The Amanuensis

The Amanuensis

A Story by L.C. Jarrette
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Infinite Realms

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Five days of darkness, five days of turmoil and five days until Fenrir devours the Phoenix.

Now it has come to pass, “The Prophesy of Tyr.”




ARPAV


HE TRIED TO HIDE AND STAY CALM sweat running down his forehead with heavy breaths. Alert guards opened up the cages of the hounds at the sound of the alarm to catch the spotted intruder.

“And there’s my cue. Now that old man is definitely going to kill me.” He exasperatingly muttered below his breath.

Panting heavily and gasping for breath, he stealthily sneaks into the dumpster to hide his scent from the dogs. Luckily, he found a small passageway, a tunnel.

The guards are out of sight. This will buy me some time to think of a way to escape.” He thought.

The tunnel appears to be leading him to an old basement. He went upstairs and saw a dilapidated door. Peeking through the holes, he wondered if there were any sign of life. He took his glow stick from his satchel and continued inside. His dark brown hair reflected as he passed at the broken mirror. He was about 5’6 tall wearing a gray tee and black pants with dark brown leather boots. He checked himself at the remains of the glass and behind him was the reflection of bookshelves full of old books piled up sky high to the ceiling. It dawned on him that he was in an old abandoned library. He started to indulge himself in to some of the dusty books on the floor instead of worrying about the guards who might capture him any second now. He decided to take a look further and explore the vast place to see if there would be another room or an exit but he saw an old statue of a woman holding an orb and within the orb engraved a symbol of a phoenix.

“I only read tales about Arpav. That old man never took me here, not even once. Thanks to that rich Arpavian who asked for my help in carrying his luggage I was able to cross the border. Too bad Dorians never get to see this.”

Arpavians are the people who rule the realm thus naming it Arpav. They are the elites and the privileged group who governs the people of the whole realm while the Dorians were considered the lowborn. Arpavians, being the upper class, constantly mocks at the Dorians for they were considered beneath them. To cross borders is even prohibited for it was forbidden to let any Dorian enter the city without any consent from an Arpavian aristocrat. No one from Dorian had ever tasted the kind of education these blue blood Arpavians had. After the death of the gatekeeper a law was mandated to never let any Dorian learn and attend formal education at any Arpav institution. This had caused the animosity between the Dorians the Arpavians to grow even deeper, but as much as possible the Dorian leaders want to avoid from starting a civil war between the two groups. Until then, a compromise would have to be their only option

Now the sun was cloaked by the menacingly overcast sky. Darkness loomed over the land instantaneously.  The hounds from outside started to whimper and hide behind the bushes. The guards tugging their collars are also bewildered as to what is happening. Drops of rain started to pour. Students looking out their windows can see the dark grey clouds visibly forming a swirl of raccoon-like tail above the atmosphere. Others started packing their bags. Guards from the university assembled in case a calamity might occur.

Meanwhile, unaware of what is happening, he continues to explore the old library. Flashes of light from outside reflected through the broken windows of the abandoned building. Then the loud exploding sound of thunder made him jump out of fright, until an old worn-out book caught his attention. Perusing it clearly to see the contents, he wonders how oddly peculiar the book is.

‘No wonder why they threw it. It contained nothing, only blank pages without any author or title! I should better keep this one’. He exclaimed.

An explosion of illuminating light coming from the book suddenly erupted. His reflexes showed its agility as he took cover behind the bookshelves; heart racing at the sudden blast. He was about to look at the catastrophic remains that the explosion had brought, but it revealed a breathtaking celestial image instead. He, being a tiny speck at that moment, was just awestruck at the jaw-dropping apparition.

  A tear crept and slid down his numb cheek. His eyes sparkled with the surreal cosmic wonder surrounding him. Constellation of stars and nebula; gases of different colors, and planets of different sizes were displayed before him. This was nothing like the exhibits he had seen whenever he snuck in the planetariums, because this was phenomenal.

His grin made way in search of the book. As his sweaty palms started to reach it, an abrupt darkness replaced the heavenly sight. The beautiful extraterrestrial vision vanished like a bubble. He quickly flipped the pages of the book once more to check. ‘Maybe I overlooked something.’ He thought. Several flips of the pages had been made in solid determination of finding something there. A couple of minutes later, he threw his hands upwards in surrender. It was useless! Until…

 

Land and fire in the Dragon’s pit

 

“For whosoever find

The story that lies behind,

This will be fate’s divine

The heavens will open realms to thine.”

 

A poem appeared on the first page and at the cover of the book was an embossed figure of a phoenix inside an orb. He took a pen inside his satchel and wrote down his name below the poem: Ghalid.

“This is so cool! Now I have a book I can call my own. I better show this to Jorrel, I could imagine the old man’s frown face already.”

Jorrel was his mentor and one of the members of the Libertad Order. Together with the Dorian leaders, they are making furtive efforts in liberating their people from the totalitarian regime established by the Arpav government. Now Ghalid, being the mischievous teenager that he was, always causes Jorrel to worry. For once again, out of curiosity, he crossed the border of Arpav.

The lightning and the looming typhoon made the guards return to their posts. Ghalid has to find a way out. He was detecting for any guards around until he felt someone place his hand on his shoulder. He turned to see the person behind, wearing a black cloak.

“What are you doing?” said the cloaked person trying to avert her glance at me.

“I…just...I need to get out of here.” Blood started to drain in his head. A cold gust of wind slapped his cheeks. He clenched his fist trying to stop himself from fainting. Beads of sweat from his forehead slid down to his chin despite the cold. Body strained and fixed on the ground, he closed his eyes and inhaled with deep breaths and then slowly releases his fists.

 “If you want to get out from here without the guards noticing, you have to go through the forest. Come, I’ll show you.” she guided me at the back of the university.

“How come there are no guards here?” I asked.

“It’s because no sane person would ever dare to sneak out the university and go through here.” She retorted.

“But how did you come to know about this place.” I asked.

“Let’s just say that I belong to the minority.” She said.

“Thanks…for your help. I’m Ghalid.” I reached out my hand for a handshake as she introduces herself.

“Vera, nice to meet you Mr. Delinquent.” She chuckled.

I waved goodbye as I entered the forest and started calling Jorrel using the tracking device he gave me. At the end of the forest was a vast plain meadow coated by yellow cosmos and white mums synchronically swaying with the leaves from the huge Narra trees. A few minutes later, a white Aeromobile hovering above me opened its door.

“Get in.” he ordered. The streaks of white in his dark brown hair showed that he had lived his years. He was a man of strong build probably in his forties. I am not really sure since Jorrel never talks about himself that much.

“What did I tell you?!” Jorrel scolded. “What part of DO NOT CROSS BORDERS do you not understand? Or are those words gibberish to you?” He continued to rant while driving away from the Arpav border.

“Hey, where did you get the Aeromobile?” 

“Oh, shut up.”










Dorian


JUST BEYOND THE FOREST WAS THE EDGE OF THE BORDER OF ARPAV. After a few hours of driving the back of their truck suddenly blasted and emitted smoke. “What’s that?” Ghalid asked startled.

Then an Arpavian vessel stopped in front of them. “Are you guys okay?” asked the stranger who stepped out of his vehicle to check up on us. He was short and pudgy wearing odd looking glasses. For an Arpavian he sure looks filthy.

“Uh, the engine died.” Jorrel said while walking towards the man.

“That’s too bad. Where are you headed anyway?” he asked.

“We just need to go to Dorian to gather up some supplies.” He explained, while looking at me then turned back his attention to the stranger in front of him.

“An Arpavian gathering up some supplies? I’ve never heard of that one before.” He bellowed hilariously.

“Ugh…haha! Exactly…” Jorrel sarcastically went along the act and then knocked out the life out of him.

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“Some long nights are just dreadful.” He muttered while watching at the people run frantically on the road. We took that Arpavian’s aeromobile and tied him up inside the trunk. “What were you doing at the university?” I shrugged, but held my satchel so tightly.

“What’s inside that bag of yours kid?” he asked.

“Oh, nothing much, just some old things I picked up in the garbage land. It’s getting dark what is happening Prof.?” I asked anxiously.

He looked at the brooding overcast sky gradually looming, with his creased eyebrows he said, “It has begun. Come Ghalid! We need to go.” Jorrel exclaimed getting off the vehicle hastily.

“Go…? Uh…Go where?”

“Hurry up boy!”  Startled by his loud authoritative voice, I briskly followed him.

 

It was already anticipated that the apparent entropy was a sign of the coming apocalypse. Wars had begun. Hatred had overwhelmed humanity, and Arpav is slowly dying; leaving the inhabitants hopeless and dwelling in fear, and now the complete darkness felt terrifying even more. The prophecy being passed on by generations; the moment they have been waiting for, has finally come.

On a remote hillside, far away from the city ears, they went inside an old garage. A feeling of eeriness engulfed the whole shed. Complete darkness and the storm wind are all there is and nothing more. Jorrel took out some glow sticks and flipped the carpet, revealing a secret passage leading them downstairs. They continued to follow the tunnel. The stench coming from the damp walls almost made Ghalid faint. The needle of light from the end of the tunnel was already becoming visible.

“Where are we? “ Ghalid asked bewilderingly.

“We’re at the border of Dorian.” He opened the rusty metal door and what was once seemingly a dirty tunnel was a secret base of the Dorians.

Jorrel took off his cap and old tattered coat and was immediately welcomed by a stunning lady wearing a white button down long sleeves and a pencil skirt. Elegant and flashes a nice smile whenever she talks to him.

“I got your message. You should’ve warned me a day before so I could at least wear a proper outfit. It’s been so long, how have you been?” The lady greeted him with a hug.

“I’m glad to see you again, Foreyh.” The old man replied, smiling.

“And whom might this young man be?” she asked leaning down towards me and examined my features.

“I’m Ghalid. I’m his assistant.” I told her pointing at old Jorrel. Seeing here up close she is just about the same height as me.

“Ahaha! I never knew you were in need of assistants Jorrel.” She peered at me endearingly. “Hello Ghalid, I’m Foreyh, an old friend of Jorrel, and I will be keeping you company while you are here with us.”

“Thank you…” I said politely. Then she flips her long black hair and walked beside Jorrel.

“My pleasure, if you’ll please follow me. You may not know this, but ten decades ago after the tragic death of the gatekeeper Dorian decided to build a hidden facility.” She toured us around the facility and showed us to our rooms then to a secluded laboratory hidden beneath the facility.

“We thought it was just a myth but thanks to our impressive team of researchers, we found out that there is indeed another realm apart from Arpav.

“How many are there?” Jorrel asked.

“Millions.” she said. “We call them the infinite realms.” She continued.

It just dawned on me that this wasn’t merely a children’s tale after all. I’ve read stories about the gatekeeper and saw how the Arpavians worship her like a God. Statues were even built in her honor and were placed on the university. Come to think of it, the statue I saw yesterday was different from the rest. Moreover, it had the same symbol as that of the book.

Old man Jorrel, told me about the gate of infinite realms called the Oretosque, the portal to which you can travel through between dimensions, but only the gatekeeper possesses the power to open the portals leading to each realm. The gatekeeper, who is the only key in bringing these collisions and chaos to an end, thus maintaining peace, balance and harmony throughout the land. “Once the gatekeeper cannot be replaced, the infinite realms will be completely erased.” That’s what old man Jorrel told me.  The first time I heard this, I initially thought it was just a children’s tale.

“Now the prophecy of Tyr has already begun.” Miss Foreyh continues.  “And we only have 4 days left until Fenrir (the night-wolf) completely devours the Phoenix (the star-fire), which means - the destruction of all the other realms. The realms are slowly crumbling and colliding with each other since the death of the gatekeeper. How she died, how to restore the gates and what is to become of the future of Arpav, THAT still remains a mystery. If only we had the map, it will lead us closer to finding where the next gatekeeper might be and soon the gate of infinite realms will be revealed. But they say only the chosen one is able to read that map or the ‘reader’ as they call him. So we sure are lost here.”

“So, we just need to find the map and the gatekeeper and go to Oretosque to keep the infinite realms from being destroyed. Is that it?” I deduced.

“Yes, the Oretosque. You sure know your history Ghalid” she commended.

“Okay! One problem, we don’t know where to find this map, am I correct?” Jorrel added.

“Yes.” Foreyh admitted.

“So what are we supposed to do now?” I looked at Jorrel, crouching on the couch clasping both his hands with blazing eyes mixed with apprehension. Those eyes that tell you how awfully terrified he is of what the future might be.

“What does this map look like anyway?” I asked her.

“I’m not really sure, since I haven’t seen it myself. But it says that this map would reveal the constellation of stars and millions of galaxy. A vision showing different worlds from different realms would be revealed.” She explained.

 “Wait, what did you say?” I stood up still processing of what Foreyh just said.

“Ah, I don’t know what the map looks like Ghalid.” she restated.

“No! The other one.” I blurted.

“They say that the map would reveal different realms.” She repeated. “What is it Ghalid?” she asked confusingly.

“Actually, I found something.” I held my satchel so tight and stared at Foreyh and Jorrel intently. I took out the worn-out book to let them examine it. “I went to this abandoned library in Arpav and found this old worn-out book. It glowed and showed the things that you just mentioned Foreyh. It was weird because it felt like the book was talking to me, I’m telling you this book is alive. Oh, and then there’s something written there on the first page. I don’t quite understand the meaning of it though.”

“It’s empty. There’s nothing written on it Ghalid.” Foreyh remarked.

“Yes, it was empty when I first saw it, but then after the vision a poem appeared on the first page.” I explained.

“No, I mean I don’t see anything Ghalid, just the embossed Phoenix logo at the cover page.” She corrected.

“What do you mean? It’s on the first page see? It says: Land and fire in the Dragon’s pit. For whosoever find the story that lies behind, this will be fate’s divine. The heavens will open realms to thine.” I emphasized.

 

“The heavens will open realms to thine.” She mumbled. “Land and fire, dragon’s pit…I think I know where it is.”

She went to her desk and rummaged some papers and files. Then went to her bookshelf and gathered two to three books, until she puts the book on her desk after reading a few pages. After a few minutes of reading her books she looked up and stared at us. She slowly took off her glasses and placed it on the desk together with her book. Reached for the chair beside her and slowly sits down with a pale face and made a huge gulp as she uttered the word: ‘Ghayadeth.’ Her voice cracked as she said the word. I looked at Jorrel who had the exact reaction as the name was mentioned. 

“Ghayadeth is known to be the land where dragons lived.” Jorrel explained. “So, if Ghalid is the chosen one who can see the contents of this book, therefore he is the ‘reader’. He can find the next gatekeeper. And if this is the map, leading us to Ghayadeth how are we supposed to get there? How are we supposed to travel through dimensions?” Jorrel said staring at Foreyh and then turned his glance towards me.

“We have discovered a mysterious item below Lake Niaῆl that suddenly triggered our security system and interfered with the barrier that we’ve built in the Dorian facility. Our team of experts decided to trace down this unknown subject for experiment. So, we did some further research and lab tests. According to the results shown, it’s made up of crystal and amazingly it can transport anyone or anything to another dimension. So we concluded that this object came from the Oretosque and had this remarkable theory that the Oretosque is made up of a crystal trove, where this Gemstone was formed. According to our research, there is only one realm with a crystal trove that no human being had ever inhabited. We believe that this was the dwelling place of the gatekeeper.”

            “Where is the Gemstone?” Jorrel demanded.

“This was the last of them, since we used the others for our experiment in jumping through different realms, including Ghayadeth. I’m afraid this shard can only transport one person. So who will it be?” she asked looking at both Jorrel and me.

 

 

“Boy, you should go.” Jorrel ordered me. “Find the gatekeeper and then go to Oretosque. This may be a chance for us Dorians to be accepted by those stuck-up Arpavians.”

The atmosphere was so thick you couldn’t stab it with a knife. I couldn’t believe what I just heard. All these things about me being the reader and the Prof. entrusting me…no, ordering me to undertake this mission! Alone! is too much for me to handle. But he is right. If I save the world then we might have a chance to be acknowledged by Arpav. It was decided. I will be the one to go. No questions asked.

“So, where to Ghalid?” Foreyh asked.

“Take me to Ghayadeth.” I said.










GHAYADETH



GHAYADETH, THE LAND OF FIRE, where the mighty King Nelrod, ruler of the Ghayads, was known for slaying the great fire dragon. Legend has it that he wrestled with the dragon in the craters of Illyr and Kohr �" the twin volcanoes of the North. As a sign of being the victor, he took the left eye of the dragon and kept it somewhere hidden in the citadel.

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Through the gem stone, I was able to cross through Ghayadeth. I trust that the book will lead me to the whereabouts of the gatekeeper. The only way for me to get through is by using a disguise.’

 “SEIZE HIM!!!” then the next thing you know is…everything went black.

 Urgh…my head is spinning. I felt an immense pain coming from the back of my head and I could see people blurred by my vision. My head hurts. Where am I?

“Good, you’re awake. Welcome to Ghayadeth! I am King Maigask, ruler of this kingdom.” He asserted. “Now, tell me young man. Who are you and where do you come from?” 

King Maigask, ruler of this kingdom? I tried to gather up my senses before answering him any further questions. He beamed that evil grin upon me. I could feel my throat dry up and then swallow a big gulp.  “I am Ghalid…from Dorian, your highness.” 

“Oh, what a pity. It’s just a lowlife Dorian after all. I thought you were someone important like an Arpavian perhaps? Unfortunately, this was an unlucky day.” He remarked with the clear disappointment on his words.

I settled myself properly and sat on the floor. I noticed my satchel was missing.

“Are you looking for THIS?” He showed me the worn-out book. “I have heard stories of the empty book  before. Only the chosen one can possess it. Are you the chosen one, Ghalid?”

‘Chosen one.’ I never even had a clue until yesterday. What was I supposed say? Clearing my throat, I began, “Ughm! There seems to be a misunderstanding here…your highness. I’m no chosen one. I’m just a petty assistant, who doesn’t even know anything about that stupid book. It doesn’t even have anything on it, but a stupid poem.”

“So it’s true then. You CAN read the book. Only the chosen one can read the contents of the book and can write something in it. People eventually called him the ‘reader’ while others refer to him as the ‘writer’. You are most definitely THAT chosen one, Ghalid.”

Way to go Ghalid, What am I doing? I’m just going to get myself killed!!

“Apparently, this book is of no use to me.” He said and threw the book at me together with my satchel. “You, on the other hand may be useful. In the meantime, I want you to enjoy the luxurious accommodations the castle has to offer. Guards! Take him to the dungeon.”

This was not what I had planned…

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They placed me in a cell different from the other prisoners. I have to think of a way to get out of here. I kept scanning the pages then a burst of light caused me to jolt backwards and release the book. “Wow…great timing. Now you’re giving me a clue when I’m already LOCKED UP! Stupid map.”

I could see the woman from the other cell being transferred, her face pale. The chains from her quivering hands and wobbly feet made a clanging noise as she walks. After a while, whips lashed and the woman screaming and crying is all that echoed throughout that wretched prison. Then I turned my attention in reading the contents of the book.

“Below these castle walls of doom

Sinners dwell and await their death

When those screams I hear, whips may wound

Opens a path which one should tread”

 “Next!” yelled the soldier, clutching the whip so tightly. My lips and body are trembling and keeping me from thinking straight! I have to get out of here. Masked guards entered my prison cell and dragged me into the other room where they whip the prisoners.

“No! Wait!” I screamed at the top of my lungs when I felt that excruciating blow on my back.

And then all I can remember was complete darkness…

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 “Hey…Hey…Wake up….” this voice is familiar. I opened my eyes slowly.

‘I’m still here, alive.’ I took two blows on the head. I should be dead by now. My body, weak and my mind tired of thinking. A cloaked girl cut loose the ropes on my hands. Whatever…The only thing in my mind right now is how to escape from this horrifying dungeon.

“C’mon, you’ll be alright. Let’s get out of here.” She raised her palms and opened a dark hole and took us some place God knows where.

I got up carefully to see whom my savior was, “Who are you? And why did you bring me here?”

“Gee, you’re welcome….” retorted the cloaked girl.

“Oh, I’m sorry. Where were my manners? Thank you very much for saving me.” I responded apologetically.

“What are you doing here anyway?” She took off her cloak revealing her exotic beauty; Dark long wavy hair that sways gently whenever she turns. Enigmatic eyes that allures one soul to gaze deeper into those dark orbs. Never had I seen a girl move with such graceful gestures. My mind was talking incessantly to myself as I was given the license to spend this brief moment just to gaze at her bewitching beauty.

“Hey, you’re the one who led me to the forest. Vera right? So where are we exactly?”

“There was a portal near the cell where you got whipped. So I opened it and led us here,” she explained.

“Oh portals…Wait, what? You mean…you can travel through different dimensions?”

“Yes, I can but I’m still new at it. After the death of the gatekeeper the portals seem difficult to find, but when I found you. I was able to locate a portal easily.” She explained.

Travel through dimensions…Just like the gem stone Miss Foreyh gave me. “So how did you find me?”

“Actually I wasn’t supposed to come here but then I was lead here somehow. Haha! I kinda suck at this since I’m not used to jumping through realms yet. But seeing you here, now I know why the portals opened and lead me to Ghayadeth. It’s because of that book.” She said while handing me back my satchel. “I have been waiting for you, Amanuensis. I need you to help me find where the Oretosque is, to keep the realms from crumbling.”

Now she’s calling me the Amanu… �" what? What the heck is going on?

“I have been tracking down the Ghayads for years. Maigask wants to rule all the realms, that’s why in pursuit, he killed the great gatekeeper. Without the gatekeeper, the infinite realms will lose its balance, causing them to collide with each other. The coming apocalypse is already evident. The prophecy says: 5 days of darkness, 5 days of turmoil and 5 days until Fenrir devours the Phoenix. And we only have 2 days left. Only you can lead us to the Oretosque, to stop the crumbling gates. But for now we need to follow where this path will lead us.”

The tunnel led us to the tomb of the late King of Ghayadeth. The name ‘King Nelrod,’ was encrypted in the crystal casket. A small chest hovering above it ignited and emitted icy blue flames. The spirit of the king revealed itself to us. He longed to send a message to his people and to the gatekeeper asking her for help. As I wrote his words on the book, the crest from the chest illuminated and stamped the bottom page of the book with the king’s seal.

Vera opened the chest. Surprisingly the hidden treasure was the dragon’s eye. “The dragons know everything,” she muttered. “That’s what my mother used to say. She looked closely into the eye…deeper and deeper…

 “The Oretosque!” she gasped.

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Reiame


THEY ONLY HAVE ONE MISSION LEFT, to find the gatekeeper. Ghalid and Vera had to run for their lives or else they will be killed by the Ghayad castle guards. Somehow they managed to get out from the dungeon and escape by passing through the sewer. Following the flowing water it led them to a river just beyond the castle walls. Both of them smelled of sewage stench. A soldier riding a horse spotted them and called his other comrades. Now they were being chased. They immediately got out of the water and ran for their dear lives towards the river bank. Soldiers were shooting arrows. Vera pulled Ghalid swerving to the left and fortunately dodged it. Then another soldier tailing them aimed to shoot. Now there were three of them in pursuit. Vera, looking back was now panicking, and then looked at Ghalid who was already exhausted and dizzy from the beatings he took. They came through the gorge as she tugged Ghalid with all the energy she had and continued to stagger. She bit her lips and clenched her fist and positioned her palms forward.

“It must be here somewhere. Where is it?” she yelled agitatedly.

A stroke of light reflected at her peripheral vision. She can see a white streak just below the cliff.

She looked at Ghalid intently as she says, “Ghalid, do you trust me?”

“Huh? Yes…” he said barely breathing. He can’t even manage to stand on his own now. The soldiers were already off their horses but they were getting nearer. She had to act quickly.

“Okay then.” She pulled Ghalid close to her, hugged him tightly and lurched forward. She jumped and together they fell off the cliff. As she reached for the light, the streak of white suddenly opened sucking them into a dark hole and then was completely gone.

The Ghayad soldiers were left there on the cliff. Horrified and dumbfounded of what they just witnessed.

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I was lying on the floor looking at Vera. She held me close to her. Her hands holding my face were so soft. She was warm. I could almost feel her heart beat.

“What happened?” I asked.

“You fainted but somehow we managed to survive.” She said to me with a teary-eyed smile.

I hugged her tightly, thankful that we were still alive. If it weren’t for her I wouldn’t have escaped that horrific place. I wouldn’t still be alive.

“Thank you…” I whispered.

I settled myself and tried to sit. “Where are we?”

I think we’re in Arpav.” She detected.

“In Arpav? No, I can’t be here.” I tried to manage to stand up.

“Why, what’s wrong?” she asked confusingly.

“They’ll kill me if they see me.” I exclaimed

“Who?” She tried to calm me down. “Who will kill you Ghalid? No one will kill you here. You’re just not thinking straight. You need to rest for a while.”

“No, you don’t understand. I am not one of your kind.” I yelled.

“What do you mean? What are you talking about?” she stared at me with a confused and troubled look.

“I’m not an Arpavian.” I admitted. “Vera, Listen to me. I have to leave this place or else they’re going to kill me. I have to go.”

With a blank face she just kept quiet watching me leave the room.

 A black hole suddenly appeared before us, transporting the wicked king and his guards along with him. “Guards! Kill them!” Maigask ordered. How did he…? Don’t tell me Maigask is also a portal wielder?

Vera instantly attempted to open a portal. But the ruthless tyrant immediately caught her. He grabbed hold of her hands and whispered in her ears.

“Finally, I have found you. The great gatekeeper finally appears and I have to thank you Ghalid for everything. I couldn’t have done it without you boy.”

He stared at me intently, eyes full of malice. Vera was struggling to release her hands from him. Then Maigask took out his sword and slashed her without hesitation. My body stiff, feet glued on the floor.

I couldn’t save her, I couldn’t... I feel so helpless, useless! Why am I even here? That’s what I thought brooding at the drops of blood on the floor in utter shock then looked at the grinning face of that cold-blooded murderer holding his bloody sword. His hands and armor covered with the blood of an innocent girl.

“I really enjoy looking at the drops of blood from my victims. Blood red petals of the rose, that’s how I describe each drop. The more you see them, the more you crave to pick the flower regardless of whether you get pricked by its thorns. Still you can’t resist its beauty. Just like your mother - Shilva,” he said and spit at Vera’s half-dead body. “Her beauty as timeless as the rose but conviction as prickly and firm as the thorns. She may be stubborn, but she was the only woman who was able to accept this cold murderous heart of mine wholeheartedly. If only she wasn’t the gatekeeper, we would have been happy together. You see, your mother was a strong woman and that’s what made me fall in love with her but that’s what made me hate her the most either.”

I charged with all my might and managed to pin down Maigask on the wall. But he was too big for me. His punches were so hard for me to bear. Then I heard a pebble-like sound, fall on the floor. Unexpectedly, it was identical to the gem stone that I used in transporting through Ghayadeth, only it was much bigger than the one Miss Foreyh gave me. This might do the trick. I picked up the gem stone and as I was about to utter the realm and return him to Ghayadeth, Vera’s almost lifeless body started moving.

“Maigask, you murderer. You killed my mother…I’m going to let you pay for what you did.” She forced herself to open a portal but it was no use. She was just too weak.

“Oh, you’re still alive aren’t you? Well then let me finish your miserable life once and for all.” He lifts up his sword and struck Vera with another blow.

“No!!” I shouted running towards them both. Hoping that I might block Magaisk’s sword.

Darkness…complete darkness covered the room, or perhaps we are not in the room anymore I’m pretty sure of it.

“Ghalid?…Ghalid…” a voice from the darkness was calling out to me.

“Vera? Is it you? I’m here!” I shouted trying to look for her in the dark. “Vera where are you?” I assured her.

“I’m right here.” She answered

“Did you bring us here Vera? Where is this place?” My voice echoing seemed like Vera and I were miles apart.

“I think so, but I didn’t open a portal. I simply said the word Reiame. I’m really sorry Ghalid, it’s my fault. Now we’re stuck into the realm of oblivion.”

“No, Vera don’t blame yourself. But I can’t help but wonder where Maigask went. So how are we supposed to get out of here?”

“There’s no way out. I can’t open a portal here.” She apologized coughing.

The ground was suddenly shaking and ‘lo emerged a winged skeletal creature slithering up from the earth. It was ginormous! Bone-like figure with skeletal wings started to talk.

“I sense an intruder in the darkness.” It began…“I, Lethe, am the mistress of this realm. Tell me who dares to enter my dominion?”

“So no one will answer eh? Fine, I’ll do the talking then. Hmmm…let’s see.  I can smell the desires of a hopeless orphan from a lowborn class, who thinks his fate, can merely be changed by following the writings from an old book. He yearns for the acceptance the world would never give, and by choosing this path he is now certain that he will finally be acknowledged. Pft! How pathetic. And what do we have here? The next gatekeeper, who is the only hope of the people from keeping the infinite realms from crumbling…is dying! What a pity.” She divulged chuckling. “One wants to be a savior but is rejected by humanity, and the other one, who is the true savior, fails to save humanity, an interesting tandem indeed!” She mocked.

“Hey!! Don’t you even care if the realms will be destroyed? Even this realm that you are in will disappear along with it!” I shouted angrily.

“So there you are puny human. You are unequivocally right about me not giving a damn of the other realms being destroyed. However, you are wrong about this realm disappearing. In the coming apocalypse, the multiverse may be destroyed but this realm which is beyond the reach of the Oretosque, will still remain.” She corrected.

“So how did we end up here in this realm?” I interjected.

“That book led you here. That book was made from the crystals of Oretosque and the Pyres of Reiame. It is the bridge connecting the two realms. And only the Amanuensis can lead the gatekeeper between these two realms.

“So you mean without the book, even a portal wielder like Vera can’t reach Reiame or Oretosque?” I clarified.

“Even the gatekeeper cannot open these two portals without the book. The two cannot be separated. But in this realm, I get to decide who stays and who leaves. And YOU…don’t belong here. Now be gone!

A blast of illuminating light came from the book inside my satchel, I had to scan for another clue.

“Vera! Vera where are you? The book is telling us where to go! Vera answer me!” I tried to run even though I am out of breath. My vision is getting blurry as it is spinning. I have to save Vera first. In the darkness where I could see nothing, my feet struggled to take each step but then a voice echoed from the void that we were in.

“Ghalid…I’m here…” she whimpered.

“Vera, I can hear you. The book is telling us something.” Then I said the poem:

 

“Infinite realms, the keeper will hold

Into the gate of crystal cave

Then the Arc of Sapphires will soon behold

Great power one manipulates”

 

“Oretosque…” she whispers on her last breath.











ORETOSQUE


I WOKE UP SEEING VERA’S LAYING BODY ON THE FLOOR. I immediately tend to Vera’s care. She was almost lifeless, fortunately she was still breathing.

“Vera, I’m so sorry. I didn’t do anything.” I was sobbing but I didn’t care anymore.

“Don’t be silly, you were very brave. Thank you, Ghalid.” She was catching her breath when she talked. “Are we in Oretosque?” I could barely hear the words she is saying.

“Yes, finally.”

We reached the heart of the cave. But Vera is now weak from having lost a lot of blood. At the end of the cave stands a crystal wall formed arc adorned with Sapphires. It was the portal of portals, the gateway to the infinite realms - The Arc of the Oretosque.

I placed Vera inside the arc. “Now go and restore the balance of the realms.”

“I’m scared…I don’t know what to do…I don’t know how to protect these people and these realms. I can’t go through this on my own.” She confessed.

“Don’t worry, you’re not alone and you’ll never be, that’s why I’m here. I’m an assistant remember? I assured her.

The book illuminated once more. Vera could see the portals clearly now. The breathtaking celestial image of the Constellation, nebula; gases of different colors, and planets of different sizes reminded me of the first time I discovered the book, or was it the book that discovered me? Then together, we both closed our eyes and let ourselves be overwhelmed at the magnificent cosmic wonder…as Vera whispered “Gleipnir(open)

 

Epilogue

“What? You’re supposed to be a portal wielder. How come you’re not sure where you’re going?” I complained.

“Hey! Traveling through dimensions alone is not a piece of cake, plus there’s the two of us. And besides, I’m still new at this okay, so bear with me.” She argued.

 Geez I keep forgetting….well, she’s trying her best though. We keep on traveling through wrong dimensions. We teleported again and again and again, until…

“Aha! Here we are!” she announced.

“Urgh! Finally…I think I’m gonna die…Vera, do you have any idea how exhausting it is to keep on teleporting into a wrong dimension.”

“Oh, tell me about it.” she quipped.

“Hey kid! What are you doing up there? Listen kid, I know life is hard but suicide isn’t the best option either!” an old stranger snapped.

What does he think I’m gonna do, commit suicide? “Don’t worry, I’m not gonna jump!”

“Well, that’s great news kid! So what are yah doin’ up there on top of the buildin’ ha?”

“Ahmm, sight-seeing?”  Sightseeing? Pfft! I doubt he’ll ever believe that.”

“Hmmp bah! Kids these days…” he just mumbled and went along, not bothering with some crazy kid anymore.

“Ah, where did we land again?”

“We’re in Pantoja… my mother took me here before. We just have to see the queen and I think we’re off to the next portal. Are you ready?”

“Yup! Where are we headed next Vera?”

“Next stop!  The TROVE OF WONDERS…”

 

I am Ghalid.

 Some call me the assistant,

the reader, the chosen one

but I’m actually…

The Amanuensis.

© 2017 L.C. Jarrette


Author's Note

L.C. Jarrette
This is my first time to write stories for children or teens. Want to hear your thoughts on how to improve. Thank you!

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I can see this creative masterpiece becoming the next Hunger Games series. :D I love this!!! I especially LOVE the mention of Viking lore. :) Brilliant job, dear.

I honestly thing each section could be a chapter and you could make them longer. (dances about like an idiot) I can't wait to see more!!!! :D

Posted 2 Years Ago



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Added on December 5, 2017
Last Updated on December 5, 2017

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L.C. Jarrette
L.C. Jarrette

Philippines



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"Let your voice to be heard." Hope you'll like my poems...happy reading! more..

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