Episode One of the First Season
Traveling south and north, I am an elf seen by nobody but see everybody. Every morning I wake up with the sun and every night I fall asleep with the moon. During my wandering, I’ve witnessed happiness and misery; I’ve known of exclamation and desperation. I don’t drink very much and sometimes I write a little——of course in an elf language which I don’t think there exist in this land many sorcerers who can understand on the condition that they can see them. One day——I can’t remember which that day was since, you know, old memory always fades——anyway, I woke up with my whole body basking in the golden sunshine when a black star suddenly grinned to me, “Good morning to you, my little Prince Elf.” Stars are always very old, odd, and mysterious, so I didn’t have much anger towards its calling this old lonely me little prince elf, but I was shocked because my piercing purest blue eyes never had trace of such a weird black star.
“Where on earth have you popped out?”
“How dare you, little elf, address me in such a way without any manner of which a king should be respected.”
I couldn’t help bursting into laughter: since when there emerged a king star? Through all the legendary I’ve known that stars never bow to other stars because they themselves are almighty and with that power, they either run into each other——one gobbling the other or two melting into nothing or stay parallel with each other——not even casting a glance when they pass by.
“You? A king? King of whom?”
“A king of everything”
I didn’t quite catch that explanation, for I’ve never found in the profound sea of knowledge that there exists a king of everything.
“You mean, like, I am also a subject of Your Majesty?”
“Do you exist or not?”
“Of course I exist——you are watching me right now, aren’t you?”
“Everything that exists only exists for a limited time, no matter how long or short that limited time should be.”
I felt anger smoldered in my heart, which was on the brink of turning into flame if the black star continued talking in such a nonsensical way.
“If what you said were true, you are also a king of limited time——not of everything, you know?”
“Be patient, my prince,” but his spiritless voice only made me more impatient (you must know elves are spirit of nature), “how long do you actually need to learn to calm down?”
“Long enough to witness you not a king of everything”
“Then you shall feel ashamed of what you said just now”
“Shall we put an end to this meaningless conversation that’s leading us nowhere and jump straight to the point?”
“You are probably right, little elf, time is limited, indeed very limited of you elf”
“So what’s the king’s business here?”
“Honor you with a holy errand”
“I’m afraid that depends——”
“Don’t interrupt me, little elf, now stand up straight and behave yourself”
His voice was so solemn that I followed his order involuntarily.
“I, the king of everything, now order you to write down what you have heard and what you have seen for the sake of the present and the future ignorant existents, and I shall make it clear to you that you have to bear this errand until you exist no more.”
“Yes, Your Majesty, I’d like to, but please allow me to ask why me?”
“My Prince Elf, as the spirit of nature, it’s your duty to cultivate every existent that nature has blessed with spirit.”
After enjoying my time to contemplate, I answered him with the same solemn voice, “it’s very reasonable of your words, then, I shall swear to you that I’ll do as what my king has ordered me to till the second I exist no more.”
“Elf always has a kind heart; you’ve proved it, Prince Elf.”
With these words, the black star camouflaged his existence with belief engraved on his heart that I would keep my promise.
This is how the story begins and I’ve told you old memory always fades so from now on I will tell you simultaneously what I see on my journey while you’re probably looking at something else.
Here at the present moment, I’ve traveled to a city near the sea. Standing in the crowds of people and the endless stream of automobiles with the howling wind swirling sandy dust into my eyes and mouth, I’ve found myself, for the first time, missing forests so much since the journey began. I can’t help asking myself, “Have I come to the right place?” Doubt, frustration, regret, and then rage can’t wait themselves to overwhelm me. Had I not understood it was nature that had called me here; I would have left this hell place without even a moment of hesitation. I know with instinct that the university is my final destination here.
When I finally arrive at the chosen university with great efforts to suppress my bad temper because of the traffic jam and the air pollution, I see a university neither beautiful nor ugly, but “Alas! A spiritless city with a spiritless university!”
So what’s the point of my existence here? The king’s errand to me is to cultivate every existent which nature has blessed with spirit, but here I can only see existents drained of animation or animate existents live under the guidance of a mechanical or habitual mind.
“Dig deeper and rip off the mask, you shall see the spirit” ——the king must have thundered his bell somewhere. Just at that moment, disguised in the darkness of the night, two lovers are quarreling with their voices swamped by the hubbub of a prosperous industrial city. I nod to myself that as long as there exist tears, there exist spirits. Therefore, I decide to stay at the campus which, I assume from experienced-elf wisdom, has a much greater density of potential spirits than any other places in this city.
To cultivate an existent——more often than not, I mean human beings——it is they who are often found in want of spirits, I have to aim at a lonely person because lonely people get lonely for they can’t assimilate themselves into social life, which in this case might spare them from the outside contamination, which in turn provides a much larger chance to conjure up the perhaps not that dead or lost spirit. And as reluctant as I am, I have to admit it is destiny which has brought her to me; otherwise, I can’t see why she is just my target.
The first glimpse I cast of her is her first glimpse of this campus——an one hundred percent freshman as new as me to this strange city. She is too common a girl without any unforgettable features except that pair of eyes reminding you of a rebellious angel. Her name Alithena easily makes me associate it with Athena who is my beloved and respected goddess of beauty and wisdom. However, this girl doesn’t bear any resemblance to my goddess at all. For a moment, I even think her name Alithena with such an existent as its carrier is an insult to the noble and radiant Athena. But as her cultivator, I have no choice but to ignore her appearance and name. Later I sense that I have much more to endure——she, ignorant, weak, lack of perseverance, susceptible to the outside influence, and other disadvantages which my memory fails me to enumerate enough names to name. I don’t doubt my power in conjuring up her spirit but nor do I have much confidence.
For the following week, I accompany her everywhere. She is too sound asleep to perceive my existence even when I reveal myself deliberately though with appropriate control not to wake up others. “How long it shall take you to notice me, Alithena?” I can’t help sighing to her little ears but she only rolls her eyes unconsciously——another beautiful dream I guess.
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