Chapter 15 - Utovaj
Copyright © DenGlemtePrinsesse, 2020
"Com'on, man. Let's explore this place." Eric exclaimed, obviously thrilled at this magical land. He doesn't look confuse at all. He doesn't even seem bothered, even just a little, why all of a sudden we're not in school anymore.
"Careful, Eric." Dave warned.
I was getting on my feet when I felt the hard ground below me moved, sending me back to where I sat. My hand flew to my sides for support as the view in front of me shook. I squished my eyes shut, minimizing the effect of the sudden movement.
Soon after, the ground was tamed.
"At last!" My head spinned when I snap my eyes open, instictively searching where the voice came from. A deep voice of a man from a distant, it gave me goose bumps.
All my friends stood up, tensed, and I can see alertness in their posture.
"What the f—" Eric swallowed immediately, lost upon seeing the celestial beauty that literally pops up in front of us.
A lady, with a beauty that could launch a thousand ships, stood before us. Her irises are in pale pink, sparkling, blank and shallow. Immaculate and yet poignant down to every single strand of her silver lashes. Her lips imitating the color of her irises. Her skin is glowing, finding so much compatibility with the dark skynight behind her.
As to where she popped up from? I have no idea.
I watched the lady ran her delicate hands to her parted lips as her gaze transfer from one of my friend to another. The see-through cloth that's hanging on her arms, protecting them down her wrist, dances with the wind as she moves.
Her eyes, suddenly gleaming by what evidently appears to be tears.
She steps forward. Eyes, never leaving my friends' faces. She seemed like floating in the air as her nude ethereal gown flows serenly, emphazing every curve on body her as she walks.
The lady is not human. That I am absolutely certain.
She stopped in front of Eric, who stood the closest to her. The enchanted lady, opened her arms, clearly waiting for them to come closer. Eric was the one to respond, hugging her as the silver tears flow down her paramount face. I saw every strand of her hair, sparkles through the wind as they fall when she burried her face to Eric's shoulder.
Her whimper fills the air, soothing every ear that's listening. And as bad as this might sound, I'm wishing she wouldn't stop sooner. The sound of her cry, echoing under the calm starry night, was beyond captivating. Amazed, I couldn't help but to feel bad about myself being charmed by her tears.
Her eyes look artificial and yet genuine. Indifferent and eloquent at the same time. They are like something that had been personally carved by God. And even though it's hard to tell what her eyes speak, it is evident in her gestures that the tears were product of happiness.
It took a moment before the lady broke the hug, opening it for my other friends. They politely responded, and even though they might've left occasional pat on her back, it was noticeable that my friends were uncomfortable. Only Eric seems to did it willingly.
"My! Could wait no longer! The great gates shall open and heaven shall greet us again!" The same voice from earlier exclaimed.
A man is suddenly standing in front of us. He's tall, exuberant and looking wise. There's a thick fur-like coat resting on his shoulder. He launched himself forward and bowed before my friends.
Suddenly there're six other men behind him, kneeling to the ground. All in golden colored metal armour. They were covered from the tip of their hair to the bottom of their soles. On their armour, are symbols I don't recognize.
Around the soldiers were gold, tiny floating stars or fireflies, I couldn't tell.
I never saw where everyone popped up from.
"The feast shall be held at once!" He exclaimed again, standing up straight in the middle of our small crowd. The men behind him, though covered, appeared thrilled at the thought.
"Party! What a great way to start? I'm gonna love this place." Eric commented, still comforting the teary lady.
"Excuse me, Sir. This place, where are we?" Dave inquired, the question that has been left unasked.
We all glanced at the man, waiting for a response, but all the enchanted people just stared at Dave. As if he demanded an answer for the hardest math equation. Silence filled the atmosphere. My friends looked at each other, afraid they might've offended them.
I got on my feet, but the ground moved again, sending me back on my knees. The movement was so quick it turned my vision into pixels.
"My Lord, has thee not recognize thy land?" The man asked, confusion is very evident on his face. Eyebrows furrowing, we are all lost.
"Did he just call you Lord?" Eric asked, amusement swirls on his tone. The lady broke the hug and stared at my friends, puzzled. The joy she had earlier, vanished.
"Do you mean, we belong here?" Dave responded to the man.
"Has none of thee recognize thy Queen?" She's a queen?
With every eyes widened and every mouths opened, all of us glanced back at the lady. A queen!
"She's a queen! Man, shouldn't we kneel or something?" Eric asked again, and I think he meant to whisper but with all the confusion, he doesn't realize. My friends stood awkwardly, not knowing what to do.
The Queen is silent, clearly offended and heart broken that my friends didn't recognize her. She glanced back at the wise man, and he nodded knowingly.
"The Alf'ru, My Lord. Has thee destroyeth?"
"The what? Seriously, stop answering us with questions. We are extremely confuse at the moment." Eric complained.
"My Lord, the Alf'ru, the prime reason why thee avaunt the land of the mortals. Thee suppose to destroyeth before it dwell upon our land. The prophecy adduce, with thy return, triumph shall be ours."
"Easy, Man. It's our first day." Eric exhaled nodding to himself, backing away to stand behind Dave.
Apparently, the gems that my friends possess were really given to them with a mission. Question is, what is it?
"Have thou destroyeth?" He asked again, but my friends only stared at him.
"Alak! What shall be done, my Queen? Grief of our people shall stop not! Utovaj shall never sleep in peace whilst the princes failed to abide by what they're bound for."
The Queen remained silent, staring up at the sky.
"I understand not. The prophecy has never failed!"
My friends all had their mouth shut, glancing everywhere but the eyes of the magical people.
The man is disappointed, I am gathering that. But I think they could extend some generosity to my friends. How could I not feel sorry for my friends when all I hear was dismay on the man's words.
These five guys in front of me, despite not knowing what responsibility lies behind the magical gems that's given to them — without their consent — has never been coward in figuring out why they were chosen in the first place. They are actually into it. They're all ready to be a part of the magical world and the obligation they know nothing about. And yet, here they stood, being accused of failing at something that was never explained to them.
I really hope they could extend consideration to my friends.
"My Lord is home, but the Alf'ru lurks." The man continues, and as much as I wanted to stand up and console my friends, I couldn't. The ground moved again, only this time with so much intensity, I'm feeling nauseated.
While I wanted to question how everyone else could stand steady despite the movement of the ground, I felt my stomach crampled. Fluid started rising up to my mouth that I immediately swallow. My hand flew to my forehead, wiping the sweat that rolled down. My head spins with that light gesture, I see stars floating around me, at the corner of my vision.
Seeing everyone standing perfectly fine, I'm beginning to realize the ground wasn't moving. It's just me and my vision.
Why am I suddenly feeling sick?
I shivered a little when the breeze met with the ice cold sweat on my forehead, back, arms and legs. I wonder why I'm suddenly sweating in a middle of a cold night. I shut my eyes, waiting for the dizziness to subside.
Feeling I might faint any second, I gave in and entrust my body to the cold ground. I rested my head over my folded arm.
"Shall we abandon our land, My Queen?"
"Why am I feeling offended?" I heard Eric whispered.
I opened my eyes a little, squinting at the brightness of the moon. The people standing in front of me started melting horizontally and circularly. I shifted my weight to my left arm slowly, trying not to make the whirling vision worse.
My right hand, extended, trying to touch the closest shoe. I realize I needed help. With my fingers outstretch, I felt my hand shaking terribly as I try to reach someone. I had to crawl a little, but my stomach couldn't afford another movement. I have to take my hand back, running it to my mouth as I felt something needed to come out.
"What shall we proclaim to our people, My Queen?"
"I have an idea... we can go back to Earth and find that elf thing. We promise to destoy it — whatever that might be — then we return here. In that way, the people in this land, wouldn't think we are a failure — which I really don't think so, given the lack of instruction — and then we can all sleep in peace forever. Problem solved. Let's all pretend tonight never happened. Now, how do we get back to Earth?" I believe that's Eric. He has been walking back and forth, has he not seen me in this state yet?
I couldn't reach anyone. I wanted to scream to beg for help, but my strength had abandoned me. My cold body, laying on the equally cold ground. My hair, with all the sweat, sticking together over my face. My knees that had been jelly earlier, I couldn't feel them now. I'm not even sure if I still have my feet attached to my body.
I could hear my heavy breathing, as if the air around me was suddenly inadequate. And again, I wanted to cry for help.
"That can not be done, My Lord. Even the tiniest kind in Utovaj knows thy return."
"Okay, so Utovaj is this place. Correct? Please, can you not make things more complicated as it already is? So, how did the whole Utovaj knows we're already here?"
"The prophecy, my Lord. It was detailed. When the Great Blue Moon comes, thy princes shall set foot back to our land. Written, just as thy were suppose to declare triumph, the Alf'ru has heen destroyeth...
"Every breath in Utovaj awaits when the Great Blue Moon comes. The indication of thy return. Everything betide in accordance with the prophecy, and every life is rejoicing at the moment, knowing the evil was halted... A great banquet will be rolled out after the sun rest tomorrow... Only that none to be rejoice for."
"Grand Duke, do tell. The princes had lose one in order to set foot to the land of the mortals, is it not?" The Queen, for the first time spoke, everyone is silent. The dreamy voice is even more enchanting than the cries that soothed my ears earlier. Even in this weak state, I couldn't help but be captured by the celestial voice.
"Ay, My Queen. Clearly it's their memories, for that matter. The princes remember not!"
"Then, what chances might we possess that the Alf'ru has lost its existence?"
"Hmm. Indeed. Perhaps, the prophecy has been fulfilled after all... My! Indeed, calls for a celebration! Hurry now, on thy feet. Escort the princes back to the palace!"
"What shall we do with the mortal, Grand Duke?" Someone asked, the voice is too close I would've jump in suprise if only I could do so.
"Take that away." The environment moved, quicker and ferocious. I couldn't hold it in anymore.
"Ew, Privs! What happened?" It was Eric, he sounded closer. Finally.
"What are you doing? Let her go." Movement, again. My stomach is not liking the adrupt motion.
As much as I wanted to cover my mouth, or my face due to the embarrassment, I couldn't for I no longer feel my arms. My body is numb and yet my breakfast kept on coming when I thought there's nothing left in my stomach.
"I beg your pardon, Your Highness? Are thou referring to the mortal."
"Yes. The girl is with us. Please, hand her to me." It's Dave, he sounded nearer too.
I'm thankful that they finally notice I badly needed help, but I think, all my blood's rushing to my face just with the thought of my unpleasant state in front of everyone.
"The mortal? Is with thou? My Lord?"
"Hey, let her go! It's her brain now that's coming out, can't you see... Privs, you're embarrassing us. Stop polluting their environment. It's our first day." Eric whispered and I wanted to apologize but I couldn't stop.
"Your Highness. Please let her go. She's sick."
"The Ada, my Lord. Our first line of defense. Before thou is a job well fulfilled, weakening the enemy."
"What do you mean? Is this on purpose?" Is it?
Does that mean they'd immediately notice me the moment they popped up in front of us? Because it only took a few seconds after they appeared when I felt all that Earth shaking.
This headache, dizziness and nausea I'm feeling right now, these are all intentionally being done to me? Because that would really explains everything. I was perfectly fine when we arrived at this place, but now I look like I'd been sick for weeks.
"Grand Duke, please tell the Ada to stop immediately whatever is being done to her. This girl is not an enemy. She's a friend." Please listen to Dave.
"Friend? Your Highness?"
"A friend! A companion! An ally! Seriously?"
"But she's a mortal."
"And so are we!"
"Not, Your Highness. Neither any of you is a mortal. Thou were created from the flesh of both Utovajians and Gods. Mortals are the lowest breath exists. It's entertaining that my Lord mistaken himself as one of the lowest life. Impossible. Mortals pose threat to every kind. The prime reason they are to be killed." Killed?
"What! Are you nuts? You're going to kill her? You have to go throu—"
"Enough, brother... Grand Duke, with all due respect. The girl is with us. She will remain unharm. If you can't do that, it might be better for us to go back home."
"But this is home, Your Highness."
"Not that we can remember."
There must have been silence around us if it weren't for the noise of my stomach and I were making, embarrassing my friends and myself.
So apparently, my friends aren't human after all.
I attempt to swallow, trying to end this unwanted situation. I wanted to explain myself. I'm not a bad person, they don't have to kill me. If I am unwelcome here, they could just send me back home.
I breathe in deeply, but the words were lost with the fluid rushing out of my mouth.
"Misimpression I suppose." The velvet voice again.
"Release the mortal. Thou heard the princes, here pose no harm." They thought I was a threat?
"But, My Queen?"
"Grand Duke, kindly do as thou commanded."
"Ay. It shall be done, My Queen." It was followed by a movement that almost lost me my stomach.
"Hey! You could've hand her nicely!"
"I beg thy pardon, Your Highness! I deserve to die."
"Die? Seriously? For that? I'm not that furious, I'm just saying you didn't have to throw her. Her head almost hit the ground. You're a soldier, isn't your job to protect?" That's Eric, his voice ringing close to my ears. I feel hands, rubbing my back.
"Thank you, Ma'am." Relief is all over Dave's tone.
When I opened my eyes, not even sure how long they had been close, I saw everyone gathered in front of me. Eric, holding me, kneeling on the ground. Dave's crouching next to us. Jermond, Errol and Macforth were standing next to the Duke, the Queen, the soldiers, and the stars were in a bit distance.
"For my princes." The Queen said again.
My head, lowering as she held her gaze down at me. I couldn't find the strength to return the intimidating stare she's giving me. It feels like I am not worth it. That's why I looked anywhere but her surreal irises, and that's when I saw vomit everywhere.
I immediately compose myself, yanking my body to a proper sitting position. From my hands, to my uniform, my legs and the ground. Oh the ground!
I am an absolute mess, I wanted to vanish now.
"Privs, are you okay now?" Dave asked, leaning down to my face for I had bowed my head in utter embarrassment.
"The mortal shall be fine now. The Ada withdraws. Lets move forth to the Palace." The Queen said, I heard the armors move. I dared to lift my head a little. The tiny stars gathered around the Queen, turning white in the process. My eyes popping out at what I just witnessed.
The Queen, in a split second disappeared in front of us with the stars.
"What the f—" Eric swallowed again.
"Where did she go?" Jermond asked, turning to the Duke.
"The Ada, Your Highness. Aside from weakening the enemy, they were bound to armor thy subject. Now, whenever thy ready, we shall set foot." Everyone looked at me. Abruptly I stood up, not wanting to be the cause of delay. My gaze remained at the ground, I don't want anyone to see my face.
Soon after, the stars gathered around us. And we started walking as the Duke did so. We are walking close to each other for the stars created a barrier that allowed only a small space. And I'm wondering if we're invisible now from the outside of barrier, like the Queen after the stars gathered around her.
"Privs, I hate to tell you this but you are so gross at the moment." All my blood rushed up to my face.
"Seriously, brother? Can you stop being a girl?" Jermond scolded.
I reached for my uniform coat and started taking it off, moving cautiously so that I won't touch anyone. I know that I am putting everyone in this circle in a very awkward situation, and everyone is being generous for not letting me feel like a total pariah. So I moved with the utmost cautiousness I could manage. The last thing I want is an obvious disgust from anyone.
"I'm glad you're okay now." Dave commented. I nodded, not wanting to open my mouth.
I used the other side of my coat to wipe my face and my hands. My neck, slightly aching with all the bowing, but still I couldn't afford to look up and meet their faces.
"Those stars they call Ada, they're so small and yet dangerous. It might be better if you avoid getting near them. You look like a corpse earlier." I agree.
"Correct, my Lord. Ada is known to do what it is bound for." The Duke commented.
We continue to walk in silence.
After I clean the obvious stains, I rolled my coat in a way that only the clean side was expose, after that I held it to my side. I couldn't put it in my backpack where all my clean stuff are safe.
I breathe, allowing the moist of the night breeze kissed my cheeks. I still can't believe how fast it took me from being well to becoming like a severly sick patient, and to being well again. Those Ada, they will be forever remembered.
I look around, finally had the courage to held my head up.
We have been walking inside a forest for minutes now, I assume they might've forgotten my incident and just focus to where we are heading. Everywhere I look lies ruins of once I believe to be a great establishment. Some were made of marbles, most were made of materials I'd never seen before.
"We're getting near, my Lord." The Duke announced and my friends sigh in relief. They must've been tired of walking.
I look ahead, and there I saw the vast trees that look exactly like the ones in our block at home. The red aerial veins hanging from the branches that're extended, creating an arch with the other tree. I can't be wrong, those trees are the same as ours.
"Dave, those trees, don't they look familiar?" I whispered, pointing. I made sure my face was far enough from Dave as I speak.
Dave only stared at the trees, scrutinizing. I frowned, by the looks on his face, he probably doesn't pay attention to the beautiful landscape we have at home.
I glanced at Macforth, but I couldn't pull a word. Still feeling guilty and again, intimidated.
"Do tell, mortal. Are thou saying thee have seen Muijr in thy land?" I shivered, surprised that the Duke heard me, despite the low volume of my voice, and him walking in the front row.
"The trees, Sir? Yes, Sir. They look exactly the same with the trees surrounding our home." I answered, slightly raising volume so I could be heard.
I glanced up, as we walk pass through the trees, double checking if my assumption is right. And I really think they are the same.
"Unlikely." He said, laughing a little.
"Last time I heard thy ancestors destroyeth the entire civilazation of Muijr in the mortal land. The greediness that lingers in thy veins, athirst to obtain apiece of all that exist, is the prime reason why thy kind pose threat to all other breathing lives." The Duke glanced back at me before he continue walking forward.
I fell silent. He doesn't like humans, that, he made quite obvious. I should've just remained quiet in the first place.
"But those trees do look like the ones in our block." My head snapped to Eric, confused for not dropping the subject. He's walking casually, looking straight ahead at the back of the Duke. But still, I'm thankful that Eric is observant of their surroundings, that he's backing up my claim.
"Then it must be, my Lord. A thousand apologies. Thy humble servant stand corrected. The acquisitive mortals must have failed to bring down the entirety of Muijr in thy land." The Duke turned around and bowed to Eric for a moment before he walked again.
I heard Eric suppress a chuckle that I turned to glanced up at him. He's even fighting a smile. Eric probably notice me staring that's why he turned to look at me.
"I lied. You're welcome." He winked.