“How did you do that?!” he yelled angrily at me.
“Do what?” I asked as I stood up with my hands closed behind my back. I sat up straight, feeling the warmth in my body swirl, and the deep pressure never leaving my chest. I slanted my head slightly with a blank expression, waiting for a response. He grunted in frustration.
“You woke me up with that... That... That thing you did! My entire body froze over!” He raised his hands in fists.
I could feel the heat radiating off his body as he drew nearer, “The kiss? I don’t know, it was as if I was drawn to you to do it. I couldn’t stop myself. I mean, I don’t even know who you are. I’m not some strange person who randomly kisses people you know!”
I brought my arms around and crossed them against my chest. “What are you getting at here, anyway? Mister Scream at me all of a sudden. Plus, you’re the one who kissed me again.” His frustration subsided slowly as he sat on the large rock with his face in his hands. He made no sense to me and made me quite confused.
“What are you anyway? I’ve never seen a creature like you.” He sighed at my question. He moved his hands down toward his chin and continued to look forward.
“A krathin. Our tiny village here is actually the only village that contains us. The village has a protective layer around it, blocking its view from above or around. Only those welcomed in can see it. Most of us were travelers from other villages who adapted and became what we are today, being invited in one by one by the followers. We live longer than most, so we don’t invite creatures in often. My name is Advent, but you can call me Vie. I was one of the children that were born here,” I walked over to him and kneeled in front of him.
My body blocked his view and made him blink. “Our bodies conform to people who are meant to swim. We live off the creatures in the water that I assume you just came from. Our gills close slowly as we readjust to the air when we return home. I must warn you now though, since you have arrived here. The same as these creatures, you may appear the same as I do now. I see you already received gills on your neck and the pointed ears on your head. You mustn’t stay here long if you wish to stay the way you are.” He stood up and walked toward his village that I could barely see in the distance. I could see his body tensing and he brushed against me.
“What is beyond your village?” I asked, wondering where my mother and brother were headed. He stopped and turned as he tried to think.
“I believe the councils’ homes for the royals. We protect the lands around their castles, which is why few creatures know of our existence. Now you must go if you wish to stay the same as you are,” he admonished as he turned toward his village.
“What if I don’t want to be the same? What if I don’t want to be as I am? I ran away from my mother and brother because they were taking me away from my village without even an explanation. Trust me, I won’t stay long,” I said with a straight face. He stared at my eyes as if he were looking for something.
“Fine, come with me. There’s something I need to figure out about you, anyway. But if you change blue, remember I already warned you once,” he turned around and began walking, with me trailing behind him. I could see his muscles move with every step he took. Certain areas would fade and return to color as the skin stretched. The bottoms of his feet turned white as he pressed his heels down to his toes against the surface.
“What do you mean, something about me?” I asked curiously. I fully knew what he was talking about, yet wondered what his thoughts were. I can only assume he has a similar reaction as I did when our lips touched. But what does it mean exactly?
He stopped in his tracks and shuttered as if the sound of my voice startled him. He turned to look at me and looked at me from head to foot. It was as if he was looking right through me.
“I’m not sure yet,” he answered as he raised his hand to his lips and touched them. I saw his chest rise as he took a deep breath and turned. I smirked as I continued to follow him.
The surrounding air became extremely thick, and it was very hard to breathe. Just coming from the swim, this simple walk was beginning to kill my lungs. I started to hyperventilate, and I tried hiding it, hoping that Vie wouldn’t notice. I was wrong. He laughed.
“Shush up over there! This isn’t funny. It’s quite hard to breathe. I’m not used to having this type of ability. And it’s quite annoying trying to do this.” He just continued to laugh. “Fine...” I had nothing else to say. I looked up and saw a light in the distance. His village was getting closer. There was also a faint sound of music that I could hear. It was soft and classical, a whisper of sounds against the breeze. It sounded like royal music that they used to play whenever the queen arrived. I pushed ahead of him with my arms crossed, frustrated with his nonsense. The music blocked out my thoughts and my surroundings as my arms lowered as if it were drawing me in. Vie grabbed me by the shoulder just then. Suddenly an intense amount of heat radiated down my arm, making me gasp for air.
“Stop! The music you heard in the cities those days in the past, do you remember it?” I nodded, “It came from here. To those not used to hearing it constantly, they set it as a trance for you to follow the leader behind it. Nowadays we try to keep the people away from our village because they are so attracted to the sound. Most people aren’t capable of living or even staying in our village for a short period. I wouldn’t even step foot in there if I were you, but for some reason, that I can’t comprehend, you are different compared to the rest that I’ve seen come up from that cliff,” he stopped me in my tracks and stared me in the face. I could feel my heart suddenly racing.
“My orders are to kill on site of whoever comes up that cliff no matter who the person may be, even if it is family. Those are my strict orders! But you!” he pushed away, grunting as he stared at the ground, hands on his head and fingers going through his hair. “You’re different. You sat there staring at me. There was a weird light around you that brightened your entire body. And the kiss!” he pulled at his hair in frustration, “I felt an odd warming feeling that tingled throughout my entire body. I’ve never felt anything like it and I still don’t understand what the feeling even was!” His breathing grew faster. My left eyebrow lifted. I could sense his frustration growing even more.
“You’re not saying this is a love thing, are you? Because I may be an odd person myself, but I just met you and...” I chuckled, trying to lighten the mood, but his body tensed and he stopped me before I could finish.
“No! That’s not what I’m saying. I’ve been in love before, trust me I’m not in love with you,” I’m not sure why, but that felt like a knife to the heart and hurt me. I couldn’t grasp the sudden pain that I was feeling. I tried to shake it off as he continued talking.
“But the feeling, it was different. It was as if I could feel your powers running through my body as soon as our lips touched. You’re different from anyone on this planet, all except one.” This time I stepped in closer. He stepped back and nodded, insisting that I continue to follow him to the village.
“I have only met the queen once, and she had kissed me on the forehead with a blessing and my entire body lit up with light. I have never seen another event like that unless the queen herself was around. Are you sure you’re not related?” I said nothing as my body became rigid. I knew I was not related to her. There was no way. It was only my mother who had those suspicions, and I plan to keep it that way. I do not believe he truly wanted an answer since he didn’t push the subject. We continued walking in silence until we reached the entrance of the village.