Advent in the Arcane Forest

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Fantasy  |  House: Booksie Classic

Chapter 3 (v.1) - Region of the Giants

Submitted: November 09, 2017

Reads: 22

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Submitted: November 09, 2017

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I opened my eyes and realized that I had slept under an oak tree. I couldn’t remember how I got under the tree, but it was clear that we were already far from where we first came from. What was I thinking about yesterday? Why didn’t I have my consciousness with me all along?

I tried to study the place, and realized that the evening passed by too quickly. It was morning already. And then there came the firefly.

I was just about to think that this firefly wasn’t real, but he came. So, everything that happened yesterday wasn’t a dream.

“Howdy! Now that you’ve finally woken up, I bet you’re really starving! I've just discovered some delicious fruits here! Follow me.” The firefly said.

Without saying a word, I followed him. Then I came to think about his name. I could remember his name. He introduced himself as “Twinkle Bell”, but I never called him that ever since we met. I called him in general terms, like “little creature”, “little firefly”, and so on so forth. 

“Hey, come to think about it. Even though you have been very polite to me calling me by my name, I haven’t called you by yours. You did identify yourself very well, yet I rudely called you in general terms. I’m sorry, Twinkle Bell.”

“Oh! That, I really don’t mind. But I’m glad that you can still remember my name. Thank you, Ligian.”

Spending less than 24 hours with this creature was enough to put my trust on him. Besides, he was the only companion that I could have.

After what seemed to be a five-minute walk, we finally reached the tree bearing unique but sweet fruits. Indeed, they were extremely delicious!

“Whoa, this is amazing. I feel like it's the first time that I've tasted such fruit!”

“I told you so!” Twinkle Bell happily replied.

“By the way, how did we get here, and where are we? Are we already close to where the Cyclopes are?” I asked.

“Actually, we are already in the place where the Cyclopes dwell. So, we are very close to the cave where the Polyphemus and the little Polyphemus live.”

That revelation made me chill. Knowing that we were already “very” close to the Cyclopes, got me a lot more anxious. I hadn't yet planned my treachery to obtain the little Polyphemus's eye. But, I suddenly remembered that I could use the Cyclopes’ weakness which was heat.

“Hmm, then how about helping me make a torch?” I asked.

“What? Just how can a little insect like me help you?”

"Just tell me which wood to use.”

"Mind telling me what your plan is?" asked Twinkle Bell.

"You'll see."

With the help of Twinkle Bell, I was able to create a torch that could last for more or less two hours. Then, we left for the cave.

Carrying only the torch and a thin wood with a sharpened edge, we reached the cave and found the giant sound asleep at the opening of the cave. I was reluctant at first, that this was little Polyphemus, since it was as big as a two-storey building. But Twinkle Bell insisted that this sleeping giant was actually the baby. The Polyphemus, his father, was a lot bigger than him.

What? So if the other Cyclopes were twice as big as this little Polyphemus, then I’m dead once I make one mistake in stealing his eye. I should be careful.

When I was already in front of his face, I hesitated for a moment, feeling embarrassed by what I was about to do. It was too bad that I couldn't remember, but for that brief moment I had wondered whether I were in fact a violent person in the real world. It didn't last long, as I had the feeling that the cyclops would soon wake up and get its hands on me before I did. So, I hurriedly placed the torch near his eye. His eye moved, which indicated that it already got irritated and he was about to wake up. Soon, he opened his big eye, and that was the moment that I swiftly stabbed his eye with my thin wood, and pulled it with all my might to remove his eye from the socket.

Due to pain, a loud scream, which caused a semi-earthquake, came out from his diaphragm. It took me less than a minute of effort to completely detach his eye from the socket. Heavy crimson blood oozed out from where his eye used to be. Since he was already blind, he stood out of panic and ran in circles while crying and screaming.

“Good job, Ligian! Now, run fast! The Cyclopes will discover this soon!” Twinkle Bell instructed.

I ran as fast as I could and hid behind the bushes and tall trees. After less than five minutes, the Cyclopes came to rescue. Polyphemus was most angered by what happened to his son, but I couldn’t do anything. Even though I felt sorry for him, and knew that it was treachery, this was what Twinkle Bell had told me.  It’s for my survival.

I was glad, though, that I needn’t kill the baby Cyclops. I knew he was in deep pain, but at the very least, I didn’t take away his life. I looked at the eye forked by my thin wood. It’s as big as a human palm. But amazingly, it wasn’t so heavy at all.

“Now Ligian, since we have stolen the eye, we have to first stay away from the Cyclopes' territory. And after that, we’ll make a necklace for that eye.” Twinkle Bell said.

“What? No! There's no way I'm wearing this!” I complained.

“If you aren’t going to do it, then what’s the essence of even stealing it? The eye is meant to become a pendant. And the one who wears it will be protected from marauding monsters. Additionally, it will give you extra strength.”

Well, I realized that I had no choice. I simply sighed and followed after Twinkle Bell as we ran away from the Cyclopes’ territory.. The region of the Cyclopes was so big that it took us until late afternoon to completely stay out of their dwelling place. I worried as I wondered how much time had been wasted for running.

After the long run, we rested for a while. Then Twinkle Bell taught me how to make the necklace. Well, it wasn't so difficult to make one. Since the eye wasn’t so heavy, I didn't have any difficulty wearing it around my neck. Twinkle Bell strongly warned me not to take off the necklace no matter what.

I didn’t know where we were at that time. I didn’t realize that I had slept, and I didn’t feel like I did. But since I had woken up in the morning, I realized that I really did fall asleep without my intention of doing so.

My sleep was only disturbed by a loud noise coming from a distance. It started with what sounded like a trumpet, then stomps of feet. I had a bad feeling that it was the Cyclopes, sending troupes of monster-soldiers to catch me. I got pretty scared, and instantly searched for Twinkle Bell.

“Twinkle B-!”

“That sound…” a small voice came from behind.

I looked behind me and there was Twinkle Bell.

“…that’s the sound from the Forestierre Academy. It happens when the classes start.” He continued.

“What? There’s an academy in this strange forest? Are you kidding? Then who are studying there?” I asked in an unbelieving tone.

“You’d be surprised, but there are actually students there. They are humans.” He responded.

“Huh? There are humans here?! Why didn’t you tell me?”

“Sorry, I was going to tell you anyway. In fact, our next stop is the Forstierre Academy. Heaps of essential books can only be found there, since they hold the only library in the entire Forestierre.”

I felt like this Twinkle Bell was really mysterious. I had some doubts about his knowledge as a guardian. A guardian should know, however, and I had no choice but to rely on everything he said.

“Sorry Ligian. You’re a human, so I know how badly you want to take a bath. Right after finding the essential information from the library, we can go find the river next.” He said.

“I’m glad that you know my needs as a person. I’m also glad that we ended up near the academy. I bet you wouldn’t remember about this if we hadn't heard the sound.” 

“Don’t treat me like that. It’s as if you don’t believe in my skills. I intentionally headed this way because I know that we’d get closer to the next stop through this path.”

Whatever.

Just as we thought, the academy was just meters away from where we last stopped. And I was surprised to see such big, beautiful, yet eerie academy in the middle of the forest. The gates were colored black, and we could see the other humans beyond the gates and walls. I felt very nostalgic. Of course, I knew that I also went to school in the real world. And after all that magic that had been happening to me, I really never thought that I’d ever see anything close to normal at all inside this forest. 


© Copyright 2019 Stephanie Kaplan. All rights reserved.

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