Jewels of God - An unexpected journey

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Chapter 4

Back into the Church, this time Sister Bernadette conducted Rogelio across a secret tunnel beside the cross of Jesus at the end of the hallway. A narrow path where only one person at a time could walk through it. There were two doors at the end of the tunnel, in the dim light of the candle one could barely notice the presence of a door or even the keyhole. Sister Bernadette unlocked the door on the right-hand side, it was Father Audric’s office.

“Here you go, lock the door when you finish. I’m leaving you here. I shall complete my unfinished tasks”, said Sister Bernadette.

“As you say Sister”, earnestly replied Rogelio.

Sister Bernadette left, and Rogelio was alone in the office. It was time to get his hands on the crystal.

A room full of shelves containing books, the setting was like a mini-library. There were a chair and an old table, with lots of papers on it. Rogelio felt hesitant as it was not his belongings, he mustered up some courage and approached the table. The room itself contained a subtle vibration, unknown. He opened the table’s drawer, there he found a red cloth which mantled something of the size of an apple. Upon fixing his eyes on the red cloth his hands slowly got hold of the parcel. He dismantled the cloth with great care, astounded by the crystal’s size and intense vibration once he got hold of it, his hands flooded with pure blueish white light emerging from the crystal.

He sensed a strange tickling on his palm, which slowly grew intense. It was energy in it’s purest form, Rogelio never felt something like that before. Gradually the tickling twined up his arm upon his shoulder. Profoundly merging with his cells, veins and bones. On the spur of the moment, his entire body was flooded with that blueish white light. His entire body was flooded with blue buoyant light, feeling different and foreign. He was in another state of consciousness until he couldn’t hold the crystal any more. Rogelio dropped the crystal, mantled it with that red cloth on the table as he sat down on the char for a while.

The power of this crystal is real, Father was right”, he thought.

Digesting what he just experienced. Having mixed feelings of being overjoyed and puzzled by the crystal’s energy, he did not want to return it where it belonged.

“How come my own father got hold of such a priceless thing?”, he questioned himself.

Abruptly a thought came to his mind, “stole it from the hoard of Ahir”, disoriented by the thought.

“It’s impossible! This thing is psychic, it can transmit what I want to know”, Rogelio self-talked out loudly.

Puzzled by the power of the crystal as he was exposed to it in his childhood and that’s why it has not been an issue for him to know what he wanted to know.

* * *

The papers scattered on the table had writings of Father Audric, it was his drafted will. He wrote several pages on what should be done after his departure to the heavens. Strangely enough, Rogelio found a letter addressed to him only.

“Dear Son,

“Death is inevitable. Death is a process of transformation. The soul meets the Supreme soul once I stop breathing from my body. Fear not when I’m gone. Never cry, for I have found liberation from the body and the illusory world. Follow your heart, shall it guide you to your destined path, as you move along — the path shall unfold by itself. No matter what presents in front of you, fear not for the Divine has many forms, only fear will prevent you from identifying Him. You came to me unexpectedly, you were not alone. The gift of the Divine was with you, it still is, shall it remain forever. Your time to discover the truth has come. The crystal shall grant you what you always wanted, for that to happen you shall return it to where it belongs. Up there, where no one dares to venture shall you find your ultimate path. The crystal will guide you if you accept it with your heart.

“Beneath the mountains of Cango, deep within the gloomy and flourishing forest shall you find an entrance with curling creepers suspended from many trees. Inside the tunnel was found the crystal by your father — Harrison. Use the crystal, it shall guide you to where it was found. I dreamt of this unexpected journey of yours, it is your sole task to return the Jewel of God safely to where it belongs. It will not be safe to leave it here after my departure to the Divine realm of the Supreme. It holds tremendous power, once you hold it — it will reveal itself to you. Protect it while it is in your possession. Do not worry about the Church and orphanage, Sister Bernadette knows what to do!

“With great love, you have my blessings,

Audric”

Stupefied by the letter, the awareness of a mission was born inside of Rogelio, that something significant that shall be accomplished. He took the letter and mantled the crystal with him locking Father Audric’s office behind before going back to the orphanage to meet Corin and Sabal. He knew time was limited and had to leave as soon as possible to the cave.

* * *

While being back in the bedroom, Sabal and Corin were engaged in a conversation.

“I thought about it when I was in Paris”, declared Corin.

“Yeah, it’s true. Rogelio is attached to Father Audric”, stated Sabal.

“Well Corin, you’ll not end your research on me here I guess!”, teased Rogelio.

“We’re just talking about you and Father Audric. Brother Sabal told me a lot about His doings”, uttered Corin.

“I know a little bit more”, Rogelio replied with great enthusiasm.

“What is it about then?”, asked Sabal.

“Father gave me a task. I shall go on a mission to return something within the Cango Caves, beneath the mountains”, declared Rogelio.

You gotta walk once you reach the forest. It’s dense there, and you could easily get lost”, advised Sabal.

“So, we are going on another adventure now, Boss?”, asked Corin, curious about the quest.

“Not another! it’s within the same adventure we set forth before getting down here”, resolved Rogelio.

“When shall we leave?”, asked Sabal.

“Tomorrow itself, I cannot disappoint Father and shall get it done quickly”, exhorted Rogelio.

“Then we’ll leave in the morning itself at eight”, consented Sabal to get the task completed quickly.

“Yup, the earlier the better. We do not know how unpredictable will the journey be up there”, said Rogelio.

“We shall go to sleep then”, asserted Corin as it was almost eleven p.m.

“That’s why I came here”, replied Rogelio.

“Let’s talk in the morning fellow. Goodnight”, said Sabal as he closed his eyes.

“Thanks and goodnight to you too”, replied Corin and Rogelio.

“The crystal is with me, Corin”, said Rogelio, “I shall keep it safe in my bag”.

“Can I sneak a peek into it?”, asked Corin.

“Here”, as Rogelio unwrapped the mantled cloth, light emitted out of the crystal. Sabal woke up just to gaze at the beauty. Delighted by the beauty of the crystal; Corin starred at it, hypnotized by the bio-luminescent light. Rogelio mantled up the crystal again and kept it safely in his bag where all his belongings were.

“Are we going to leave this beauty to where it belongs?”, asked Corin, curious and felt attached to that beauty.

“Yes! it is father’s last will that I’m deemed to accomplish. Long story short — it is not safe here and Father doesn’t want someone else to get their hands on it”, stated Rogelio.

“At least we would get to carry it there. It’s the first time I saw something of such intensity. I can feel the energy right now”, revealed Corin.

“I know. The Jewel of God is that powerful Corin. The room is vibrating with its energy. Some kind of psychic space has been created around the crystal. Let we sleep as we set forth on the journey tomorrow. Good night”, said Rogelio as he laid on the mattress placed on the floor.

“Good night” replied Corin and he closed his eyes.

The three fellows who were exhausted after a day of travelling, they left out immediately. A small room with a double bed and a mattress on the floor, they slept with only one thing in mind — The Jewel of God.

* * *

The next morning, things turned out unexpectedly hearing the news of the death of Father Audric. It was a devastating experience for the fellows of the church and orphanage.

Sister Bernadette was the one who discovered the eventual death of Father Audric. He died in his sleep, peacefully with no trouble. The poison slowly got hold of his entire body system and he subdued to it during the night.

They prepared for the funeral with the arrival of Father Treowe who resided a few kilometres away. It was Rogelio and Sabal who gave a helping hand in washing the dead body and dressing it up for the funeral, all according to the rituals to be conducted.

They were all dressed up in black. Rogelio, Corin and Sabal were dressed up in a casual outfit, as it was unexpected. Together with the children of the orphanage, they went to the nearest cemetery for the last ritual.

Death, it was a transformation for Rogelio and the people who associated themselves with Father Audric. Now that he was gone, there was one last thing that was unfinished; It was the last will. To return that piece of crystal to where it belonged.

Rogelio who sat under a tree while Father Treowe was conducting the rituals, he remembered all those cherishing moments he and Father Audric had gone through. And just when Rogelio was about to make his mark onto the world, his Father died. He found himself an orphan again but through the power of his self-realisation, he accepted the fact that he is the child of God, the child of light.

It was a major turning point for Rogelio and his companions, even for the people of that area. More responsibilities were cascaded down to Sister Bernadette who was getting old too. There had to be someone who would take up some of these responsibilities off the shoulders of Sister Bernadette.

But it wasn’t the right time to talk about this, so Rogelio approached Sabal.

“Do you think it will be a good thing to leave by the end of the day?”, asked Rogelio.

“Yes. It is a task given by Father”, replied Sabal.

* * *

Rogelio, Corin and Sabal set forth for the mission to the caves of Cango Mountains. It was high time for them to leave, to accomplish one of Father Audric’s will, to return the Jewel of God where it belonged. The sun was high, unclouded nearly one p.m. and they were still at the orphanage about to jump on the range rover to go North.

Sister Bernadette came by Rogelio and left some fruit for the journey ahead, she got the feeling that they’d be back that night itself. Sabal had already packed some food provision in his bag for the route and Corin excited as his debut on the ground.

“Be safe children”, cautioned Sister Bernadette as she knew about the unpredictability around the rural roads in that are.

“Yes Sister, we will. Once back, we are going to help you with the church and the orphanage”, vowed Rogelio for his comeback.

“Goodbye Sister!”, waved Corin as each of them entered the range rover setting forth for the journey.

“Are we ready, brothers?”, Sabal asked as he switched on the engine.

“Yes! Let’s get moving”, declared Rogelio.

And they cruised towards the mountains, leaving behind the village. With care, Rogelio took out the mantled crystal and kept it near his heart within the inside pocket of his jacket. He sat on the front seat beside Sabal and Corin alone at the back. They had a map, which Corin was analysing to situate themselves in the midst of nowhere. Sabal had a shotgun beneath the couch where Corin seated, no one knew.

“As a rule of thumb, never go in the woods without a gun”, asserted Sabal.

“Do you have one?”, asked Rogelio.

“It’s beneath you, Corin”, replied Sabal.

“What are we going to do with that?”, asked Corin.

“Shooting blanks”, teased Sabal.

“He’s making fun of you, dude. To protect us you fool!”, laughed Rogelio.

“Well, I’m new to this kind of situation”, answered Corin.

Around three kilometres away from the church was a great village, almost near the mountain. It was barely discernible through the weeds and grasses that had reclaimed it. They had to go through it as their path lied fifteen kilometres away from the ghost town. Broken branches and leaves covered the road inside the town, while tall grasses of abandoned gardens swayed in the winds.

On the board marked “Welcome to Alryne, the village of generosity”, most doors were completely gone or mere remnants of rotten wood and rusty metal were left hanging. The open doorways looked eerie as only darkness showed within, although the sun was high on top of their heads.

“Alryne, once the home of a few hundreds of families and counting was now a mere shadow of its former glory. The air was once filled with the many sounds of growing community had grown eerily quiet”, expressed Rogelio while feeling the atmosphere of the ghost village.

“Why people left?”, asked Corin.

“The mob, once again. A few decades ago, this village was a community of gold and mineral miners. Robbed and left to rot. Left with nothing, most of them are now living in the southern region of South Africa, near the port”, replied Sabal.

That left Corin muted as he watched a small clock tower that was still rich in colors, but it wasn’t its bells and gears as those had stopped working ages ago. It was a flock of crows that had made this once great pillar their new home.

“We are going to stop once we arrive near the river. From there we shall walk”, revealed Sabal.

“Take everything with us. Corin, you shall remove the gun from its bed. Time for some action”, asserted Sabal as the path ahead was a rough one.

They approached the river bank with great care, the fellows got out of the range rover to pack everything possible that could be transported by hand. Sabal on the other hand loaded the gun and attached the belt of bullets around his waist. Rogelio took his bag and a mini camp for the night. Corin took his belongings and the map while the closed the door, locked.

Rogelio took the sword to make way within the forest but first, they had to go to the other part of the roaring river. Somehow, luck beckons upon them and a hundred meters away was a bridge, old one made up of ropes and wood. Rogelio saw the bridge just by thinking of that thing. Focused on only one destination the team moved confidently and got on the other side.

“I can’t do that!”, confessed Corin.

“You’ll have to face your fears, my friend. Now is your time!”, Sabal pointed out.

Corin took a deep breath and marched on the bridge, not looking at the roaring river he managed to on the other side.

“Finally, I got my chance to face my fear”, marvelled Corin.

“You see, it was not that difficult. You just needed a push”, said Rogelio.

He became joyful, as if Corin had just discovered something new within him. They were on the other side of the river, ready to continue their journey to the caves of Cango. The path ahead had to be continued by foot, and a dense forest lied ahead of them. Corin took out his compass and map.

“As per the map, there’s around 10 to 15 km of walking before arriver at the foot of the mountain”, declared Corin.

“Yeah, the forest is denser now compared to the past, or else we’d reach there way earlier”, agreed Sabal.

Ten to fifteen kilometres, it’s a half day’s journey. We will have to crash in the jungle tonight fellows”, suggested Rogelio.

They continued to walk through the already paved path within the forest. The environment was large, thriving and a bit clear but couldn’t see the mountain unless they walked more. Progressively, the forest became denser, around one kilometre away from the bridge. Sabal had to make way by cutting down branches and creepers.

Luck was on their side, they encountered no wild or venomous animals. Their journey remained undisturbed. Before the nightfall, they had to build up a camp. It was the night before the full moon, and the forest started to illuminate by the moon’s light. They walked more, for around fifteen minutes until Rogelio said to stop.

“We are going to camp here tonight, fellow!”, stated Rogelio.

“Are we close enough to the cave?”, asked Corin.

“I think!”, replied Sabal.

“Not that far, we still got a little less than half day’s of walk before arriving there”, declared Rogelio.

“Sabal, help me gather some dried branches to light a fire”, said Corin.

Sabal and Corin started gathering wood to light a fire while Rogelio was setting up the camp he brought with him. It took not more than ten minutes to set the camp, and by that time Sabal had already lightened up the fire.

* * *

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