Advent in the Arcane Forest

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

Chapter 8 (v.1) - The Arcana of Time

Submitted: November 09, 2017

Reads: 89

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Submitted: November 09, 2017

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Just before realizing it, I already had passed through the gross well. It was just then that I found myself hanging on another well, which was located on some weird cell. I helped myself up. I knew that it took me some time before regaining my consciousness here, but I couldn't remember what happened during the interval between diving into that gross well and waking up here. 

I saw Twinkle Bell, and I was so glad to see him here!

“Twinkle! Oh, I’m glad you’re here. I'm confused. Where are we? Also, I'm having vague memories of my mom.” I said.

"Oh, that must be because your time here is running out. We need to hurry. Open the door and let's see where we are.” Twinkle replied.

I hurriedly opened the door and took a peak. I was shocked to see such a familiar place! I stepped outside and closed the door. I walked slowly, trying to recall where we were. Finally, a pang of realization struck me.

“What… this…?! This is the academy!” I unconsciously said out loud.

I suddenly became conscious of the trouble that I had made. I made a noise in the Forestierre Academy! Everyone looked at me! Due to my surprise, I forgot all about avoiding eye contact and accidentally made one with a student in front of me.

Darn… I am completely a klutz. I forgot that I can’t make any eye contact here!

I bowed my head down. My knees were really shaking. Everyone was glaring at me again! I decided to just ignore them and walk, but right when I moved a step forward, everyone started walking slowly towards me!

W-what…? What are these people up to? Why are they moving closer to me? Are they going to hurt me? Where’s Twinkle?!

I was almost ready to be eaten alive when someone suddenly grabbed my wrist and pulled me through the crowd then out of the academy. This totally shocked me, because the stranger was wearing the Forestierre Academy’s uniform.

Not so far from the academy, we stopped. I looked at her carefully, and surprisingly, she looked not as weird as the other students in the academy. Her blond hair was done in a ponytail, and her expression was difficult to read. She was very familiar, but I couldn't get my hand on it. I suppose I had seen her in the Forestierre Academy the first time I went there to go to the library. 

“Please stop gazing at me. You’re scaring me you know?” she said.

I sighed for relief. She talked!

“You’re talking, I’m glad. Then you aren’t as weird as the other students there, eh? Should I say thanks?”

“You don’t have to. First of all, just for the sake of formality, I am Rania- holder of the Arcanum of time.”

I was confused. I didn’t understand what the “Arcanum” was about, but just as I was about to ask, Rania was suddenly attacked by a familiar beast. The beast growled angrily while pressing Rania against a tree, until I finally recognized him.

“Is that you? Yuzan! Hey, don’t hurt her, she’s not an enemy.” I said.

“What? Are you sure?” Yuzan asked.

“Please get off me, this is embarrassing.” Rania said.

Yuzan backed off. Rania stood up and brushed the dust off her clothes.

“Yuzan, what happened? I’m glad you were able to find me!” I said.

“Yes, I followed your scent. What happened to you?” Yuzan asked.

“We were thrown down the Land of Souls! We had encountered a lot of troubles.”

“So it's the well… that’s how you got into the academy’s cache.” Rania butted in.

“Oh, you actually saw me. But wait a second, where’s Tw…!”

Twinkle suddenly appeared flying towards me, and rested on my shoulder.

“I’m tired! I’m sorry, Ligian. I had to leave you earlier because I had to hide myself from the students. Did something… Wait! That girl, you’re from that academy! What are you doing here?”

“Hi Twinkle… I’m Rania, the holder of the Arcanum of time.” Rania said.

“Just how the heck did you know my name?” Twinkle asked.

“I know everyone’s name. You’re Ligian Bahmatan and that’s Yuzan, right?”

“What? How did you know?” I asked in amazement.

“Ugh, didn’t I say that I am holding the Arcanum of time?” Rania said.

I didn’t understand what it meant, so I kept quiet. The rest didn’t speak either, which made me think that none of us had an idea, so I started a new topic just to shift the mood.

“Hey Yuzan, where were you when we vanished? Weren’t you just waiting outside the ruined dungeon that time?” I asked.

“Yes, I was. Here, I actually had to kill the witch just to retrieve the necklace.” Yuzan handed the Cyclops’ eye to me and continued, “The dungeon is gone.”

“Oh! Yuzan, thank you so much! But isn’t that bad? The disappearance of the ancient dungeon?” I asked.

“Nah, it’s old anyway. The important thing is that you have the eye with you again.”

“You stole the eye just for protection, right?” Rania butted in again.

Everyone looked at her with much astonishment. However, she looked indifferent.

“Think about it, Ligian. Weren’t you able to survive from the Jungle of Souls without the eye?” Rania asked.

I realized that what she said was correct. I looked at Twinkle, but he didn’t speak a word.

“Cyclopes are giants who take care of the plants, trees and animals in their region. A Cyclops, who loses his one and only eye, will eventually die after a month. Take note that Cyclopes never bear more than one baby.”  Rania explained.

I knew what Rania wanted me to realize. She succeeded; I was shaken. I felt as though I had broken one family just because of my treacherous act of stealing the baby’s eye. 

At the thought of "breaking one family", something stung inside me. I couldn't identify whether it was due to guilt, pity, or something else.

“I’m… I’m sorry. I know that I have to take this back to the baby Polyphemus.” I said.

“Are you sure, Ligian?” Twinkle asked.

“Yes, I am very sure. Thank you, Rania. But I wonder how you knew about all these things?” I asked.

“I told you, I am holding the Arcanum of time.” Then Rania sighed.

“If we’re going to the region of the giants, then we must hurry. You know, you’ve got less than ten hours to win this game.” Twinkle said.

I was startled. Who wouldn’t be? Twinkle informed me of the remaining time just when it’s almost running out? How unfair!

“What…? That’s the only remaining time for me?” I asked in surprise.

“Yes, unfortunately. But please stay optimistic.” Twinkle said.

“So, we shall hurry. Come, Ligian, hop on! We’ll be able to get there fast with my agility.” Yuzan said.

“Thank you, Yuzan. But how about Rania, are you coming with us?” I asked.

“Humph. You’ll need me, you know? You should be speaking in a more pleading tone.” Rania said.

I smiled. We sat on Yuzan’s back, while Twinkle followed.

“Let’s roll.” Rania said.

I had not had a proper rest since waking up at the Land of Souls, so I felt dizzy and sleepy while Yuzan was running. I couldn't control it anymore, and had finally fallen asleep while riding on his back.

I thought that the rest would reenergeize my worn out body, but it was short-lived. I was awoken by Yuzan being stagnant. I was startled when I saw that we were actually under attack by tiny thin creatures!

“You can’t pass through! None of you will!” one of the creatures said.

“Will you please get out of our way? We have some more important things to do, alright?” Yuzan yelled.

I was amazed that I was not affected by the stones that they were throwing at us by their sling shots. It’s because I was wearing the Cyclops’ eye. I studied the creatures by their appearances, and it was just then that I recognized that they were actually elves!

“Wait a second!” I yelled. I motioned for everyone to stop and stood on feet. “What do you guys want from us?”

“What, you ask? Very simple, Madame! We extremely need to have your necklace!” one elf said, pointing at my necklace.

“No, we cannot surrender that to you.” Twinkle said.

“Why, we need it the most! You don’t have any idea how much our elf king is suffering right now!” another elf said.

“What do you mean? What’s with your elf king?” I asked.

The elves narrated how their elf king suffered from an unknown illness which made him bed-ridden for a long time. Also, according to them, their elf king was almost dying, and in any kingdom, especially the elves’ kingdom, a king’s absence would lead to misfortune and endless troubles.

I felt much pity for them, indeed. However, I was still perplexed.

“How can we be sure that what you’re saying here is the truth?” I asked.

“Well, it’s good that you asked. Let us go altogether to our place.” One of the elves said.

I looked at the others, as if asking whether to come or not to.

“No, we’ve got…!”

“I’ll go.” I said.

All of them were shocked. But I had to go to see the situation myself, because if it’s true, then maybe there's something that I could do for them.

“If you’re going, I’m going.” Yuzan said.

“I am going as well!” Twinkle moved forward.

“W-ell… it’s not like we’re excluding you, saber-toothed mammal, but you can’t come. You are too huge to be at our place.” One elf said.

“What? That’s unfair!”

“If that’s the case, then Twinkle and I are going. Don’t worry, Yuzan.” I said.

“Then, please hold on us tightly.” Another elf said.

Twinkle rested on my shoulder, while I held onto the elf’s wrist. With just a snap of a finger, we were already teleported.

Only Rania and Yuzan were left. Yuzan was still very bad-tempered. He wanted to accompany us that badly. It took a mere minute before he realized that Rania didn’t come with us either. He was even surprised.

“Whoa! You’re here! Why didn’t you go with them?” Yuzan asked.

“What? Why should I go? It’s pointless.” Rania responded in her usual cold manner.

“You don’t really care about her, do you?” Yuzan asked in a disappointed tone.

“I hope you know what you’re saying. Not going with the person doesn't imply that I don't care. Your basis for judging me is rotten, mister.”

“That’s not it. You’re really giving off that kind of impression in the first place.”

“First impressions are not real. Remember that.” Rania said.

“Then why did you decide to stay here?”

Rania, getting annoyed by his repeated questions, finally made an effort to turn and look at him. With creased forehead now, indicating annoyance, she said,

“I told you, it’s pointless to go, that’s why I stayed. Please stop repeating the same question over and over again.” 

“Okay, alright… sorry.” Yuzan replied.

Just who does she think she is?

“I’ll explain this for once. Listen carefully and heed my explanation, ‘cause I’ll never repeat saying the same words over again. Got it?”

“Uh, yeah… say it.” Yuzan replied with wonder.

“This is about the Arcanum of time." She brought out the necklace that was hidden behind her uniform. She detached the small black pendant, held it in her clasped hands, and said, "Extend."

The moment she uttered the word, the small pendant magically transformed into a long black staff that was about the same as her height. Yuzan was filled with shock and wonder as he watched in amazement.

"I said I was the holder of it, right? This staff is called the Arcanum of time. I can control the time with it. I know most of the things that you don’t know for I am also the host of this game. And I have this bad feeling that I’ll be proving this to you real soon."


© Copyright 2019 Stephanie Kaplan. All rights reserved.

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