Friday, 25 September 2009
01:00:53 AM (GMT)
WARNING. LONG CHAPTER. 4,000 words.
Ereya Chloris, a seventeen year old girl from Galia, a small town dreams of exploring
the realm she lives on, Teruma. But, because of her curiosity, she ends up getting
her wish the wrong way. Now, she's off to explore the whole of Lire. And to the
vanquished golden city of Iona.
That morning, I woke up with my whole body aching. Tree houses shouldn't be lived in,
I thought to myself before settling down and packing the things I forgot to put back
in my bag.
"Morning.." Bloom grumbled. She had slept at the highest and most uncomfortable
branch. Erm - I mean, room. Bloom had volunteered for the night-watch's job and
obviously regretted doing so. While Destiny slept soundly, Bloom and I looked to the
sun rising up. It was the dawn of the morning but I could see no birds, no mountains,
no animals in the distance.
The horizon was nothing but the unyielding dust that covered the Derians each day. I
felt a bit sorry for them. They were missing out on the fun of looking at nature. I
had noticed that nobody even visited the forest. Maybe they felt that any sliver of
nature is connected to Teruma, the plant or nature realm and they held a longing
grudge. But, the sun that shone through like an amber jewel that glowed through the
depression looked like a symbol of change. A dawn of the good things to come for the
land. And I felt responsible for the coming changes. I clenched my fist.
We had planned to sleep well in the safely guarded palace but instead we got this
shaky tree house because of my over-self confidence. I would apologize to the both of
them when Destiny wakes up. Then, a voice called out from below, echoing throughout
the nearly quiet forest.
"Ereya! You guys up there?" Vaguely familiar, I poked my head out the tiny window and
nearly bonked my head through it. Down below, I saw Pira with her bow aimed at us.
Her eyes narrowed as if a huntress aiming for the kill but I knew she was making a
friendly greeting. Her dark hair was tied in a neat pony-tail with a braided hairband
across. She looked like an archer ready to take on whatever may come to threaten her.
My eyes widened and slid down the rope ladder.
"Hey." I greeted her. "Nice morning." Although I didn't exactly meant what happened
last night, I meant the atmosphere of the forest. I felt whole again, as if a part of
my blood as a girl from Teruma has awakened. The only birds who chanted their
melodious songs were in this forest. The only green you would be able to see in Deria
Pira nodded, and asked us, "Is it alright if I come up? I brought some bread." Her
head turned upwards, where Bloom was looking down, grinning and waving excitingly.
"Be our guest." I smiled, wishing things would go right from this moment. Our group
was almost finished. There was only Sater left. Pira grinned and climbed up, slow,
cautious and careful steps each second.
I sighed. Has no one in Deria ever climbed up a tree house? I felt even more
sympathetic towards the desert people. Finally, after what took forever, Pira had
reached the ground level of the tree house and I climbed up, nimbly and almost
Bloom then questioned her, "Hi. You have..everything?" Looking at the pack, it seemed
like a lot. It was bulging and I felt that one step would make that pack pop with no
hesitation. It was gray but I saw something golden flash through it. Very noticeable,
and I wasn't just talking about the pack.
Pira blushed exceedingly and told her, "I know, I know. For an orphan, you'd think
I'd have less. But Stella always give me stuff every week. I keep them because, well,
she's my sister, ain't she?" She placed her bow lightly into one corner along with
her huge pack.
"Did I hear talking?" A yawning voice came up from the second level. Destiny went
down the rope ladder and raised her eyebrows. "Oh, hello Pira." She began to flatten
her hair which was just as puffed up like Pira's bag.
"Hey, Destiny. So - after eating, do we set out?" Pira asked me, as she sat down
criss-crossed, opening her bag with ease.
"Not exactly. We promised a friend we would find a woman here somewhere." I looked at
Bloom as I took out the Teruma drawing that Irene gave us to what seemed like
centuries ago. It was still neat and not crumpled. I had begged to take care of the
drawing, only because so that I could look at it each second and remind myself how
Teruma looked like.
Pira took out some loaves of bread and placed it down on a map that she carried with
her as Destiny popped a tiny piece in her mouth. "What woman? Maybe I know her. I
socialize a lot." Pira told us, chewing and sliding the map of breads toward Bloom
I took a big piece and pulled on it so that I could eat a tiny piece of it. "Hmm..I
don't really know. But, her name is Sonia. She used to be an artist." I chewed on it
and it seemed as if my stomach wasn't satisfied enough. So, I ate a bigger piece.
Bloom was munching the bread piece by piece as she took a look at the map.
"Sonia? Why would you be looking for Sonia? Nobody wants to have any connection with
her." Pira said, eyes widened.
"I'm sensing that we need an explanation." Bloom told her, her bread almost munched
"Sonia was a former wife of father's. You know, the queen's brother-in-law. Father
wasn't like his brother, who was the king. He didn't like princesses to be his wife.
He likes females who aren't sissies." Pira said, a finger up.
"I like your father's taste." I smiled, as I popped a tiny piece in my mouth again.
Bloom and Destiny laughed, nodding.
Pira smiled, "Thanks. Anyways, during an art exhibition, he met Sonia and fell in
love with her. But, that year, my grandfather announced that he was going to have an
arranged marriage. It was to Mother, who was a Winoran princess. When father told
Sonia so, she became depressed and left. She went to Teruma and loved it there. But,
when the rumors started, Sonia was sent back here by your people. Over here, though,
everybody recognized Sonia as a traitor. Either way, she had nowhere to go. If she
went outside, people would try to injure her. Some nasty group ganged up on her and
paralyzed her precious arms. I go there secretly once in a while to listen to her
life lessons, but not that much anymore."
I couldn't help but, of course, gape. Poor Sonia. Then, I remembered, this was all
because of the Nariads. Without them, no one would have gotten hurt. The Derians
would be friendly. Everything will be at peace. I sighed. We had an extremely tough
job to handle.
I sighed once more and stared out the window. "Why does it feel as if everything just
isn't right anymore?" I asked them. Here, inside the forest, everything was calm.
Nothing could possibly ruin the moment, the atmosphere of flying birds. Of free
But the people of every realm, it feels as if we're all being bounded by this war.
The war that the Nariads caused. They were the roots to this violence. Uplifting and
obvious roots that nobody bothered taking out.
"It's not. That's why we have to do this. We have to act as one. Then, when time
comes, people will be able to fly free once more. No more of this war." Destiny
answered, her eyes closed as if wincing.
I smelled the deep but fresh air as I closed my eyes, similar to what Destiny did. It
smelled of a sanctuary, here right now inside this forest. Yet, outside this
sanctuary, war is raging all over Lire. Outside, fresh trees doesn't smell of natural
air but blood-shedding. Outside, animals can't be free and is trapped by the soldiers
that are severing each others' courage.
I opened my eyes and emptied my thoughts. We had to act.
That morning, Pira explained to us a secret route that she had found out by herself.
Looking at her like a stranger, you'd think of her as a sweet and friendly child but
if you saw her the way I did, she looked like a proud and strong warrior.
"We have to climb a wall. I saw some almost dead plants thrown out over there. Maybe
you guys could regrow it, turn it into a vine and climb up using it?" She tactically
"Not a bad idea." Bloom agreed and pointed to where Pira's finger was pointing. "But,
the soldiers wouldn't be too friendly with us after that mess in the palace." I could
tell that Bloom was trying extremely hard to not make me feel guilty. But, just doing
so, I felt even guiltier.
Pira nodded. "Precisely. That's why I brought these." She pulled up some
Derian-looking cloaks. She smirked and placed on next to each of us.
"Smart." Destiny told her and examined the cloak. I took mine and looked at it also.
It was like a normal cloak but with a phoenix trailing it's fire on each side. It was
grayish-brown but I was certain that these would pass for a Derian.
Pira then turned to me. "Sonia is very careful, but as long as you're with me, you'll
"Not to be racist, but Derians are really cruel." I commented soundly.
"Wow. You just noticed?" Pira jokingly answered, rolling her eyes while putting on
the cloak. I copied her movements and found the cloak extremely roomy.
Destiny was scratching her arm while putting on her cloak, taking her time. I sighed
impatiently. Bloom was putting the cloak on even more slowly than Destiny and I
sighed even louder.
"Hello? We have realms to save here. Move, will you?!" I exclaimed out loud in
disbelief. I wasn't famous for being patient back in Galia.
My two seniors looked at each and put on the cloaks quickly, making sour faces at me.
I could only hear Pira giggle as I fumed my way down the tree house, carrying my pack
on my shoulder.
The forest floor was green and mushy but felt like home. I was going to miss it but
we have to move on. Paradise doesn't last forever.
"Move, please." I heard Destiny's voice and felt a finger poke my back. I rolled my
eyes and stepped towards the exit of the forest. It was the first time I actually
paid attention to the details of the forest. It wasn't entirely healthy but it didn't
look autumnal. A silent solemnity surrounded the peaceful silence and only musical
voices of the animals were allowed to sing.
This forest was an heir to a purely genuine paradise. I smiled but my plans overtook
my brain and I hastened my pace. The trees seemed to be waving. The plants hollering
a symphony of good luck to me. Or was it just my imagination? Hallucination or not, I
smiled. And murmured a tiny blessing that I learned back in Galia before leaving my
It was time to enter the battlefield.
The dust felt like a united circle of an ant's army. It bit onto my legs and my arms
but all I could was scowl. I hated being defenseless and the others were looking at
me with wide eyes like I was a bomb set to explode. Literally, they were right.
"Try to at least control your temper, will you?" Bloom whispered to me, still making
sure I wasn't turning into a tomato of anger.
I glowered but said nothing. I figured Bloom took it as a yes, because yes was what I
meant to say. But Bloom isn't really typical. You saw her room, didn't you?
The heat was also in unity with the dust ants. It was as if they were bonding with
all those other hateful Derians who wanted to stab each part of us. I tried to shake
it out but it stayed there, like sticky mud that just wouldn't come off.
As I clawed my arms and legs that whole time, strangers were looking at me with
curious looks. Some even let out a silent laugh or chuckle. I ignored them, biting my
lips so that no words will slip out. Destiny and Bloom kept close to me, maybe to
calm me down before I kill a Derian.
Finally, after what took like centuries we reach the wall Pira was telling us about.
It was battered and seemed like it would collapse if you poke it. Is it just me or
the reinforcements here really old?
Pira stopped in her tracks, two feet away from it and pointed towards a tiny hole in
the wall. It depicted a dust-covered plant pot that had a worse condition than me.
The plant's short leaves were closing in on the pot lids, as if resting tired arms.
It looked pretty pitiful to me. I threw a glance at Pira. She threw a hopeful smile.
I looked at Bloom who took out the Nature spellbook. It was bounded by swirls of gold
and smooth leather. I moved closer to her. On the page of the book, it said Plant
Resurrection Spell written in fancy, scripted writing. The picture on the page showed
a woman enchanting words and a light flowed to the said plant.
"Ready?" Bloom asked, looking at me determinedly. I laid my eyes on my the page. It
was in the 700's. This was pretty advanced. For Bloom. And especially for me.
But if it was one thing I was good at, it was enchantment. And so I set my hand and
closed my eyes. I concentrated on the dying plant in front of me.
"Enchantis..Finero..Resucto!" All of my magic must have flown right to the plant,
because the little strength I had left. I doubled back, as a pang of pain punched me
and impacted my whole body. "Oh..Gosh.." I mumbled, kneeling on the ground, holding
onto my body had weakened greatly. That's what I get when I try completely advanced
spells. The pain lasted long, like it was holding onto my insides as hopelessly as I
tried to make it go away. Bloom though, was holding on. She didn't stop until she
could see the vine popping out and pasting itself on the wall.
I stared at Bloom who was wincing but didn't look as badly as I did. Heat flooded my
face, and I knew it wasn't the Derian desert sun. I looked up and soon enough the
plant was looking green and healthy. And - it was growing. Like a rope being pulled,
it grew into a vine, long enough to reach the end of our side of the wall. I touched
before anyone else and felt the firm and full-of-life vine that I knew would hold a
grown man. Let alone, teenagers.
It was the wall, I knew, the rest and I worried about it. It was just as badly
treated as the plant. Maybe worse. One prick probably would topple it over. That was
how weak it looked. And if it fell, the whole of the city would hear it collapse.
"So," I started, grinning though the pain was lashing at me, "Who wants to go
We decided that Pira should go first. She was the smallest and as far as I know, the
weightless. She grabbed the vine, concentration breaking through her usually cheerful
face. She took two steps parallel to the ground, stepping daintily on the wall as if
tiptoeing on it. I wanted to close my eyes, but if it breaks I wanted to be ready.
With a big deep breathe, Pira reached the top and jumped down. Peeking through the
hole, she gave us a grin and a thumbs up. I scooted back from the rope until Bloom
took it and shook her head at me, mouthing "Shame on you."
I rolled my eyes at her and made a shooing gesture. She closed her eyes and focused
on the vine. She placed her hands around it, and shakily placed a foot on the weak
wall. I cringed and looked back. Destiny was guarding the alleyway entrance. She was
the last to go because with her wind, she would be able to lift herself and fly.
However, I saw the dark rings around her eyes and thought that her safety was for the
I glanced at Bloom again, who was having an incredibly hard time getting towards it.
Little by little, shuffle by shuffle, she was making it though. It took only a few
minutes but it felt like an infinity until Bloom's long hair flew and I saw her
cerulean eyes smiling at me through the hole. Destiny turned around, as if expecting
something and smiled. I waved and grabbed the vine. If it didn't break just yet, it
could hold me still. I felt shaky, as if each breathe was being drawn from me every
time I let it flow out of my mouth. My feet was almost impossibly inches and inches
moving. I finally reach the near top, turned so that my feet was standing daintily on
the wall's surface.
Then, I jumped. It was easy. As if a million clouds was holding me and wings formed
behind my back as the air supported me. It was a feeling I never felt before. It
was..the feeling of being free. I smiled contently but found my feet back on the
rocky ground. My imaginative fantasy had disappeared as fast as it had come.
Finally, there was Destiny. I heard chant something. "Enchantis Winoria." I studied
languages back in the Academy, but I never actually got it. It didn't matter to me as
much as practicing elemental magic. However, I knew that Winora meant "The Angel's
Wings." Maybe that meant something about flying? I couldn't exactly understand.
But, it took me only a few seconds to be amazed as my sister, gracefully balanced
herself on air, her feet covered by a blue sparking aura. She left herself down a few
moments later, as I heard comments of "Woah.." from both Bloom and Pira. I could only
feel a surge of pride run through me. That was my sister! MY SISTER!
The excitement long and gone, we looked at Pira expectantly. "Over there." She
pointed. We couldn't see very much. Plants (healthy ones) were planted on pots, as if
was placed there by nature. We saw a glimpse of a small yet steady iron gate fastened
to brick walls showed and beyond the forbidding gate was the greenest house I've seen
in Deria so far. It made me feel nostalgic, even a little melancholy. It brought me
home; sweet memories of Teruma.
Pira led us, shoving gently the green leaves aside and rattled the gate. "Hello? It's
Pira!" she called out to the empty silence around her. I heard shuffling of movements
and so did Bloom and Destiny because they clenched their fists, ready to strike. The
person who came out took a shock out of us.
It was a kind-looking woman. "Pira? It has been a long time." The woman said,
unclasping the locked gate.
"It has, hasn't it, Yana?" Pira replied, brightly grinning.
"And..they are?" Yana gestured to us, her dark hair flipping with the wind. Pira
looked at us and said, "They are my friends. They are friends also with Irene. They
say they have a drawing from Irene..especially made for Sonia."
Yana gave us a bewildered stare but shook it out. For a moment, I felt suspicious of
this woman but it was warmly erased with her soft smile. "Of course, come in."
She opened the gate, and let us trail behind her. The silence overpowered us and it
felt right not to speak for once. The silence reminded me of the forests in Teruma.
They were quiet, yet powerful. And something spoke to me, telling me that at times,
the silent ones speak the loudest words.
Last edited: 1 October 2009