Catch a ride
The ride is silent. A deep hum resonates through the compartment, proof the train is speeding towards our destination. I sit alone in the confinement of the compartment with a blanket on top to keep me warm. Not that I would need it, this train – compared to the first one – has working heating.
Even so, I cannot help but feel a growing chill, as if a hole has opened within me, but instead of being hollow, it festers with growing anger, sadness, and most of all, guilt.
A restrained sigh leaves my lips. There isn’t a moment in which guilt doesn’t eat away at my heart. Not a moment in which I am not thinking about them. About Allura, Èvie... Jordynn. I left them behind and I could not even say a proper goodbye.
Damn it, I don’t deserve such friends. What a disappointment I’ve become... This is fucked up, so fucked up! A kick of my legs has my foot stomped against the seat in front.
The cry I held in for so long finally escapes, the floodgates open, and a stream of tears wells out of my eyes. Shit, they won’t stop! all I can do is desperately wipe them away with the palm of my hand since I don’t have any tissues.
Why didn’t I see this sooner? I knew I was going to leave and yet I got attached. How selfish of me to not only put myself in such a position but them also. It’s not fair. A knock on the door has me panicking for a moment. Quickly, I dry my eyes and try to get rid of any tears streaking my face before calling out with a shaky voice – “come in”
The compartment door opens for Jade to step in. His face stoic as ever until he spots my red and puffy face and freezes like a statue. “Um, would you like something to drink, your highness?”
I shake my head “N-no”
“To eat then?”
I shake my head once again in hopes of him leaving me alone. Let me be sad dammit! “How about- ”
“No! I don’t... I don’t want anything”
Jade stills in front of the door, his eyes widen before locking onto my shaking form as I empty my sorrow out. His eyes constantly shift to the hall back to me, seemingly confused as for what to do. I’m probably flooding the train with all these tears.
I feel a dip on the couch next to me followed by an almost comforting touch. Jade hesitates before snaking his hand around my back. He runs his hand up and down, helping me fight back tears.
“You’ll be fine,” his voice is so soft. I never knew someone as cold as Jade could speak in such a comforting tone.
“Y-you’ll be fine? Is that really w-what you should be saying?” I manage between sobs, desperately trying to keep the snot from running down my nose.
Jade nods. “Yes, because you will be fine. Whatever you are going through, your highness, it will pass”
“A-and what if I don’t want it to pass?”
Jade remains silent. I’m not sure if it’s because he doesn’t know how to respond, or if he chooses not to.
Our silence is quickly broken when, out of nowhere, Tori bursts into the compartment and interrupts our moment of solitude. “What is happening here- whoa” he stares at my tear-streaked face and Jade’s uncomfortable expression. Without asking, he brings me a box of tissues.
Oh! May the Lords bless him! My snot nearly reached my mouth. After clearing my sinuses and getting rid of all the tears, I feel so light! Like a tremendous weight has been lifted off me.
“Thank you... Jade”
Jade’s befuddled stare is enough to elicit a chuckle from me.
“Uh, yeah... are you in need of something else? Your highness?”
The train no longer leads us through the fantastical and treacherous lands of Nefastwald; instead, its destination is set on the Elfian capital. An absolute mammoth of a city, with skyscrapers as tall as mountains and buildings white and crisp.
I cannot help but gasp at the marvel, even from far away. Freidhar is considered one of the most technologically advanced cities in the South! This is where some of the most renounced communication and interface companies, such as Link, share their quarters.
Now the real excitement begins. “Ladies and gentlemen please remain seated and fasten your seatbelts as we near Freidhar and engage the field.”
The field? What the hell is that? As if sensing the question, Tori turns to answer. “See those poles over there?” he points at the white, cylindrical poles that hang above the train tracks. They emit an enticing glow which turns stronger by the second.
“Those are part of Elfia’s new transport system” A deep frown settles on my features. How the hell is that supposed to work? Again, as if reading my mind, he says. “Just watch”
As the glow gets stronger, it spreads over and around the train, creating an almost tube-like field around it. The tube becomes increasingly visible until it starts looking like a gel of sorts.
“Tori, what is happen- Oh my Lords!” In a sudden jerk, the train starts inclining upwards. What the hell is happening! The baggage, once at my feet is now rolling down the compartment. It’s as if the train has become aerial!
“Look outside the window” Tori suggests.
“Oh! Oh, my Lords!” Tingles run wild inside my gut, the feeling making me curl my toes and almost burp out a squeal. We are several feet above the ground! The tubular structure guiding us straight into the city. Everything feels so weird! Besides me, I can hear Tori enjoying himself with a burst of boisterous laughter.
The train leads us speeding past buildings, under bridges, and up beyond hills and roads. It’s incredible! I cannot believe I have been missing this my entire life. This feels like a roller-coaster, speeding up, down, and beyond!
Losing its speed, the train glides down towards the station, located smack in the middle of the city. The ride stops with a startle when the train lands on tracks yet again.
People start pouring out before the next ride starts.
“Have you ever been in... in whatever this is before?” I ask with a smile perched on my lips as I carry out the baggage.
“Of course, plenty of times!” Tori answers.
“And I still hate it” Jade adds, his face set on a scowl.
Outside the train awaits an icing chill, forcing us all to buddle up before taking a step outside. Who knew Elfia could be so cold? The train station is expectedly huge, with massive pillars stretching up to a domed ceiling. The building is several stories in height and - is that a gym? Wow, this place has it doesn’t it.
“You know” Tori continues, “They call it the thunder-field,”
“Really, Thunder-field? That’s a lame name”
“Lame? What would you have called it?”
“I don’t know – definitely not thunder-field, that sounds like a thirteen-year-old named it.” Jade clears his throat, grabbing our attention. He points towards the exit.
“We must hurry, the plane leaves in two hours”
Right, the plane... For a second, I had forgotten why we had arrived in the capital for. The train ride has certainly decreased my foul mood; I’m no longer sobbing or feeling like ripping my hair out, so that’s good.
Unfortunately, that doesn’t last for long, because when arriving at the airport, a whole new feeling awakens within me. Nervousness, the likes I have never felt before. And no, it has nothing to do with planes or altitudes. This is different, much different.
I can feel sweat gathering profusely on the palm of my hands. The single thought of arriving in Yiondelienne makes my stomach do several backflips. My heart tightens when remembering home, that be from happiness or fear – I don’t know yet.
When have my feelings become so... confusing? I have gotten to the point where I cannot even recognize them anymore. It’s as if an entire new world has been discovered within me. Uncharted land, dangerous and unpredictable, and I have no idea where it leads me.
The rest of the travel goes accordingly, with me trotting behind two big scary men, who also seem to be carrying all my stuff. They are starting to feel more like my assistants as of late.
I can actually picture Tori serving me grape juice whilst wearing a button-up shirt and a nice bowtie. Huh, now that I think about it, he has been serving me food and drinks all this time... Damn, I guess I do have an assistant.
Jade approaches with a bottle of juice in his hands, which he promptly pushes into my grasp. “Drink” - Okay, maybe I have two assistants.
This chapter felt more like a transition towards the next part of the story, which is, might I say, kinda juicy, lol! What are your thoughts on Yuidan’s feelings? Is he exaggerating? Or are his feelings valid for what they are?
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Thank you for reading!
PS: Thunder-field does sound like a lame name, doesn’t it?