A Parallel Dream

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Status: In Progress  |  Genre: Fantasy  |  House: Booksie Classic

Chapter 4 (v.1) - A Decisive Plan

Submitted: August 22, 2019

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Submitted: August 22, 2019

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Chapter 4: A Decisive Plan

I opened my eyes in a daze. They were met by a crystal blue pair of eyes staring at me intently. The Empress, upon noticing me recognize her, quickly moved away from the table while blushing slightly. Felicia came up to my side.

“How are you feeling? I’ve conducted some transmaculation, but it will take time for your leg to fully heal.”

“Wait, fully heal? You mean my leg will come back?”

“Well, yes, so long as we conduct the transmaculation required for it to grow daily. Further, it will only work if you have the correct blood type for it.”

I didn’t understand a word of what she was talking about, but the hopes of getting my leg to heal seemed nice.

“What about the two of you? Are you both alright? What the hell just happened? Empress?”

“Just call me Grace… I doubt I’m the Empress of anything now.” The Empress’s head was looking down and away. It seemed like she was having a tough time with everything that had just transpired.

“Emp… Grace, are you doing alright? Were you expecting that attack?”

“I’m fine. I’ve become accustomed to the worst things happening. Just like when I was a child.”

Grace’s voice began to quiver. She quickly noticed her weakness and corrected her posture.

“Anyway, yes, the attack was expected and that was why I told Felicia to go through with the ceremony to bring a Divine One here. Even if people disagreed with my decision…”

“But why would they disagree?”

“Our relationship with summoned Divine Ones has been… strained to say the least. Only one Divine One has been controlled in our history.”

“So, since I’m not one of these ‘Divine’ did something go wrong in the summoning?”

“My best guess is that I performed some part of the ritual incorrectly. I didn’t even think the ritual would be successful because, at first, we could only bring forth a hand. I had to use my own physical force to bring you through entirely.”

Felicia’s usual calm and collected demeanor turned slightly sour as she scolded herself. Her description of the summoning does explain a great deal. It must have been her pulling me through the sphere.

“Will I ever be able to go back to my home?”

“We truly don’t know. As I mentioned before, this is new for us as well. A Divine One summoning hasn’t occurred in millennia, and this ritual was put together with the leftover notes we could find after they destroyed them.”

What if I was stuck here? How would my sister feel when tomorrow came, and I was not there to pick her up? I couldn’t just leave her there by herself. I pondered my situation. I had to find some way to get back home. If they brought me here, surely there is another ritual that would send me back to where I came from.

“Well… now what to do we do? What were those explosions from before?”

“Those explosions were the reason we brought you here!” Grace dashed towards me in a rage.

“You were supposed to save those people… my people…” Tears welled up in Grace’s eyes and followed the curvature of her cheek before falling from her chin.

“I-I’m s-sorry… I don’t know what else to say.” I was unsure how she could blame me for the destruction that had just taken place. Felicia pulled me to a corner of the room away from Grace.

“It’s not your fault Eli. She is just going through a lot right now. When her parents passed away, she promised them that she would protect the people of the Empire just as they had protected her. She wanted to continue their legacy. I think, in her heart, she knows it’s not your fault. However, the summoning was the best shot we had at ending the bloodshed…” Felicia trailed off. I could tell the situation was affecting her as well.

“Is the Empire at war with another kingdom or something?”

“In a way, yes, those beasts were sent by the Arthenian Kingdom. However, we had previously had friendly relations with the Kingdom. The attack seemingly came out of nowhere. The Empress was even in discussions with the leader of the Kingdom to marry one of his son’s as a prince consort. We only hoped a Divine One could halt the attacks long enough to meet with the King of Arthenian and determine what had happened.”

“Well then, what’s next?”

“In reality, there isn’t really a ‘next.’ You were our last hope. An ancient ritual to bring about a Divine One with unending power.”

“Well I’m sorry I’m a disappointment, but I already feel terrible already… take it easy.”

Felicia grinned. “Don’t take it so personally, I’m just stating the facts of our current situation.”

“Felicia, we should probably begin to head out soon. The secrecy of this room won’t last for long.” Grace approached us, black circles encompassing a portion below her eyes.

“Absolutely Empress. I made your room with an escape tunnel to the Johaven Forest on the outskirts of the city. The forest should serve as a good starting point on deciding what to do next.”

“Not to be the bearer of bad news, but how am I going to be able to keep up with you two? I only have one leg now, so I won’t exactly be doing sprints anytime soon.”

“Hmm…” Felicia looked around the room. She approached the large table near the center of the room and broke one of the legs from it. She than unhooked the cylindrical object she had been using for her incredible magical feats from her belt and held it over the table leg. “Morph Intellectus.” The table leg began to extend and gradually formed a U near the upper portion. It appeared that she had made a knock-off crutch for me to use.

“This should be satisfactory for the time being. If you need me to make some adjustments, just let me know.” Felicia handed the crutch to me. For a quick build job, the crutch was surprisingly sturdy.

“Shall we begin?” We moved to a wall on the left side of the room and Felicia began tapping the wall in select locations. With a loud thud, the wall began to move. In its absence, a large corridor led from the room. The three of us began the long walk to the forest.

The corridor seemed to be quite well-built. Every fifty meters or so, a large support structure would ensure that the tunnel would remain viable for many generations. The walls held large torches that were lit with a magnificent green flame. While the tunnel did appear to be sound in its construction, it was clear that it had never been used or was used infrequently. Cobwebs and debris littered the tunnel.

“We are here. Step back.” Grace and I moved away from the end of the corridor as Felicia began tapping the wall in the same manner she had previously. The wall began to move, revealing a large forest.

“So this is the Johaven Forest?” I was curious as to why Felicia decided to create a corridor leading to the middle of nowhere.

“Yes. This forest is known for its density and complexity. We should all be safe within its boundary. It will make it hard for them to find us. It’s perfect for our current situation.”

The forest did seem rather complex. The trees were oddly shaped with branches extending from the base of the trunk creating a dense ground coating. The canopy of the trees was littered with what looked like floating jellyfish that seemed to rotate quietly in the middle of the air.

“What are those things?”

“Ah… those are mushstingers. They excrete a toxin from their tentacles when moved from their current positions. They’ve been used in the past to create ‘poison rain’ that paralyzes foes beneath them. They are quite interesting little guys.”

Well that’s… weird. I’ve never heard of such a thing. It did make me thankful to be on the ground and not near them though. I was a tad worried that something would disturb them and cause a downpour of toxins. That would not be a fun time for our group.

We continued through the tree brush until we noticed a clearing up ahead.

“That looks like a good place to set up camp. Let me check a couple things first.” Felicia seemed to intently examine the plot of land and looked at the area immediately surrounding the area.

“Alright. I think it looks fine. Let’s continue.” After reassurance from Felicia, I began walking forward when… *SNAP*. Something broke under me and I felt a rope tighten around my only ankle. Within a few seconds, I was dangling upside down on one of the higher branches.

“Ahh! What the hell! Get me down from here!” I screamed at Grace and Felicia, but they didn’t move, something more important had caught their attention.

“I wouldn’t move if I was you.” I heard a giggle from behind me.


© Copyright 2019 Jonathan Nelson. All rights reserved.

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