Chapter 17 (XVII) of Parallels (Some Story of Some life)

Chapter XVII

Fugitive of the Forbidden City

 

Chill was biting into the bones as Erick was standing waiting for a helper that’s meant to appear next to flower shop. The takeaway coffee was still hot, having steam rising from the cup.

It was summer, by all that’s meant to be, but here, in this technology advanced city, the top people were ones to change the climate within the city however they wished, so today it was winter, with frost on the windows, with snow on the streets, people passing by all wrapped up.

Looking at the people and cyborgs, the difference and collision of old and new, the way it made your eyes feel strange and perception to jump up and down, above and below, making it strangely fuzzy inside, Erick smiled at what he saw. He remembered that long ago he was here for a long time; he lived here, in this world, travelled lands, met people, had family… But then he was yanked back into the reality. Leaving the life he had started up here. Sadly enough, he found that his wife had found another to live with and has kids now, but no matter how much he’d pester himself of what’s done, nothing could be turned back. Here time differs.

Right about three quarters of coffee later, man shows up, looking like sort of monk from the regions towards north, with white robe, hood over his head, fur shoes laced up. Monk bowed as he met eyes of Erick, then with slight gesture he let Erick know to follow.

Few streets they passed with quite a distance between them, then as they went further from the main roads, to old part of town, known for the Great Chapel of Gregor, built by the Wise Sage Gregor centuries ago.
Magically, as they waked they reached point of town, where the weather changing device was defect, therefore having a strange scenery of summer garden with blooming flowers and great stone paths, wooden benches, all this sunny beauty right after the winter snowing wall they were in. Erick turned around to look back as he crossed the snowing town border, leaving snowed streets and houses with bushes and trees covered in in snow blanket, with snow petals still falling down upon that world.

Quite a delightful sight.

Hooded man takes a little stop and looks back at Erick, then loud enough for other to hear coughs, to get the attention as there is no time unfortunately for admiration of beauty; they need to keep on moving. Erick picks up on the pace of the walking again and continues on following the monk-like man.

To Ericks surprise they eventually reach the Great Chapel of Gregor, and right as they go behind it to the shed of prayers, Erick notices that in this small place, of just four square metres, monk man opens the hatch next to the statue, that leads underground and shows with gesture for Erick to get in. With nothing left – Erick climbs down the stairs to underground, monk-man follows behind, as he closes hatch and takes lighter from his waist belt, to light up the torch that stood waiting on the left side on this passage.

With some light on, alas, the two continue on with walking further into the depths of this underground tunnel. Erick due to his laziness most likely is still unsure of weather should he try and talk to man, or should they better be on the same note of silence to not break a nice dosage of the sound effects created by footsteps and dripping water somewhere. The sounds of water drops hitting rocks were making quite a ruckus to the ears, as they already got used to silence, but then it was quite nice to eventually see something living?

To the great surprise Erick for the first time in his life saw the elemental spirits swarming the passage, the small creatures having their play time there, walking through the passage across from the two man, then some were just sitting there on rocks enjoying their time, some started to walk along with them, some were just stepping aside, as there were quite a lot of them, to make way for the two men.

These elemental spirits were usually sighted in the place surrounding mountain Sekka, as these creatures were utterly rare and would keep on existing in only peaceful and mostly untouched lands.

Soon Erick saw the light at the end of the tunnel; the exit was right out to river Emmea, with mountain Sekka on the horizon.

Monk showed that from this side of mountain there is path down to the small bay where ship awaited. Then Erick was told to go to the ship, as he was awaited there, and the man had to go to not get in too much trouble, as they might have been followed. With short goodbyes monk waved he left.

Erick just walked down the steep mountain path down towards exquisitely posh ship, although it was small in size, comparing to usual ships he tended to see, this was still one of the finest eye candies he ever witnessed.

The closer Erick got the better he could see the details of the ships decorations and woodwork. He boarded ship swiftly, and as he was being lead to his room on the deck, the ship took off to sail towards Krea.

There were man and a woman that were meant to be there with him, to answer questions if any, but Erick felt kind of comfortable with such situation. It was not his first time being led blindly somewhere, his dear friends do that at times, in a way it is a surprise, but it’s always up to the person who leads to decide if it’s a good kind of surprise or bad.

Ship travelled quite a bit, leaving sceneries of the mountains on the sides continuously stretching, some fields of workers continuing on their agriculture, some sheep and cows eating up grass as they enjoy sunshine, massive endless flower beds, forests. Eventually Erick had a great chance of witnessing water nymph, passing by, laughing as she makes waves flash asides.

Few hours passed and they reached their point – village Nia. Monk took Erick to meet another person, now this man seemed quite odd, as he wore some sort of crown, but it was from green metals, looking like branches entwined.

– My pleasure meeting you, Erick. Niko spoke of you highly. – said crowned man.

– Indeed. I didn’t catch your name?

– Apologies, my name is Verin, I am the Oracle of the Emperor Elleney Drieth. But right now that might not say much to you. So why don’t we continue our chat on the way? – Verin showed Erick to the carriage with two horses.

Having boarded carriage Verin went on with what he has to say, to brighten out situation to Erick.

–  You might just know what you’ve been seen in your world, here it is a bit different. Emperor and King, the rulers of the two sides of the Mountain of Three Saint Sages, had planned out to overtake the free lands to the Mountain Sekka, all the way to the Land of Spirits and river Lea and Nila. Each of the rulers have their own view to what they want from this venture. For as far as my birds fly and sing, I know that Emperor seeks the chalice from Goddess of Rivers, as he refuses to believe that she ceased to exist, the thought of him owning and ruling over all the sea and rivers got his head spinning. He also seeks new knowledge from the spirits that live around town Sier. Knowledge to become the wisest also tingles his greed. For what I know of King, he has the immense urge to get the Land of Spirits under his thumb, as his ancestors had once lost to those lands. His ears got to hear legend of divine weapons, which fought beasts and creatures of Land of Spirits once, making them the small land they are now, but once they had owned the whole world. These weapons are told to be in the Castle Mavur, in the city with same name, the weapons are said to be blessed by Goddess of Rivers, Spirit of Mother Tree, Queen of Madelaines Blood Land, Rogue spirit of Roseam and the Lover Servant of King’s Rose. Some of these blessings came from beings that no longer exist, they now live on as the legends of our lands. What King needs Emperors forces for is the whole idea to get help to penetrate Castle Mavur, to get through all the mazes and guards, other than that there’s not much to it. They plan on with what they plan, just because they see each other as disposable tools that help lead to their goal. Thus unfortunately, there is the invisible hand of someone pushing both rulers, but we don’t know what that otherworld party wants from all this. I assume that you do.

Erick listened closely to the story of Oracle, tying up thoughts and putting in the pieces he missed before. Now he was sure of what wrongs were on in this and other land. Despicable moves they were, to be blunt, but oh the “profits” to someone from the other side, from such endeavour.

Outside carriage were seen great trees of forest, the old forest of Krea. Place that had the ancient spirits still passing by sometimes, ones that can tell you stories of historical events that happened here, or some things that passed through, but they do take the ultimate payment of some rare emotions, as they have none left. That quite right reminds someone.

– Thank you for your intel, I’ll make sure to use this information for good. Anything else we need to share? – Erick looked at his companion.

Verin took out a beads bracelet, one that monks make for oracles wellbeing across all lands, and handed it to Erick.

– This might come of help, as you come to agreements with Spirits. I’ll keep providing help, for as far as fugitive of the Forbidden City can go.

Erick took the bracelet and putted it on right there and then.

Rest of the trip was subtle; Erick sat in carriage, observing the changing scenery of fields, forests, swamps and towns passing by. Few times his attention was drawn to an old man on his small horse, getting his vegetables driven home, or for sale, then the two huntsmen with new type laser weaponry and protective body suits that were standing by next to their car. Some sweet looking elves and dwarfs too, drew attention. Most likely they were tourists or explorers around this area.

Right when the sky was turning orange, and sun was setting down, the carriage approached the old town, which mainly had its houses out of stone, marble and concrete, yet all were looking ancient, the town with lampposts barely giving light, with only few people passing by, and pubs buzzing with life, the town that once was bit too familiar – Krea.

“It changed a lot, since… I last was here.”- Erick thought to himself.

 

***

 

Orin stared at David with the utmost puzzlement, this was just so far away from norm of what people had said or asked or even knew. The complete nonsense this man spouted was just too far off.

David exhaled; he had no time to sort out sissy ladies within his enough as is short time to get things sorted.

– Listen, you can wonder later. Right now I need to know what happened to Elyon, when you last saw her, what you spoke of, everything. We don’t have time.

Orin just stared blankly at David, she froze as things did not click, but how Elyon left was surely not normal.

– Hey! Speak! – David snapped, raising his voice to snap out daydreaming girl.

– Ah! Yeah, um, she was taken by some man. He came in asking of sudden assistance with his work or something, he requested Elyon specifically. Bosses were quite surprised that someone even knew her. After that there was nothing else going on. She just left with that man.

– Shit. – David clicked his tongue, – Alright, then I’ll have to take you along, you can’t stay here anymore. You’ll go now fetch your things, keep it short, don’t talk to anyone or tell anything, or within next few days you’ll end up dead, and it won’t be my work, got it?

Orin nodded.

– Now go get your stuff, I’ll wait here. You need to hurry! Shoo!

Orin got up, as fast as she could, dashed out for her belongings. “Good that she complies.” – thought David to himself.

Phone rang, David picked up, short few words “He’s already looking into it.” And call ended. David knew what this was about, so no words from his side were needed.

Just after a minute Orin was back with her purse ready for anything, of fear or curiosity that was another question. Both left the building sharply, getting into Davids car and riding off to nearest motorway.

 

Door closed behind, Orin was timidly walking through the corridor of Davids apartment as he locked the doors behind.

– So, you live here… – Orin tried her best with being calm and getting to understand situation.

– Give me your phone, – requested man, – oh come on! – He exhaled as Orin stuttered with her movements. David putted phone into some box and only then breathed out in peace, as he went off to make some drinks.

– What you prefer – tea or coffee?

– Would it be possible to have hot chocolate? – Orin was shaky.

– Sure! – David said already in way nicer tone of voice, gesturing her to seat at the bar stand as he prepared coffee and hot chocolate.

– Sorry to be rough, but I did not knew if your phone was safe or no. They might have bugged it. You see, you are now really in tough spot. Close enough to be in Elyons shoes, to be precise. And all just because of one night stand, khem, involvement, – David made a pause to filter out next part, – because you were in the wrong place during wrong time. You see, there are things that are uncommon in this society, that are quite close to be mythical, but they are way too real.

David looked at his newfound friend, and all her face was expressing were puzzlement.

– Ok, let me start off at the very beginning. You got to know Elyon, you invited her, you spent some nice lady time together, then closer time spending lead to meeting this person Niko. And that in itself was there you stepped into the “wrong moment”, which was not very predictable in itself. Well, now you are a target to a very mythical organisation, and for your own good it is rather fortunate that I got to know about you far more quicker than they did, but eventually they’ll ’now too, so to keep you safe you’ll stay here. Um, what else… Oh! I’ll get you the basic needed things, my lady friend helps me out on it, so, you’ll be good. And here is your hot chocolate. – David hands out the mug to Orin.

From all this yapping Orin got more confused, but she did get what happened, yet still hard to comprehend.

 

***

 

Merin was furious from the load of the paperwork that Adrian left her with. “Bloody asshole!” – she thought to herself while filling in many forms and sending messages to board members, getting all the buzz down from the topic of new patient arrival.

“Another girl now, what a rare sight honestly, and data on her relativity capacity is odd but fitting.” – She looked at the office desk of hers bundled up with projectiles, files and papers. “Yet it’s good that they have another lab rat.”

Merin smiled at that thought as she deeply despised any girl entering the range of her husband Adrian, even if it was pure work, she saw no line between friend and enemy from the woman side. All were predators with thought to much away her man. Well, at least that is what she believed in.

Outside was blood red sky, as sun was setting down, but the work still needed its attention.

Adrian on his part was in the half dark container room of one scientist, that helped leading work and producing fruits of labour from the hard work they did.

– You managed to get him in, but is he doing what he was told? Are his whereabouts known to you? – Adrian paced inside the room.

– I did try to calculate his whereabouts, but in one town he ditched the hunters. I now don’t know where he is, but you know how he gets when he goes there. He’ll go on with his mission, and thus far he is not aware that there is anyone else within that realm.

– Kriss, you better be sure he does not twist the plans I built for months. Or I’ll be one to administer your memory “purification”. – Adrians fury was ice cold, but enough understandable for what was going on. He hated badly how Erick would flee off to where he wanted every time he got there. But eventually he did what he was asked to.

Unfortunately not enough time to play games for too long. Progress was just behind corner.

 

***

 

Singing of birds and some strange but flawless voices woke Elyon up. She opened her eyes, wiped he face and froze in fear – in front and around were huge trees, making her feel like an insect in the forest, leaves massive, sun shining through trunks, strangest looking birds with unknown to ear before singing and the most blood cooling sight – see through woman, with their hazy bodies, as if spirits, singing.

“I must have died!” – Hurriedly Elyon mumbled.

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