Advent in the Arcane Forest

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

Chapter 4 (v.1) - The Academy

Submitted: November 09, 2017

Reads: 30

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Submitted: November 09, 2017

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I didn't hesitate going inside as there were humans studying there. Twinkle Bell told me that he couldn’t come, since a tailing firefly would be weird. Also taking into consideration his size, he was as big as a human thumb. There’s no ordinary firefly that’s as big as he was. So I had to go inside all by myself. He strictly warned me not to talk to anyone if it’s not that necessary. I had to focus on finding their library, and search for essential books.

At first I thought that this was the only thing in Forestierre that would make me feel at home. I thought the academy was the most normal thing that I’d ever see here. But I was wrong. Everything in Forestierre was weird.

Following Twinkle Bell’s strict instruction, I had to keep my head down all the time by staring at the ground. I was also told that I should never meet their eyes. The tall uniformed man guarding the gates asked me a question before letting me in.

“Quid est nomen tibi?”(What is your name?)

“Ego sum mortale, Ligian Bahmatan.” (I am a mortal, Ligian Bahmatan)

Upon hearing my response, he instantly let me in. In truth, I didn’t understand what he had asked. But Twinkle Bell assured me that it was what he was going to ask me, so he instructed me to answer that, which I  myself didn’t understand as well. It didn’t matter, however, since I safely got inside the academy.

As I was looking for the library, I also had a chance to glance at the people. They appeared to be very normal to me, aside from that they never talked to anybody. Everyone’s weird in Forestierre, indeed.

This academy is too big! Where could it possibly be where? I mean, the library?

I didn't notice that I had stepped on a puddle. I lost my footing and fell on the floor, butt first. Instead of worrying about the pain, I shivered and got really nervous that I might've gotten everyone’s attention.

I helped myself up and made side-glances at the people around me to check whether they're looking or not. How I was startled that at that instant, everybody was already glaring at me!

Dang! This is no good… no good! Everyone is looking at me! How am I supposed to escape this?

I decided to just pretend as if nothing happened. I walked briskly. At the very moment that I stepped one foot forward, everyone else moved back to their own paces-yeah, like nothing happened indeed.

Gosh. They sure are weird.

Not long after that incident, I finally saw the library. And boy, the library was so grand! It was spacious and it felt as though I had just entered the great hall at Lincoln's Inn. The shelves were high and decorated with intricate patterns. The place was just so full of books that finding the right book might be hard for me. Thank the heavens that they were using catalogs.

I searched for the shelves which contained books about Forestierre. I was awestruck that there was only one among the many shelves there that contained “few” of the books about Forestierre. Well, since the library was amazingly huge and wide, I didn't anticipate that the essentials that I was looking for would be so few.

I picked up three books randomly and brought them to the nearest table. But the librarian caught my attention as I sat on the chair. Twinkle Bell did tell me not to look at their eyes, so I pulled myself together. However, I knew, even without looking directly, that the librarian was gazing at me. Intently.

This is awkward… this makes me feel uneasy.

I told myself that I was just imagining things. I tried to ignore the librarian's piercing gaze as I opened the first book and read the contents. This book contained nothing but pictures about the natural resources here in Forestierre. I decided to go immediately to the second book and look into its content. Fortunately, I found something interesting.

The Dungeon of the Forest… what about it? This is interesting.

I read that part. I discovered that in that dungeon lived a green witch. She granted wishes for something in exchange. I had the thought that perhaps, she could help me escape from this forest. And I thought that it was a good idea- to look for the dungeon.

I flipped the page and saw a picture drawing. Below it was written: “Gondola”.

Hmm… so this little boat is called “Gondola”, eh? So this forest has a river?

I had been reading seriously when I was again interrupted by the cold glare that the librarian was giving me. She really had a strange aura- worse than those of the ordinary students in the academy. Since I couldn’t stand the chills, I decided to just stay between the shelves, where she could not see me. I sat on the floor, picked up the third book, and opened it. But even before I had the chance to read its title, suddenly, I saw two legs in front of me. I looked up, and got horrified by her face that was suddenly up-close, and the accidental meeting of our eyes!

“YOU CAN’T READ BOOKS IN BETWEEN THE SHELVES.”

That was the only sentence that she said, but it scared the hell out of me. I left all the books and ran away as fast as I could. I left the academy once and for all!

That… that! That librarian freaked me out! I’m never going back there anymore! Weirdo!

I got very exhausted. I got down on my knees, and felt my sweat coming out excessively.

Finally, Twinkle Bell showed himself. Just where did he go?

“Oh dear… What happened to you? Why are you sweating? Have you found anything?” Twinkle bell asked.

“Damn… this is crazy! Everything, everyone! This is driving me insane!” I exclaimed.

“Now, now, what’s wrong with you, Ligian?”

I helplessly pointed my finger towards the academy.

“That academy… I’m never going back there! The students, the librarian… everyone! They’re freaking me out!”

“Well… I guess a terrible misfortune have befallen us today. But did you find anything, though?”

“Please, Twinkle Bell… misfortune didn’t befall us ‘today’. It has been with us since the day that I came to this place!”

“I’m sorry, Ligian. It’s not like I’m happy that you are in this game, but…”

“Whatever, at least I still had read some information. I learned that there is a dungeon in this forest. I am interested about the green witch settling in a dungeon. Do you know about this, Twinkle?”

“Ah- the dungeon of the forest. Yes, I am well familiar with it. Let’s see, it must be somewhere close from here.”

Twinkle Bell flew up in the sky, trying to find out whether we were already close enough or not.

“Ah, well… I guess let’s just first go to the river.”

“Yeah, I want that too. But what’s the matter? Say, are we very far from the dungeon?”

“Uh, well, um… you see, the dungeon is an ancient structure. Although it must still be there up till now, somewhere in Forestierre, I’m pretty much sure that it’s either ruined or buried under the great sands.”

“W-what…? So are you telling me that finding the dungeon would be impossible?” I asked with disappointment.

“We might find the dungeon. The problem is meeting the witch.”

I decided not to speak anymore. I was losing hope. I wasted a lot of time already. I felt anxious.

The river wasn’t far. I felt refreshed when we reached it, considering that the water looked very clean and fresh! I immediately had Twinkle Bell leave for a few minutes, and then I excitedly jumped into the river and cleaned myself.

Finally! After all the tiresome and unfortunate events, here I am- taking my first bath in my dreams--or maybe not? Nevermind!

I didn’t take too long, and got out of the river. I searched around for the little firefly, but he was missing. I didn’t mind, perhaps he was looking for food.

I sat against a tree and reflected on the things that had been happening since the very moment that I had arrived here. Soon after my solitary moment, I heard noises. I was alarmed. At first I thought it was just Twinkle Bell. But no, it was the sound of a crawling beast. That gave me a fright.

I stood up and moved back at the slowest, calmest, and quietest way that I could. I was all ears, trying to locate whether the animal was still somewhere close by the sound of its paws. But after lingering for about a minute or two, I heard nothing. I sighed out of relief, but the moment that I turned to lean against the tree, a beast with two long sharp fangs frightened me as it was only a few inches away from my back!

It looked like a huge cat with two long fangs. Its fierce eyes were intently glaring at my face, and it was growling- as if it were very hungry and excited now that a prey stood cornered before it.

“Spare me… P-please,” was my only helpless plea.

It came closer, as if ready and sure that it was going to successfully have my insides churned up. I was thinking that this was my end, and I was crossing my fingers in hopes that I might at least wake up from the nightmare. I really, seriously did think that I was going to be eaten alive.

But,

“How… how did you get that eye?” a voice came from somewhere.

I dared search with my eyes. Who said that?

“I asked, how you got that, silly human!” it repeated its question.

Before I ever lost my sanity, I finally realized that the one who was speaking to me was this saber-toothed animal in front of me! He could speak the human language, but he wasn’t using his mouth. Another show of magic!

“I-I’m sorry! I didn’t realize earlier that it was you! A-are you… sparing me?”

“Will you please just answer my question, lady? Or perhaps, would you rather be eaten?”

“N-no, no… um, I… I got this from the little Polyphemus. Please, if you’re their assigned creature to get me, spare me! I just followed an order!” I was already dead trembling when I spoke to the animal.

“What? You’re seriously thinking that a royal creature like me is serving the Cyclopes? Aren’t you blasphemous, Madame?”

“I’m so sorry! But if you aren’t their familiar, then who are you?” I asked.

“I am a saber-tooth, as you can see. I am a wanderer who has been interested in the Cyclops’ powerful eye. But I see that a mere human actually has beaten me already. Did you lure little Polyphemus into giving you his only eye?” it asked.

“N-no, I… I used heat to irritate his eye while he was sound asleep. And then I forked his eye out and ran away. I didn’t kill him, though.”

“Oh. You are, indeed, a treacherous woman,” it said.

“Holy! What are you doing here?!” said another voice from behind.

“Bell…? Is that you?!”

I looked at the other creature, and it was Twinkle Bell! They were acquaintances!

“Gee, so that’s why this girl has the Cyclops’ eye, huh? You helped her.”

“Um, actually, I only helped as far as taking her to the cave. But with all the tactics, well what can you say?” Twinkle Bell responded.

“Err… sorry, but, Twinkle Bell, you actually know each other?" I asked.

"Unfortunately, yes. Don't bother asking about the history," replied Twinkle Bell.

I heaved a sigh of relief. At least I won't get eaten. 

"Let's get out of here, Ligian. We need to hurry to the dungeon, don't we?" reminded the seemingly irritated firefly.

“I do not want to interrupt, but since your mission seems really important, I will accompany you on your journey.”

I was thrilled by his declaration. The more the merrier!

“You will? Whoa, then we’re a bigger group now! Thank you, Mr. saber-tooth!” then I smiled from ear to ear.

“I am Yuzan. Don’t call me in general term, please, if you don’t want me to call you ‘Ms. Human’.”

I giggled and said,

“I got it, Yuzan!”

I glanced back at Twinkle Bell. I knew he wasn't comfortable having the saber-tooth around.

"It's fine, isn't it?"

"Whatever, Ligian. It's your choice. Let's go!"


© Copyright 2019 Stephanie Kaplan. All rights reserved.

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