sitan" Anitun continued with so much hatred. "An abomination, she must die right here, in my hands."

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