Standing right next to the pond, in the garden of “Mångata”. The figure in the cloak, stood watching the fish swim in the water.
The light footsteps approached.
“What a surprise, having you over.” – A man, well off in his 50’s with a fine smile looked at the person in cloak.
“You’ve left me no choice.” – Grumbling voice, with ink of hatred retorted from a cloaked figure.
“Ahaha! You sure have a way of mistaking things in life.” – A man took a deep breath, then let it out. – “In this place, all that’s there to be is magic one can gasp from the inner self. Learn and reflect. You were the one to either give or take the choice. None of us here meddled with such matters.”

Cloaked figure turned to face the man, the hands in leather gloves removed the hood from the head, revealing a young man in his 20’s, but face was scarred. His dark hazel hair a mess, and the eyes that reminded of forest were filled with hate.

“You made me like this.” – Young man hissed. – “You all!” – He gestured around with hands, – “You ALL were taking part in making me like this!”
“Mmm, you give us too much credit for things we never took part in.” – Old man scratched his beard, then brushed it down. – “You seem to be in need of Oracle. There’s no way I, nor other Keepers can make do with your temper. That tantrum reminds me of my son, when he was still young and walking under the table.”

The eagle flew down, landing next to old man.
“Godfrey, would you be so kind to ask our Oracle to come here? Much appreciated.” – Man bowed to eagle. Latter turned round, made few steps away and flew off.
“Old man, you’re beyond salvation. Speaking to birds now in such a tone?” – Youngster laughed.
“Manners are a way of not falling into that, which feeds on the low and dark.” – Old man looked up.

The sky was dark, stars filling the premises and moon shone on the land so brightly, it made whole garden look magical. The plants were glistening with shine, as the purple, white and blue flowers were all around in here.

Young one paced towards the bridge, just twenty steps away. Bridge was the one to cross the pond, but there were maze-like parts to this bridge, as pond, even though it seemed small, was enchanted by Oracle, and in actuality was a lengthy lake. These bridges were created long ago by the Second Oracle, to help those seeking their path. Each entrance and exit of bridge were all leading to this garden, but there was a large hexagonal deck in the middle of the lake, to help, being the centre and the main point of self.

On that deck was a maiden, a spirit of the lake. Beauty with dark hair and dark eyes, with gown stretching down to heels. She would help those who sought the path to self. As once she was the one to seek for own path.

Old man had stopped youngster right before latter stepped on the bridge.
“Hey! You better not step there, unless you’re ready to face all what you’re running away from. At least wait for the Oracle.” – Old man waved for youngster to step back.
“You won’t make my choices for me, you mad man!” – Responded youngster and stepped on the bridge. Two steps in, with both feet walking the light bridge, youngster turned around to make another remark towards old man, but found himself in the maze of bridge paths, water and paths stretching as far as he could see around.

“What the?” – Youngster was held up. – “What is this?”
There was no answer back. Silence and soft waves of lake were the only thing surrounding him. Moon shone down on the place. Magical and endearing.

Youngster wandered on and on, this maze would walk him in all directions, but there was no exit, no end and no land in sight.

“The hell is this magic?!” – He burst out, being annoyed by the situation. – “At least help me find way, dammit!”
He stood, in his anger, lost.

A firefly few towards him, circling him few times, then slowly leading through the bridge path.
“You want me to follow you, that right?” – Youngster said, as he followed the bug either way. Besides that – there was nothing else for him to do.

It took a while, turn after turn, steps after steps, eventually he saw a deck with a paper made roof, there was a table in the middle. He ran towards it. Once reaching the deck, he was happy to see the jug of water and a cup on it. he poured himself a cup and drank the water eagerly.

“That tired, huh?” – A lady with dark hair appeared at the edge of the deck.
Young man turned around hastily.
“Who are you?” – He spoke hurriedly.
“My name is Xian Li. I’m the keeper of this place, as I am the guide.” – She crossed hands, observing the man. – “And you?”
“I’m Cadeus.” – He replied.

“Ah, a troublemaker.” – Xian Li lets out.
“Wha-what? Why’re you saying that?” – Cadeus raises his brow.
“You mean to say you have no clue how got here and why can’t find way out. Is that it?” – Xian Li calmly looked at the man.
“I came to find Oracle. There’s the Order of Keepers that are owning me for what they’ve done to me!” – Cadeus was rambling.
“That thing with your looks… Let’s start there.” – Xian Li walks towards Cadeus, then as she approaches closer, he shuffles back away from her, eventually standing on the edge of the deck.
“Goodie.” – Says Xian Li and pushes Cadeus to fall into lake.
He falls, gasping and flailing.
“I can’t! I can’t!” -He cries out.
“Oooh, you mean to say you can’t swim?!” – Xian Li was honestly surprised. – “Oh that’s a first.”
She watches him in the water, struggling. The moment he stops, as he begins to sink down, she waves her hand, with water of lake pulling Cadeus out of the water and onto the deck.
The scars, the bruises and marks – disappearing from his body, like a magical dust blown away.

“Well, that’s done. Shall have to wait for him to wake up, to get on with the rest.” – Xian Li let out, as she took a seat at the table.
Fruits, drinks and flowers appeared on the table, so she got comfortable with her eating. Cadeus layed there asleep for good few hours. Meanwhile Xian Li already had a book in hands, reading up the story she left off on, when this troublemaker stepped on the bridge.
Cadeus began turning and coughed a few times, then his hand was to his side, as he helped self get up.
“Ah, welcome back, troublemaker Cadeus.” – Xian Li smiled mischievously at him.

to be continued…