Original Fiction – read the available chapters here (aka INKITT)
Rating – R ( mature )
Authors note : I do know how long it took me to edit it. But I assure you – now this tastes way better.
Sun was warming up the air – 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 with gardenias and petunias blooming. Eyes caught the sight of small bushes of yellow and green leaves. Stray cats crossing streets graciously, not even bothered by carriages or city folk.
What comes to people here: there are some fine looking ladies and gentlemen – fancily dressed and acting spoiled. There’s a lot of half-armour dressed “knights” with weapons at their side. Then you can see some drunks sleeping in shaded alley ways.
Feet took Erick to place he knew – an old tavern. That miraculously still stood there. The doors of this establishment were always wide open. Men and women spending their money and time on alcohol and fun. You always have few souls sitting straight faced, then there are ones who try to scare off anyone and everyone who dares talking to them. Exactly are the type of people Erick is seeking for. To be precise – there was one man in particular interest for Erick. Whom he did hind in the farther corner of the second floor of tavern – drinking alone beside an open window that had a view of the city.
Erick approached this man, sitting down – opposite him, at the table. Man turned to look at the intruder of the personal space. 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 uncalled, but I am in need of your skills. – Erick spoke.
Resam took out cigar, lit it up, turned to look outside once more and puffing out smokes.
– You know, I’ve heard of you long ago. You were one to protect town from power obsessed leeches. My grandfather told me stories about you. Then one odd day we met. I was young – just had my nineteenth birthday. You came round to ask of me to guide you. Now I am forty six years of age. Grew beard and grey hair, got children that made their families, I even became grandfather. And you? First you came here looking barely twenty. Now you come back again – looking not a day older than before. Just like 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 do I have to guide you this time?
Erick smiled wholeheartedly:
– I need to get 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.
– To hell with it! – Resam reached inside his pocket, took out few silver coins and slammed them onto table. – If adventure calls – I can’t deny it! Shall we? – He looked at Erick as got up and started walking towards exit.
– We need horses. Hope you 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 men walked down the alley to broken down part of town.
Meanwhile Resam took the moment to explain the latest changes in the Empire of Ancile. Now here is emperor Elleney Drieth – commanding and ruling whole county. Having less than a string to snap before he comes to declare war against Kingdom of Sopdar. The emperor found many disagreements with grandson of King Alland. The new King – Neith, apparently this grandson is from the line of witches of Nellaidas. Making the kingdom quite a doom filled land.
On another 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. He did though hear of people disappearing once going in the dungeon – so he had to cut his scoutings of that place. Once he got close to unknown beast roaming inside – that made him think over about spending time in that forsaken doomed hole.
Now he is more of a recruited warrior. A paid sort who pick the job they deem worthy.
– With my family now – we somehow all ended up in the similar type of business. Guess the craving for adventure runs in the veins! Ha-ha! – Resam smoked another cigar.
His profile more than mature now, yet the strange whimsical side that craved adventures was still there.
Resam spoke of how the Empire became more and more diverse. So much so – that only the town of Amereq in the south side they were at – held the same type of culture and traditions as back in the days.
Now much of the rest is really changed. With Emperors new orders flying out weekly – the whole land is shifting towards something inexplicable. Even Resam, with his connections and reach, could not make out the reasoning for such a mad flood of pushed-on changes.
As stories went on, they reached the horse keeper, friend of Resam, who gladly landed two fine stags, as he was out of horses. Leaving the two no choice – but to take the horned beasts of beauty.
Having these stags as a fine means of transportation – it still took Erick and Resam day and a half to see the hand of Three Saint Sages Mountain. The small villages they passed by – were still the same as Erick remembered. he still found same creatures, same food, but the air itself was already changed.
Once passing over the Aracha River- its second hand, they saw new ships transferring some oddly large cargo.
Arachas second hand was known by the name – “Yellow River” – due to the flowers growing inside of it – in the riverbed.
The whole length of that hand was yellow – it even glowed in the dark – due to the flowers being of old magic. Many refused to swim in this river hand.
Altogether Aracha has four hands and a body. First hand – “Green River” – is green due to moss growing on the bed and on the sides of river. This moss is used in medicine a lot, therefore swimming in this hands waters holds power to cure.
Next is “Yellow River”.
Third hand is called “Blood Hand”. The rust and the metals that were thrown out by the Forbidden City had dyed the river with chemicals and rust. Being more than few minutes in water would give you cuts – and then bleeding would not cease due to the chemicals. There is still no cure from this river hands toxins – so many die from bleeding to death.
Fourth hand is called “Sky Hand”.This hand has the pure clean water – drink-able, swim-able. During any day or night – river hand is clean and reflects the sky. Beauty of it is in the many tales and legends.
The body of the river Aracha is reminding a glowing rainbow. Bue to hands waters mixing together – the water is drink-able, clean and pure, but the river beds plants of many colours are filled with acidic poisons. Plants are used in medicine – after they are chemically extracted, but very dangerous if not taken precautions.
When Resam and Erick approached the road leading towards the inside of dungeon – they were met with full force war machines, firepower mechanisms and massive robotics. All with military personnel buzzing. It looked like they were ready to storm into dungeon with war-guns blazing.
– My apologies Miss, – Erick jumped off his stag and walked towards Lady in military suit. Her dog tags hanging, as she is 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 everything all alright?
Lady, although looking strict and cold hearted, gave warm smile at the word “wife”, then looked around to make sure there are less eavesdropping folk:
– I’m sorry, guess she’ll have to wait. Right now we’re having a clean-up crew in there. The Forbidden Lights City made some very dangerous waste dropouts in there – causing high risk of death by chemical 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.
Turns out the road towards Gregor was well made. In closest village they changed their stags for a non-working machine. The minute happy owner went away with fine pair of stags – Erick opened the front hood to check what was wrong. Figuring out that car just had no key to start it off. After a little fiddling with wires under the wheel the machinery resurrected from the dead.
Resam pouted at all these technologies that were created from the Forbidden City. All machines, warfare tech, teleportation – it was still something he was not happy about.
Yet using car was way to go. They reached town Gregor in no time. Having enough left to look around before booking a room in fine motel. Town Gregor was quite the place of a mixture and diversity. It’s supposedly the “dumpster” for all that’s left behind. Experiments, old tech, new tech, magic, crafts – all that was thrown out, but wanted to live – ended up in here.
– 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. Although he had dislike towards technologies – he still knew them due to his trade. So little events like these were making him feel a bit better.
– He was never near this area most likely, so don’t judge. – Erick stopped at the sight of “Café Noir” flash sign. Right opposite the flower shop they were passing by.
– You alright? – Resam turned around as he noticed his companion missing, finding Erick just few steps behind, glued to the sign.
– 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 waved his hand, as if shooing off some flies, but as he did, he still followed Erick inside. He did remember that his companion would be out somewhere – mind lost in clouds. So at times he had to recollect that he was a bit of a nanny to Erick. Exactly due to his spacing out.
Finally having some coffee on Café Noir veranda – top floor, the two are 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. It all coexists here – in town with same name as one of three saint sages – Gregor.
Houses – some fancy and modern, some – old-like, some barely hold together. This is a clustered town. Yet here – one thing stands out – the pond with ware so clean that you can see the bottom of it. It’s quite deep – some said. Somewhere around 12 metres down. But the fascinating thing about it are the swans who swim at the bottom – having all the fish above them. The mossy greenery on the sides of the pond, on man-made pillars inside the pond – make it look like the most beautiful underwater oasis that eyes set upon.
– 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. He took a look at Erick, then squirted his eyes, coughed loudly to make sure – that Erick heard him.
– I remember that once I was here with a friend of mine. One I will find in Krea. Hopefully.
– You know Erick, I’d like to remind you once more – perhaps I sound like an old record but… – Resam breathed out smokes, – I am here, with you, right now. If you need to get something off your chest – I’m your best shot. You show up rarely anyway. Depending on how long you take elsewhere. I might die by the time you come back again. So right now is the best time to spit out all the crap that eats up your innards.
Erick took a cigarette out of the pack and lit it up, inhaling smoke deeply. As he took a breath and breathed smoke out, he nodded.
– I am something that does not belong here. Usually I am here to acquire information. Right now I am here to notify my friend of things that happened in our reality, so that measures and precautions are taken. Although here and now, this time, 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.
Smoking last of cigarette, Erick looked at Resam. He was entirely puzzled eye brow raised, head tilted. Erick gave a smile.
– Shall we go back to our hotel room? It’s late. I want to have a good nights rest, assume same goes for you. – Erick got up.
– I’ll stick here for a bit. – Resam replied, as Erick was on his way.
Resam spent some time digesting information that came out of his subordinates’ mouth whilst smoking another cigar.
Then he got up – gave another look to the scenery before walking out. He went to pay phone – called home to his family, making sure everyone is alright.
Upon hearing his wife and the buzzing kids – his heart was at peace.
Then it striked him. He had to meet his eldest daughter – she worked in this town. So he called her up.
It took barely half hour for them to meet up. A really secluded bar on the back streets of Gregor.
– You see… – Resam had to pour out his worry about Erick to her – as daughter saw through her father.
– I think I can help. – She curtly replied once story was over. – Not sure if you know, dad, but after the calamity near Forbidden City, there appeared one man of information – Verin. I think he’ll be able to help.
Now she was the one to go and make few calls. A while later, when she came back – her face expressed pure surprise.
– Dad, you won’t believe it, but they actually were really eager to help once I told them the name of your friend. That friend seems to be of greater importance than we could imagine.
Hotel room was dark, yet Erick could not have a shut eye – no matter his efforts. “She should be alright. But I’ve gotta tell her – the sooner the better.” – the thought was buzzing back and forth – until a sharp pain was felt. Head about to burst open – but suddenly pain was gone. This happened before. Very long ago. And he knew what it was.
“You seeking for me?” – Nikos surprised voice appeared in Ericks head.
– Perhaps. Where are you? – Ericks voice sounded hoarse, as if he himself became some stranger.
“Close by. I assume that something is up. What is it?” – Her voice sounded quite busy. Erick could tell she was up to something.
– It’s Adrian. – Eicks voice no longer sounded like himself. – He’s planning to…
“Shit” – Niko cut him mid sentence, – “You better don’t get in trouble. Chat later.”
She sounded like she was borderline in trouble. Like a thief that is about to get caught.
Sharp pain kicked in again, then it went away as fast as it came. The conversation was over.
– Shit! I couldn’t tell her! Fuck. – Erick smashed his fist against the bed. – Where was she rushing anyway?
Voice was back to normal. Erick no longer sounded like stranger to himself.
Door of the hotel room opened. Resam walked in with some girl. “Is he going to have a hooker for a night? That is sure unlike him.” – thought went through Ericks head.
Without turning on lights Resam along with girl walked up to Ericks bed. They were moving quietly.
– Hey, Erick, are you still awake? – Resam whispered, in such a manner, that suggested either a bug planted in the room, or a thief that was hiding.
– What if I am? – Replied Erick, sitting up in his bed.
– Shhh! – Angrily hushed Resam. – I got my daughter here. 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 in a whisper.
– That’s me indeed.
– I was told by Oracle Verin, that woman by the name of Niko, is on her way to the shrine by the Mother Tree. She is safe and expects you. Oracle wants to help – therefore tomorrow at 6 am you shall have a guide waiting outside Café Noir. He’ll lead you through the shortcut to Krea. There you’ll meet Oracle himself to help you to the Mother Tree shrine.
– That is all, now we’ll go, as my services are no longer needed. So do me a favour and have some sleep. You’ve got a long day tomorrow. – Resam spoke silently, as he put his big hairy hand on Ericks shoulder, then wished him luck and said not to thank.
He took his daughter and left to continue his life. To see another day. It became clear that all this, was a lot of hard pressure on him and his daughter. Judging by occurrences, I might have someone already looking for me, so they did the right thing by leaving before involving themselves in risky business.
Having some peace of mind about travels – Erick managed to fall asleep.
David paced around the office meeting room. In hopes that he’s not too late.
Pretty looking lady came in, smiling and showing with gesture to sit. Then she seated herself opposite.
– My name is Orin and I am going to be advising you on the matter you proposed.
– To be honest there is sensitive data I’d like to discuss. So would you mind turning all devices off due to privay and confidenciality? – David pushed a smile.
Orin was slightly confused, but she knew that details can be sensitive at times. Understandingly she turned off all devices and pushed the button on the desk that shut the entire room offline,drew special shutters and locks on doors. It was a sort of EMP that blocked all devices inside. Making room device-proof. Nothing worked – nothing could work. All was shut down. Like a bunker. The businesses complany dealt with at times, was requiring these sort of measures.
– All done. – Smiled Orin. – Nothing will be able to even walk in, unless we allow it. Room is locked tight. All information said will stay between us.
David took a breath. He knew that the company has a policy for privacy. David looked Orin in the eyes, his smile faded.
– I am aware that you’ve started relationship with Elyon. That you had shared intimacy with someone by the name of Niko.
Orin was surprised, the chills of fear ran down her spine.
– Right now, – David continued, – I need to know if you had exhibited strange symptoms or occurrences within your body that you never had before and if any such changes happened to Elyon?
“Who the hell is he?” – panic crept up to her. “What the hell is this guy spouting? How does he know?” : questions rolled in her head like a snowball. Her hand began reaching out to the “privacy” button.
– Don’t be stupid. You don’t want to push that button for own safety. So pleas, I need you to focus right now. Be as honest, as never before. – Davids eyes showed genuine concern. Orin was puzzled. – Your and Elyons life are at risk. The course of what happens next depends on your honest answers. Please, – David got up, walked up to her, – I don’t wish you any harm. On contrary.
David paused, looking at Orin – she does not take the bait. Idea flashed through his mind, as his lips spoke the words:
– I’m sent by Niko. I really am here to help. So please, tell me the truth.
Upon mentioning Niko – girl turned to face him.
“Jackpot.” – sounded in his head.