The Nightmare

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Chapter 23 - Mortal

Copyright © DenGlemtePrinsesse, 2020

Walking out of the palace is utterly easier than getting myself in. Mainly because my mind was fixed to the goal of getting out. I didn't mind the questioning stares from the magical people each time I bumped onto someone on my rushing escape from the palace. I didn't even thought about the possibility of seeing Dave in that party until I was out. My mind was so clouded and I just wanted to ran away from the mess I made. Coward.

I inhaled deeply as I took the remaining steps to the edge of the forest, where Ali has been patiently waiting. My hands, wringing in front of me, contemplating how I could tell him about my selfishness tonight, how I never had the chance to fulfill the only thing he asked from me because I decided to act on my rash decision and headed for the Queen for my own intent rather than going straight to my friends and seek help for the people in this world.

I exhaled, utterly disappointed more to myself than the things that happened tonight.

"Thy princes approved, yes?" Ali asked, his voice covered with nothing but faith. And there goes his eyes again, radiating life from its impossible depth. I couldn't stared back.

"I'm sorry, Ali. I didn't get the chance to talk to them. But don't lose hope. They will help you without second thought once they learn about it. If you could just wait until we're back to my world. That's when I can talk freely to them." He's staring straight at me, must have been contemplating if I'm lying or not. But I'm not. In this world, my friends were so guarded and busy. I don't even know where they are nor what they're up to. This world implements rules that makes it hard for me to talk to anyone.

"My people could await not. But if thou must, go forth and set foot back to thy world. Tis battle is not for mortals to bear." Ali had turned his back to me, and his words couldn't portray any more disappointment. My stomach twisted, knowing exactly I was the responsible for that. I was gripping onto his arm before I knew it. My eyes, pleading him to stay and listen.

"Ali, please don't get mad. I just feel helpless in this world. Like something is taking me away from my friends. But if we're in my world, I would be free to walk and talk to them. Please don't lose hope." My fingers, gripping harder on his arm, convincing him.

I stared intently into his eyes, determined not to let him go. The last thing I needed tonight was another person disappointed of me.

It was the longest moment of silence I'd ever been. All I heard was the sound of the leaves above us, dancing in unison as the night breeze sent shiver to my cheeks. I waited for Ali to respond, his corpse-white complextion glowing under the magical moonlight.

"Whilst hope could be detrimental... agreed." Ali smiled down at me and even though it didn't reach his eyes, still I couldn't help but smiled back. I only needed a second chance. I won't fail him and his people this time.

"Thy plan, do tell." I squished his arm one more time before letting it go. And then, I began telling him what really happened tonight, and why I don't have the courage to go back to the palace. Coward as I am.

He sat under a nearby tree, listening attentively as I detailed what I've done in front of the royals.

"I figured. The smell of blood belongs to a God." He nodded, eyeing his robe I'm wearing. My eyes widen for he had already seen the blood on the robe, without me telling him. I completely forgot about the stained I put onto the cloth.

"I'm sorry." I said, looking down at the robe on me. And I didn't know if I should return it now, or take it back home and wash it first before giving it back to him, but then I remember I have no plan on going back here anymore. After all what happened, and the prejudice towards my race that I witnessed, regardless how beautiful this world is, I don't wanna be in here anymore. I guess I will have to ask my friends to hand it back to Ali.

He stood up, nodded once and started walking into the forest. I panic, not knowing what to do with myself alone. I couldn't go back to the palace, and definitely, I couldn't come with him if he's going back to their kingdom. That'll be dangerous. And since I just told him about my dilemma, I thought he understood that I couldn't go anywhere.

"Ali, wait. Where are you going?" I was planning to wait here until I could somehow have a glimpse of one of my friends outside the palace, and I thought Ali would be willing to wait with me.

"Back to thy land, yes?"

"My land? Do you mean Earth? There is a way?" He looked at me and nodded once before walking again. I feel my lips moved on its own. Next thing I knew, I was already running to where he's heading. The idea of Earth has never been this comforting. I desperately crave home.

Ali lead the way deeper into the forest, different path from where I'd been through the whole day. We're walking through a terrain that is covered with white glowing tiny flowers, my shoes were literally being hug by the flowers each time it made contact with the ground. Every step will be followed by guilt knowing I'm ruining something so tiny and magical.

Above us is a canopy of glowing white veins and blue flowers, an additional supply of light for the beautiful dark background the night has to offer. And as much as I wanted to pick one flower for Aunt Joyce, I'm afraid that isn't the proper thing to do. I would just deprive it of the perfect life it already has.

Each of the gigantic trees, were hugged by glowing veins from its roots all the way up to the canopy. The veins has small bulbs that looks like tiny tomatoes, and each emits golden lights.

The moonlight, barely penetrates the ground for the canopy had grown thick, but that's fine for everything down here seems like working together to offer light for its visitors.

And again, I wonder how could there be chaos in a world so beautiful such as this.

"Curious I see. Impressive." Ali stop walking to looked back at me, scrutinizing me from head to toe. I must've voiced my question out loud, I had no idea.

"While my own eyes did nothing but witnessed thy existence today, still could not believe thy race had grown a tad clever. Do tell, mortal. Myself, often wondered how thy race cope up and kept living after failing to fulfill thy sole purpose of existence."

"Our sole purpose of existence?"

"Entertain the Gods." Ali answered before walking again. He said that in a manner like he's telling me a common knowledge. He spoke as if he's just touching a very casual subject.

"Is that really the only reason why human race exist?" Ali glanced at me, clearly taken a back, as if I'd asked him a foolish question and it feels like a straight slap to my face. I couldn't help but be hurt.

The moment I'd step onto this world, the people I'd encounter had been looking down on me, uttering harsh words against humanity, and not addressing me as a living thing.

Their existence is above us, I am gathering that. But is that what we really are to the higher beings? Just for entertainment? So, are human dreams only a joke to them? Our feelings and choices, do they not matter? Does our life meant nothing to them?

"I intent not to hurt thou with the truth. My words will be watch from now forth." He must have seen the hurt on my face, there's no way I could hide it. I exhaled with that. It wasn't Ali's fault. Someone must've spread the news about humankind that everyone in this world considered us that way.

For entertainment, could it really be true?

"If thou must know, thy race must be grateful for thy purpose. Some beings were unfortunate enough to be born for the intent of endless killing."

"Why?" I gasped.

"I thought no one was born bad." How could one be given a mission of killing for living? I always believe everything happens for a reason. That everyone has something to contribute and has a purpose in their lives to make the world better. But killing?

"Not when one is greatly sinned and is being punished with insatiable hunger or eternal damnation."

"Why." I'm not even sure if 'why' is a valid response. I just lost it. I couldn't put myself in the shoes of those beings he's talking about. I couldn't even imagine someone, roaming around, killing casually just because it's their nature. Why? What does killing contributes to the society? Death is already unbearable, but killing on purpose? That's just cruel, meaningless and... sad.

And if it is done out of punishment, as what Ali said, I still couldn't understand. Why killing? If they would just murder innocent people, that would only add up to their sins. So, why?

"Not thy burden to bear." I automatically glanced towards him with his response. I was taken aback by that. Sighing, I doubled my steps, keeping up with his phase.

"Because I'm a human."

We finally made it out of the forest, the moonlight was blinding but the moon was nowhere to be found. I wanted to see it one last time.

In front of us was a vast field of green shiny grass, like it has been literally waxed to shine and be presentable. Or was it pure green silk immitating a grass? Regardless, everything I see offered a cooling comfort to my eyes, except for that huge whirlpool of sparkling white smoke in the middle of the emerald field. I couldn't even stare at it for too long, scared I would get hypnotize or something.

"Because thy soul is truly young. Poor children such as yourself, Terra and Rade shall born not in this unfortunate era." Children?

"Aren't we all at the same age?" Ali chuckled a little at my question.

"Be fooled not, mortal. My existence goes beyond years thy can imagine, probably longer than the years thy princes had lived, combined." My eyes widen at that. He looks like Dave's classmate.

"What about my friends? How old are they?" I asked, pulling his robe closer to my body. I can feel the night breeze getting cooler and the wind getting stronger as we continue heading into the field.

"Thy princes belong to the young souls. A few centuries old, I daresay. Myself could not be certain for the people of Utovaj only speaks who holds the thrones. None truly utters their existence until the cruel faith forced them to shoulder the burden of this world, unprepared." And then I remember the resposibility that has been thrown to my friends. Something so heavy they have to learn the soonest.

"Do tell, mortal." I looked up to his back, watching him effortlessly walking through the thick grasses.

"Clearly, thy princes fulfill not the prophecy. But the Alf'ru, is it back in Utovaj?" That thing again.

"We can't be sure. My friends lost their memories. Maybe you can tell me what it looks like so we can have a clue?" Then suddenly there was a wave of wind, strong wave of wind. I had to stop and dropped myself to the ground, feeling I would fly if I didn't.

"Ali!" I called for help, not even sure where he was, for I had closed my eyes, afraid that something might get in it any minute. While this situation felt familiar, I couldn't help but be nervous.

"Take my hand." I reached it without even looking at it. And then we continue heading forward. I stayed behind him, holding his arms. The wind was getting stronger.

"The passage to the mortal plane!" He pointed, raising his volume against the harsh wind.

The whirlpool in the middle of the field is my way home. It looks more magical than the ones that brought me here.

"Why is it so open! If someone decides to go to Earth and do bad deeds there, my race would be wiped out!" I utter loudly. These people are magical, we couldn't afford to defend ourselves. Ali laughed at me, I felt his shoulders moved.

"Worry not! None wants to be in the mortal plane!"

"Why!"

"Myself vow to utter not harsh words towards thy race, but if thy asked... mortal plane is beneath our existence! Even the galiamas at the ritual earlier would want not to be in thy plane!" I remember again. The ritual. The people. The screams. My chest ached. I grip tighter on Ali's arm, as he reached for me, bringing me in front of him. He leaned closer to my ears.

"This is farewell then!" Our hair, flying to every direction. The mouth of the whirlpool next to me was huge and unbelievably blinding. I squished my eyes shut before I get all dizzy watching the sparkling white shadows move in infinite purple spiral next to me. It feels like if I step into it, I would immediately get swallowed and spin all my way to Earth. My shoes were no longer touching the ground. If it wasn't for Ali holding me, I might have gotten dragged inside it already.

There was a weird sound coming from it. Like a machine, chomping something, and chimes falling. It just added tension that I might get milled inside.

"How am I suppose to know which part of my planet I would exactly land!" I clung tighter to his arms. I needed to be sure I wouldn't find myself in Antartica or any place other than home, that's just the same as being stuck in this world, worse even because I don't know anyone there.

"Think of it! This passage oath to grant wishes! It will lead thou home!" Home, then.

"Thank you, Ali! For saving me! For showing me my way home! I would do what you asked me! I promise!" He nodded then smiled. His one hand reached something from the pouch tied around his waist.

He looked at me, and placed it in my palm. He's probably giving me a token of friendship, I assumed.


"Hope."

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