Path towards fate
Sun was warming up the air, making it a nice summer day. Streets of Amereq were stunning with their beauty. The houses of stone sand coloured, with great decorated windows, flower pots near entrances and doors having gardenias and petunias blooming. Eyes caught the sight of new sort of small bushes of yellow and green leaves. Some stray cats crossing streets graciously, not even bothered by carriages or city folk. What comes of people here, there are some fine looking ladies and gentleman all fancy dressed and acting spoiled, then quite a lot of half-armour dressed people with weapons at their side, and you can see some drunks sleeping in shaded alleys.
Feet took Erick to place he knew, an old tavern, which by miracle still stood there. The doors of this place were always wide open, with man and woman spending their money and time of alcohol and fun, as it gets you always have few souls sitting straight faced, or ones who try to scare off anyone who dares talking to them. They are the type of people Erick is seeking for. To be exact there was one man in particular interest for Erick, and he did his best to find him in the farther corner of the second floor of tavern drinking in loneliness beside an open window overlooking city.
Erick approached this man, sitting opposite him at the table. Man turned to look at intruder of the personal space, but instead of a growl he intended to make he exclaimed in joy:
“Erick! Old friend! Long time! Where did spirits take you?” – Man smacked with a palm on the table.
– Good to see you Resam, sorry to show up like that but I am in need of your skills. – Erick spoke.
Resam took out cigar, lit it up, turned to look outside once more and puffed out smokes.
– I did heard of you long ago, you were one to protect town from power obsessed leeches, my grandfather told me stories of you, then one day we met, I was young, just had my nineteenth birthday, and you came round to ask of me to guide you. Now I am forty six years of age, I have beard and grey hair, children that made their families, I am grandfather already. And you, like before when you came here looking barely twenty, come back again, looking not older than before, not older than when you met my grandfather. I know this world has magic and things not possibly explained by logic, but this is just something utterly out of this world. – Resam smoked out whole cigar and mushed what’s left of it in ashtray. He raised his eyes to look at Erick. – I know that you won’t give me answers no matter how I ask, so let me just clear one thing: Where to do I have to guide you this time?
Erick smiled wholeheartedly:
– I need to get back to Krea, to the Mother Tree. I need your skills to get through dungeon, and keep me alive for what it’s worth.
Resam slowly nodded, taking a note in his head somewhere, with some thoughts of his. Beautiful singing of birds on the ledge stirred something inside both, perhaps making each of them remember something of past events.
– To hell with it! – Resam reached inside his pocket, took out few silver coins and slammed them onto table. – Shall we then? – He looked at Erick as got up and started walking towards exit.
– We need horses, if you still remember how to use one, ha-ha! – Resam laughed.
– I’d say I do, perhaps I need some ehm, bit to remember perhaps, but I was a good jokey!
Both man walked down the alley to some strange broken down part of town. Meanwhile Resam took the moment to explain the latest changes in the Empire of Ancile, that now there is emperor Elleney Drieth, commanding whole county, having quite a string to snap before he comes to have war with Kingdom of Sopdar, as the emperor found many disagreements with grandson of King Alland, this new King – Neith, apparently the grandson was from the line of witches of Nellaidas. Making it quite a doom filled land.
On other note, The Forbidden City of Lights is dumping their waste into dungeon, as some say, although Resam is not sure what kind of waste is spoken of. There are lands with higher rate of living, yet many cease to come back once they leave, so through from there it’s hard to say if they were killed or lost, or maybe there are other reasons.
As stories went on, they reached the horse keeper, who gladly landed two fine stags, as he was out of horses. Leaving man no choice but to take the horned beasts of beauty and continue to their goal.
Traveling day and a half through the small villages, then crossing river Aracha to soon be faced with Mountain hand of Three Saint Sages lurking on the horizon, they heard and questioned of what was on these days, having long forgotten foods and wines, then they got struck by a view of full force war machines of firepower and mechanics.
– My apologies Miss, – Erick jumped off his stag and walked towards Lady in military suit with dog tags holding mini machine gun, – may I ask what is going on here? It’s just that me and my friend are trying to reach my wife in Krea and as I see you’re blocking the dungeon entrance. Is all alright?
Lady, although looking strict and cold hearted, smiled slightly at the word “wife”, then looked around to make sure there are less eavesdropping folk:
– I’m sorry, but right now we’re having a clean-up crew in there, Forbidden Lights City made some very dangerous waste dropout in there, causing high risk of chemical death by suffocation. So we’ll need to keep it sealed until all is cleared out. My apologies, but you’ll need to let your wife know you’ll take some more time until you reach Krea. That’s all I can say.
Lady slightly bowed, as Erick tanked her, then she went off for duty, for what could be understood.
Erick went back to Resam, asking him of nearest town where they could rest and eat. Strangely the best option was town Gregor, half a day of travel away.
As it turns out the road was well made and in closest village they changed their stags for a non-working machine. The minute owner went away with stags, Erick opened the front to check what was wrong, figuring out that car just had no key to start it off, which was not a problem and after a little fiddling with wires under the wheel the machinery resurrected from dead.
Using car was way to go, as they reached town Gregor in no time, having yet left quite a time to look around and book them room in fine motel.
– It was quite the show as that man had no idea what to do with this abandoned beast! – Jolly Resam went on with this for few hours now.
– He was never near this area most likely, so don’t judge. – Erick stopped at the sight of “Café Noir” sign right opposite flower shop they stood at.
– You alright? – Resam turned around as he noticed his companion missing, finding Erick just few steps behind.
– Care to join me for coffee? – Erick said as he went towards café.
– “Care to join”? Like you gave me a chance to decide. Ehh.
Resam followed Erick inside.
Finally having some coffee on Café veranda, top floor, soaking in the view of the town: few skyscrapers, car buzz, people and clerks rushing, some strange looking anthropomorphic species here, like girls with horns, or animal features, some with bionic body parts, some pure android cyber robot creations; all this coexists here, in town with the name of one of three saint sages – Gregor. Houses look fancy and modern, some old-like, some barely hold together, but one thing stands out – the pond with clean water that you can see bottom of it, although it’s quite deep as some said, around 12 metres down, yet most fascinating thing about it is that there are swans that exist in it swimming at the bottom, having all the fish above them, some greenery on the sides of pond and on manmade pillars that stand inside. With the lights shining from around lighting up this pond – it looks like out of some sort fairy tale.
– Point proven, alright, coffee here is great, but how come you just had the urge to get in here?
Resam lit up his smokes, something new and fancy he bought at the corner shop, taking a look at Erick he squirted his eyes, then coughed a bit to make sure he was heard.
– I remember once I was here with a friend of mine, one I need to find in Krea, hopefully.
– You know Erick, I’d like to just ask you once more, perhaps I sound like an old record but… – Resam breathed out smokes, – I am here right now. If you need to get something off your chest I’m your best shot. You show up rarely anyway, and calculating on how long you take elsewhere, I am sure that now to spit out what eats your inners is best.
Erick took a cigarette out of the pack that was putted there by Resam, lit that up inhaling deeply. As he took a breath and breathed smoke out, he nodded.
– I just am something that does not belong here, but I am here to acquire information. Mainly… Right now I am here to notify my friend of things that happened in our reality, so that measures are taken. Here and now I had to do something entirely else, yet here I am, ditching my assignment for coffee and search of a friend. But if I don’t do this, all might crumble to dust in the other realm.
Smoking last of cigarette, Erick looked at Resam, who was entirely puzzled by what he heard just now.
– Alright, shall we go back to our hotel room? It’s getting late and I want to have a good night rest, assume same goes for you. – Erick got up and went to pay for the orders they had. Then he went to hotel.
Resam had his bit of thought, then seeing Erick leave he spent some more time digesting information that came out of his subordinates’ mouth, smoking another cigarette. After he got to pay phone and called home to his family, making sure everyone is alright.
Hotel room was dark, no lights, and by the way it went Erick could not have a shut eye no matter his efforts. “She should be alright. But she has to know and sooner the better.”
“You seeking for me?” – Nikos voice appeared in Ericks head.
– Perhaps. Where are you?
“Close by. Keep on with what you do. Don’t worry. Talk soon!” – And that was last of her.
– Shit. – He said through his teeth. – She can feel it hopefully.
Door of the room opened and by the look of it Resam came in with a girl… Is he going to have a hooker for a night? That is odd to uncertainty.
Without turning on lights Resam and the girl got in and shut the door behind. Then walked to the bed beside Erick and sat down.
– Hey, Erick, are you still awake? – Resam whispered.
– What if I am?
– Shhh! – Angrily hushed Resam. – I have here my daughter, she said she has a message to deliver to you.
– Message? – Erick whispered as he turned to look at the people in the dark, barely able to see the outlines of them.
– You are Erick, right? – Soft girly voice spoke hushed.
– That’s me indeed.
– I was told by Oracle Verin that woman by the name Niko is on her way to shrine by the Mother Tree. She is safe and expects you. Oracle wants to help, therefore tomorrow at 6 am you shall have guide waiting outside Café Noir, he’ll lead you through shortcut to Krea, there you’ll meet Oracle himself to help out to Mother Tree shrine. I was told to say “Cat let me know. We’ll figure it out. Love you.”
– That is all, now we’ll go. I shall go now, as my services are no longer needed. So do me a favour and have a shut eye, tomorrow you’ve got long day. – Resam spoke silently, as he putted his big hairy hand on Ericks shoulder, then wished him luck and said not to thank. Then took his daughter and left to continue his life, to see another day, as it became clear that all this was a lot of hard pressure on him and his daughter, now they better are off away from here. Judging by occurrences, I might have someone already looking into me and they did the right thing by leaving before involving into risky business.
Alas Erick relaxed and dozed off.
David paced around the office meeting room, just hoping he’s not too late.
Nice looking girl came in, smiled and showed with gesture to sit, and then she herself sat down.
– My name is Orin and I am going to be advising you on the matter you proposed.
– To be honest there is something else I’d like to discuss. So would you mind turning all devices off as it is confidential? – David pushed a smile.
Orin was slightly confused, but did turn off all devices and pushed the button on the desk that shut the entire room offline, making all devices inactive and anything that is used for communication unable to reach inside. The business she dealt with at times was requiring these sort of measures.
– All done. – Smiled Orin.
David took a breath.
– I am aware that you’ve had started relationship with Elyon and that once you had shared intimacy with someone by the name Niko. Right now I need to know if you had exhibited strange symptoms or occurrences within your body that before you never had and if such changes happened to Elyon?
Orin was dumbstruck by the blunt questioning of this man. And whirlpool of questions arose from “How does he know?” to “How is any of this related to anything?”
– Please, I need you to focus right now and be as honest as you never were. Your and Elyons life are at risk, and right now the course of what happens next depends on your honest answers. Please don’t do anything stupid as it may result in more horrid consequences and I am not the one to make them. I’m here to help.