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Memory's Quest (rewrite of my last story)



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Lectori Salutem

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So, yeah, this is basically All The Wrong Reasons with some small changes and a new title. I hated the old title, so that's why! For those of you that read the old fic, I will continue with the voting system after I post the seven chapters that were already written. I will explain the voting again when it's needed. That's all, I guess, so have fun reading my story! Oh, and please comment!


1​
It’s hot, why is it so hot here? That was the first question that came to my mind. The second was why I was laying here. Third where here was. I decided to open my eyes, so I could answer at least one of my questions, when I heard small footsteps.

‘Excuse me, are you alive or not?’ A voice sounded. A faint smile formed on my face upon hearing the question and I slowly opened my eyes. The first thing I saw were a young boy’s brown eyes. His face was about all I could see too, for he was looking at mine from very close up. He had a very normal face, short black hair and a somewhat pale skin colour. When he saw the movements in my face, he stood up, giving me a chance to look at the surroundings. It was mostly, well, sand, as far as the eye reached.

‘Sis, come here!’ The boy’s voice sounded again and it wasn’t long before a respond came.

‘Can’t you just say it from there?’ This new voice belonged to the clearly irritated girl who came walking. She was not easily spotted, due to the sand coloured clothes both she and the boy wore. It were the sort of robes that were common under people who lived in the dessert. She wore it with the hood up and seemed to be wearing some kind of package too.

‘But there’s someone lying there, Sis!’

‘Haven’t I told you not to play with dead bodies before? It’s gross!’ Was she really calling me gross?

‘Sorry, but I don’t think I’m dead yet.’ My voice sounded terrible, I almost didn’t recognise it. It was almost a miracle she actually heard me. The girl turned to the boy.

‘You didn’t tell me it was still alive?’ Did that girl just refer to me as ‘it’? And even more important, did she just completely ignore me? I really wanted to make another nice reply, but my voice wouldn’t cooperate. Meanwhile the girl had grabbed the boys arm and started dragging him away. ‘You know that’s even more dangerous! Well, I guess it will die here anyway… Come on!’

That girl really started to get on my nerves. Lucky for her my arms felt heavy, my legs wouldn’t obey me and my mound was still too dry. The only thing I could do was giving an evil glare, but I decided that wouldn’t do very good for my case… After all, as the situation was now, I really needed help.

‘But Sis, we can’t just let her die! She not like those mean persons who-’ He the boy was cut of by the most evil glare I have ever seen. She could beat anything I could produce, no doubt about it! The boy looked about ready to cry because of it. I made a mental countdown: Three. Two. One. Waterfall starting! This obviously wasn’t what the girl had intended to do. If I could have moved, this was the moment where I would have sat down comfortably and let the situation solve itself for me. Unfortunately I could only watch while lying on the sand.

‘Come on, don’t cry!’ That wasn’t going to be enough, and the girl knew that. Just a little longer… A small grin had already formed upon my face, but I made sure it wasn’t recognisable as such. ‘Please don’t cry! You know I can’t stand that!’ The tears kept falling, and the girl was about to give in. ‘Alright, we’ll help it, if that makes you happy.’ After a few sniffs the boy nodded. Crisis stopped and I was saved.

The girl, though still unwillingly, walked to me and got out some sort of bottle with water in it. She opened it and poured some in my mouth. I said a soft a thank you to her, but somehow the grin that was still hidden slipped out and settled on my face. She didn’t like it, for some obvious reasons. The boy, on the other hand, seemed all cheered up!

‘You seem really well dressed for these parts, what were you planning to do here?’ Question four was formed, special thanks go to the girl sitting next to me, what was I doing here before I lost consciousness? Even if it would save my live, I wouldn’t know. My face must have shown that, for the girl didn’t ask again. Instead, she asked another question.

‘What’s your name?’ Why did I get this feeling of being interrogated? Anyways, she had a good point. Even with a question as simple as a name, my face stayed blank. Meanwhile, the girl’s eyebrows rose higher and higher. Then the tension was broken by the boy.

‘My name is Sato, and this is my big Sis, Angi.’ His big Sis didn’t seem to be very happy with the interruption of her interrogation, but Sato went even further. ‘I know, I know! Why don’t you come with us?’ Judging by the look on her face, Angi greatly disliked this idea. I decided to come along, if only to bother her.
 
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Nelo Angelo

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Great seeing this story again. I liked it ;-) cant wait for the later chaps, I can still remember what happens a little lol but you have made changes as you said.
Hey is mound supposed to be mouth? That did get me a little confused there. And I think you should say laying instead of lying because that means to tell a lie doesnt it. I think, lol.
 

Nelo Angelo

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No problem ;-) Lol is that why eh, thats alright. Look forward to the next chap.
 

Lectori Salutem

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Here's the second chapter!! I didn't change much here, actually...


2
‘Where are we going?’ I had been following Angi and Sato an hour. My sense of direction, which wasn’t too good to start with, was now totally confused by the repetitive landscape. I would have loved to strangle those endless sand dunes, but that would have been an odd sight, wouldn’t it?

‘We won’t wait for you, so don’t fall behind.’ Angi didn’t sound exactly nice, but her voice wasn’t as hostile as before. I hated being pitied; it’s bad for my self-esteem. My earlier question seemed to have been ignored, by the way.

‘Come on Sis, don’t be so mean.’ A little boy’s hand grabbed mine and pulled me a little further. Sato’s face seemed to almost always smile. His large brown eyes were sparkling, as he continued talking. ‘We won’t leave you, you are nice!’

‘Why thank you!’ I grinned and ruffled his hair. His smile became even wider. ‘So, maybe you can tell me where we are going?’

‘To the outpost, of course! Dad had some business for Sis there.’

‘We need some medicine we can’t make ourselves. If we’re lucky, we can trade some of our goods for it at the outpost.’ Angi said. For some reason, I couldn’t think that was it. First of all, wasn’t it odd that a girl like Angi was sent for a task that seemed so important? She couldn’t be much older than sixteen, around the same age as me. Maybe she noticed me observing her, because her pace sped up abruptly.

It was a few minutes after that, when I saw something green. It was a palm tree, a promise of water in this stupid dry land. As we walked closer, I could see some tents and one house. ‘Where did they get the stone for the house?’ I asked.

‘Did you really think the dessert was only sand? You are hopeless…’ Oh god, how I hated the high and mighty all knowing tone Angi’s voice had. ‘Only a relatively small part of the dessert consists of sand dunes, you know. There is also lots of stone. Usually it’s not fit to build a house with, but they either found some that is or they used a spell.’

‘Whatever Sis! Can we go to the house?’ Hah, I didn’t even have to drag all-knowing Angi down to earth, Sato did it for me! Meanwhile Sato tried to persuade his sister.

‘Well, I think it’s better if we go to the tents first. Dad told us to go to Kirp’s tent, remember?’ With that said, we walked at one of the tents. A man just came out. He looked around forty years old and he wore a similar garment as Angi and Sato.

‘Excuse me,’ Angi said, putting down her hood, revealing beautiful, long, black hair. ‘Do you know where Kirp’s tent is?’

‘Sorry young lady, but I don’t,’ he smiled, showing he missed a few teeth. ‘But I can do business with you perfectly!’ He seemed to whisper something as well.

‘No thank you… Sorry to have bothered you.’ Angi turned around abruptly started walking away very fast. Little Sato had to run to catch up with her. In the background the man could be heard shouting: ‘You can bother me anytime, honey!’ Angi’s face suddenly turned very red. I could barely hold my laughter. ‘What’s up with Sis?’ Sato asked, innocent as always. I burst out in laughter and Angi got even redder.

When Angi had regained her dignity a little bit and I had calmed down, we continued asking. A few minutes later we stood in front of a tent that was supposed to be Kirp’s tent.

‘Yes, anything I can help you with?’ A man’s voice sounded from inside the tent, which seemed more luxurious than the rest. Although his tone was normal and helpful, when I heard him I felt some sort of chill. I wasn’t sure it was because of him or because the sun was setting. ‘Anyways, come in if you please!’

Angi and Sato entered the tent and I followed them, slightly uneasy. Inside there were three men. They sat on some sort of cushions and they were drinking something, most likely alcohol by the smell of it. One of them, probably the one that said to come in, stood up to greet us. He was rather skinny, with the dark hair that seemed to be typical for the people here. He wore the familiar dessert outfit, though it seemed more expensive than the normal ones. The other two men seemed to be workmen, maybe miners in the mines Angi talked about. One of them was wearing a very beautiful medallion.

‘Are you Kirp?’ Angi asked.

‘You say it! So, what can I do for you?’ Angi didn’t answer, instead she looked at the two men sitting at the ground. Kirp seemed to have noticed this. ‘I hope you don’t mind my two companions? They work for me; I guarantee they can be trusted.’

Angi nodded. She got something out of her pocket, it seemed like a letter, and gave it to the man standing before her. He opened the letter and slowly read it. He probably liked what he read, because his face had a satisfied expression.

‘Yes, I’m most certainly willing to do business with you. We will discuss this tomorrow, this isn’t something one should talk about after have a drink, is it? The little boy seems very tired and I’m sure you haven’t dinner yet. Now I would love to offer you a place in my humble tent, but unfortunately it’s too small. Why don’t you sleep at the travellers post?’

‘Travellers post?’ Angi asked.

‘Yes, that new build house.’ Kirp said. ‘I will have one of my men accompany you there.’

‘Thank you.’ Angi made a little bow and left the tent. Sato quickly followed. One of the men, the one with the medallion, stood up. I left the tent as well, and the man followed.

‘That’s a beautiful medallion, where did you get it?’ I asked the man, while we were walking. Angi was helping Sato, who was so sleepy that he could barely stand.

‘Found it in the dessert.’ His answer was short, like he didn’t want to talk.

‘Can I see it?’ he gave me the medallion, probably more to get rid of me than to be nice. Then he picked up Sato and started carrying him to the house. I guess he really wanted to get back to his alcohol…

I looked at the medallion from all sides. It was silver with some sort of pattern etched on it. When I pulled a little, it opened. Inside there was a beautiful silver ring. A pattern was etched on the ring as well, but much more complex than the one on the medallion. Mesmerized by the pattern, I put the ring on my finger. I seemed to forget everything around me as I looked at the ring around my finger. Suddenly, it felt like a dream, or a memory…

A hand. A hand with a silver ring around the finger. And…
 
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Nelo Angelo

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Wow, that was a great chap, loved the ending. Cant wait to see what happens next ;-)
Great stuff Laura.
 

Lectori Salutem

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It seem I kind of forgot to update, again... SORRY!!!

3​
Memories or dreams. Visions or illusions. No matter what they were, I kept flashing through all these moments. They were very foggy, most short, like a painting, a few lasted longer. The only thing that was clear, the thing I kept seeing, was that silver ring. On female and male hands, on old and young hands. And on al hand that held mine tightly. My hand…? I wanted to look up, I tried to look up, but it was as if I wasn’t connected. All I could do was stare at the hand that was pulling me forth. I was frightened.

The one guiding me was hasty. Where I was taken was a mystery to me. Seconds or hours, in a dream it is all the same. Still my view was limited to that hand. It was a gentle hand, but also one that could work and fight. I heard footsteps of running people, and they were rapidly getting closer. A new wave of fear hit me, and I tried to run faster, to get closer to the one leading me. But in my haste the worst thing happened. I hadn’t noticed the change from nice roads to rough ground. I tripped.

The footsteps stopped as well, I was surrounded. I looked at the man with the silver ring around his finger. I couldn’t see him clearly, but he seemed so familiar, and I couldn’t tell why… He was older than me, but his exact age was hard to guess. His hair was a dark colour, black or brown. His clothes, although they were dirty, were of the luxurious kind. Very different from the kind worn in the dessert.

One of the men surrounding me stepped forward. He seemed to be the leader, given the respect the others gave him. He spoke with the man with the silver ring, who was standing a few meters away from the circle of men surrounding me. I couldn’t hear what was said, but suddenly the leader of the pursuers pulled his sword, and pointed it at me. I shivered. The other man pulled out a sword as well, in the blink of an eye. The men around me seemed surprised, some even frightened, but their leader seemed very content. His sword now pointed at the man before him. Then their swords clashed.

The fight was fierce, neither seemed to have an advantage. The men around me didn’t know if they should help their leader or not. So they kept watching, hand on their swords, just in case. It was a dance of striking and dodging. It was a game with as prize the others life. It was terrifying, yet at the same time a beautiful combination of moves. I didn’t want to watch, but I couldn’t help it.

Although both men were at equal level of skill, the leader of the pursuers was definitely more experienced. He predicted the other’s moves a lot better, and was able to counterattack those strikes. I closed my eyes, trying to deny what was happening.


‘Hey!’

That voice. It sounded so clear, so different. Whose was it?

‘Wake up, you!’

Wake up, wake up from what? I opened my eyes to see who interrupted the fight, but it had all disappeared. The mist was the only thing that was left.

‘What is wrong with her, Sis?

I knew those voices. That’s right, this wasn’t real. I had almost forgotten that. I tried to open my eyes, to wake up. Almost, almost…

‘Come on, wake up! This is getting scary!’

My eyes shot open. I was lying at the ground. Angi sat next to me, examining me closely. Sato stood next to her. The man who had to accompany us stood a few meters away. The medallion hung around his neck again, closed. I felt the ring was still around my finger, but I didn’t dare look at it. I didn’t want another dream or whatever it was. At least not now…

‘What happened?’ Angi said. To my surprise, she seemed a little concerned. To my even greater surprise, it pleased me to know she was concerned. ‘You just fell over suddenly!’

I glanced at the man who was still standing there. He seemed uninterested, but I could tell he was listening. I didn’t mind telling Angi, but that guy didn’t need to know. ‘I, I fainted. I guess I was more tired then I thought,’ I lied. Angi looked at me disbelieving.

‘You…’ I made a quick eye movement to the guy, who was now examining the medallion to see if I hadn’t scratched it or something. She understood, and although her eyebrows rose, she nodded.

‘Where almost at the travellers post,’ Angi said, while standing up. ‘You can walk, right?’ She held out her hand to help me get up. I thankfully accepted that.

‘Yeah, thanks.’ The man had finished his examination of the medallion and had walked on. I guess he didn’t find any scratches, or miss the ring. That meant I could keep it for a while. Sato interrupted my thought by grabbing my hand.

‘Are you alright now?’ If I didn’t already have a weak spot for this boy, I got it then. He looked up with his large brown eyes. He was obviously very tired, but he still wanted to make sure I was alright. He was the perfect little brother, and oh so cute!

‘I’m fine, it was nothing.’ He knew it wasn’t nothing, but he was satisfied with the answer. Children like to be comforted, after all. They have to right to do so; there is enough time for worrying later, when they’re grown up.

The travellers post got in sight. Sato ran back to his Sis. The man entered the building first, we followed. We came in some sort of hall. There was a fire burning and there were some comfortable sitting places. There were a few people sitting there. One of them stood up and went to talk with the man accompanying us. A few minutes later the man went back to the tent, to his drinks, and we were led upstairs. Angi and Sato got a room together, because Sato didn’t want to sleep in another room than his sister. I got one smaller room for myself.

My room was very primitive. Only a bed and one chair. I didn’t even bother undressing; I just lay down on the bed. Though I was afraid of what would happen, I wanted to take a look at the ring again. It was dark in the room, but the ring was still clearly visible. I looked at it, but nothing happened. Somehow, it disappointed me… I closed my eyes for what seemed like only a second, but what must have been a lot longer.

A sound! I was wide awake again!
 

jazznam

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Interesting few chapters so far. I'm looking for the next chapter to come.

If you need any ideas or tips, I know of some if you're building around a 'memory' theme.
 

Lectori Salutem

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Thank you!! Suggestions are always welcome, cause I have no idea were this story is going^^ Also, when we get to chapter 7 or 8 I'll introduce the voting again. Basically, I'll give multiple options about what will happen, and the readers can vote to decide which 'path' the story will take. The first chapters were written already, so that's why they don't have it...

And I'll update as soon as my most loyal reader finally comments^^ Which he will do when I stop forgetting to tell him I updated...
 

jazznam

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Hah, fair enough. Well you can PM about the ideas and where you think you might be or might not be heading with this story. It'd be a change from writing my novel, haha.
 

Nelo Angelo

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Sorry Im late! D:
That was a very interesting chapter, i loved the memory scene, some sweet action ;D lol. Nice work Laura, very well written, will be waiting for the next chap and remember to remind me! ^^
 

Lectori Salutem

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This time I reminded you before I posted the chapter^^ You can't complain this time! And I'll definitely PM when I need some ideas, jazznam! Well, enjoy!


4​
A scream. ‘Get away from me, you!’ A slap followed immediately. That was quite enough to spark my interest. I opened my door to see what was going on. The first thing I saw was a very heated Angi. The second a certain man with a now very red cheek. When I looked more closely, I could see the form of a hand on his cheek. Judging by the look on his face, he had a very different idea of being bothered… I couldn’t help but laugh!

The man, very surprised by the smack Angi supposedly gave him, went away silently. Angi turned around to face me, only to become even redder when she saw me laughing. And when I saw that, I laughed even harder. Other doors opened as well, as more people wanted to know what happened. Angi marched my room in, trying but failing to do as if nothing had happened. I was laughing so hard, she had to pull me in, because I couldn’t walk anymore.

‘What’s so funny?’ Angi sat on my bed, while I leaned at the wall. I tried to calm down a bit, but that question didn’t really help.

‘You obviously have no clue of how your face looks right now!’ That brought a little smile to Angi’s face as well.

‘Is it that bad?’

‘Hell yeah! So what was that guy doing here?’ This story should be very funny!

‘Well, after I had put Sato in bed, I wanted to talk to you,’ Angi started. What did she want to talk about, I wondered. ‘When I left our room, that creep was standing there. He said, well…’ Angi’s cheeks began to turn red again, and I grinned a bit. I had a fairly good guess about what the man had said after seeing that face. ‘Anyways, even when I told him clearly I wasn’t interested, he wouldn’t go away… When he tried to touch me, I kinda got angry…’

‘And he is probably still feeling that anger…’ I remarked.

‘He should, that perverse toothless creep!’ Angi said, getting angry again. But even she couldn’t keep her face straight when she saw the humour of the whole thing. ‘Do you think I overreacted a little?’

‘Not a little, a lot!’ I responded. ‘Anyways, you said you wanted to talk to me. What is it?’

‘You didn’t just faint.’ I could have guessed, what else would she have to talk about? ‘I think you were right not to trust that guy, so tell it now.’

‘Why should I tell you?’

‘Fair point, you don’t know me at all,’ Angi said, ‘but I am somewhat curious, and if I don’t ask, I’ll never know, right?’ For some reason, I felt like I could trust this girl, I wanted to trust her. This little voice in my head kept yelling that I didn’t know anything about her, though. That was true, the only thing I knew about her was her name. To trust or not, these two sides kept struggling with each other in my head. With Angi still staring at me, I decided to make a deal with myself. Tell a part of the truth, the perfect solution.

‘Well, when I looked at that medallion, it suddenly opened. There was a ring inside. When I put it on, it felt like everything around me faded away. I wasn’t sure if I could wake up, so I just waited. At first I knew it was a dream, but I gradually forgot, until I thought it was real. It was so very frightening. There were people who seemed familiar, and I think I was there too. The only reason I could wake up, was because I heard your and Sato’s voices.’

‘That’s how it is, huh?’ She said while still thinking. ‘I suppose that ring is back were it belongs now…?’ Angi asked. I nodded. After all, in my opinion, it belonged to me rather than to that guy. Besides, it was the only real link I had to my past as for now. How could I let it go?

‘Then that is that. What the hell do you think you are doing?’ while Angi said this she threw a dagger at the door. Where she got it from, don’t ask me. The door, which was apparently opened a little bit, closed with a bang due to the impact of the dagger. I heard a painful sound, as if someone’s nose got hit by that door. Angi got up from the bed she still sat on. She walked to the door, pulled her dagger out if it and threw it open to reveal who was behind it. All this happened in a very short time; it took me a few seconds to realize what had happened.

A man sat on the floor, holding his nose. It was the creep. His cheek was still red, I grinned, until I looked past him. He wasn’t alone. He had some very angry friends with him. Most of them had swords hanging at their waists. A few were planning on fighting with a sturdy wooden stick. Angi might have overreacted, but these guys were even worse…

‘You bitch!’ one of the men shouted, and he drew his sword. He charged at Angi, but she kicked his sword out of his hand. While he just looked at his hands with a blank stare, she thrusted her hand in his stomach. Knock out! To my surprise, I felt some kind of excitement. The other men looked at their comrade, seemingly needing some time to figure out what they should do. When they were ready, they charged at us from all sides. I must say, it was a good plan for these idiots. I had figured their intelligence at the level of a peanut, but they seemed a little above that…

Angi was good, she was even very good. But even someone as good as her couldn’t hold herself against so many alone. I had to help her. One guy approached her from the back. His mistake was that he forgot me.

I hit him in the neck. I wasn’t able to knock him out, but at least Angi was fine. ‘Thanks for that!’ Angi said, before giving him a nice finishing blow. Two men were out, but the rest were now all using there swords…

Four against two, not really a fair fight. Angi could hold herself against three with her daggers. The second one seemed to come out of nowhere. The question was, would I be able to beat one of those guys. I grabbed a wooden stick one of those guys dropped.

Blocking his strikes wasn’t that hard. His moves were completely obvious. A wooden stick, however, would not be able to win over this sword. It was only a matter of time before my improvised weapon would give in… If I could disarm him before that happened, I had a chance. The normal move for disarming, turning your own sword around the opponents sword in such a manner that the opponent has to let go of it, wouldn’t work. The stick would have been sliced in pieces.

My brain kept working at his hardest, while my body was fighting. Even though I didn’t remember any previous swordfights, my body seemed to have a better memory. The moves seemed to come natural, though they weren’t pretty at all. I kept concentrating, trying to find a way to win. Sword techniques, sword techniques. I tried to remember anything related to swords. Swords, swords, swords. Suddenly I felt something odd. The silver ring I was still wearing felt hot. The pattern seemed to give off a dull light. I couldn’t pay too much attention at it, I kept thinking of swords. The dull light turned into a flash that lasted for only a split second. Suddenly, I wasn’t holding a wooden stick, but a beautiful sword…

They man fighting me was just as surprised as I was. So surprised, that there was a huge opening in his defence. My new sword was surprisingly light. I slashed his shoulder and with the not sharp end of the sword hit his head, effectively knocking him out.

I turned around to see what Angi was doing. She was just knocking out the last one. I relaxed a bit. The silver sword in my hand was a wooden stick again.

I kneeled down at the guy I knocked out. An odd feeling struck me. Something wasn’t right with these men. ‘Hey, Angi! Is it just me, or is something wrong with these guys?’

Angi kneeled down at another one and closed her eyes, concentrating. She stayed that way for a minute or so, until her eyes suddenly shot open. ‘Damn it all, you’re right. Come on!’
 

Nelo Angelo

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Whoa now that was a brilliant chap ;D Angi kicked ass! lol. Loved how the wood turned into sword, wonder what the story behind to that is. Good ending too!
Great work as usual Laura ;-)
 

Lectori Salutem

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Merry Christmas!!! And as my little present... Enjoy!


5​
‘Care to explain what is wrong?’ I said, softly so that Sato, who was still rubbing the sleep out of his eyes, wouldn’t hear it. After we had beaten those men, Angi told me to me to wake up Sato and meet her outside with all my and her things. I had no idea where she went, but she seemed tense when she was finally back. Now we were walking again, and I had no clue where to. ‘Hey!’ I held her arm to make her face me. ‘Are you ignoring me again?’

‘Oh shut up! You noticed it, didn’t you? Is it really that hard to figure it out? And be quiet!’ Angi started with a whisper, but the volume of her voice rose while she was talking. In the end, she was almost shouting.

‘Tell yourself to be quiet first, you…’ I said under my breath. Angi looked at me really scary. A stare that would freeze you if you looked too long in her eyes. I stopped talking before I even noticed it… Scary. ‘So what was I supposed to notice?’

‘You really don’t know? Jeez, you really are hopeless!’ I decided not to react at that remark. ‘You were the one who had an ‘odd’ feeling! You mean you don’t even know what that feeling meant?’

‘I don’t have the slightest idea what it meant. I just had this feeling that something was unnatural…’ I answered honestly. Angi looked at me strangely.

‘You hit the mark dead on. Something was unnatural with those men. I don’t think they acted out of free will, someone made them do it.’ She looked at me again. ‘If you ever have that feeling again, tell me immediately.’

‘Whatever… So, who wanted to attack us anyway?’

‘I think they were after me, not us.’

‘That’s not what I asked, you know?’

‘It’s not important. We just have to get away from here as soon as we can.’

‘You don’t know, do you?’ I asked suspiciously. Angi’s pace sped up. ‘I knew it! You really have no idea!’

‘Shut up! We’re here.’ Great, we were standing in front of Kirp’s tent again. I didn’t like that guy. ‘What are we doing here?’ I whispered in Angi’s ear.

‘Negotiating.’ She took the hand of a still sleepy Sato and entered the tent. I shrugged and followed them. I was very relieved when I didn’t see the guy whom I stole my ring from. The dark haired merchant was still drinking.

‘So you want to do business with this poor old merchant while he’s drunk? That’s not very polite, you know?’ Although Kirp said he was drunk and acted like he was drunk, I didn’t believe him. Not that I trusted him to start with…

‘I remembered some urgent business elsewhere. You know what we want and what we have to offer, just say how much you want.’ Angi’s answer was short and formal, quite the opposite of Kirp.

‘You are ruining all the fun of the game, sweetheart.’ Angi’s expression didn’t tell what she was thinking. She must really need whatever she’s buying. ‘I heard you play this game very well, I was really looking forward to it… At least have a drink with me!’

‘Name your price please.’ Angi didn’t budge.

‘You are really cold. No fun at all!’ Kirp sighed. ‘And I was so looking forward to negotiate with you… The proposal named in the letter is fine…’

‘Good! Do you have it here?’

‘Yeah yeah. It’s in one of those bags.’ He pointed at a pile of bags similar to the one Angi had on her back. ‘I suppose you have your part of the deal here?’

‘Of course!’ Angi had put the bag on the floor and took something out of it. Meanwhile Kirp had walked to the pile and pulled one out of it. He sure didn’t walk like he was drunk. He, too, took something out of the bag. Two small bags quickly changed owners.

‘It was a pleasure doing business with you!’ Kirp said, looking very content.

‘I wish I could say the same,’ Angi said under her breath and quickly after that out loud. ‘Farewell!’

‘Hehe, I hope to see you again!’ And that was the last we heard of him. Hopefully forever.

‘So, I guess you’ll be going home then?’ Why was I feeling sad? It’s not like I knew Angi and Sato very well. I shouldn’t be feeling sad.

‘Yeah, it’s not safe to stay here.’ She started walking away from the water, to the direction we came from several hours before. I stayed where I was. Not even a farewell… Then a small hand grabbed mine, again.

‘Come on!’ Sato pulled me forth.

‘What are you waiting for?’ Angi said. She turned around to see where we stayed. I still had a surprised look on my face, probably an obvious one. ‘You didn’t think we would leave you here, did you? Who do you think I am?’

‘Thank you.’

Ten minutes later…

‘Don’t tell me this was the only reason you let me tag along?’ I was talking about the kid I carried on my back. Sato was so tired that he fell asleep the moment he could stop walking. And that moment would be when Angi told me to carry him.

‘What did you expect?’ Angi grinned. I gave her a faked angry glare. She just looked away. After a few minutes she talked again. ‘You know I’m joking, right?’

‘Yeah.’

It was kind of strange. When I didn’t know anything about who I was or where I was from, I didn’t worry about it. I guess because you can’t think or worry about what you don’t know. Anyways, since I had that vision or whatever it was, I couldn’t stop thinking about it. Was the girl through whose eyes I looked me? Who were those people fighting? Where was it? It was so tiring to think about…

The stars were sparkling, the same as always. At least they were calm. I yawned. How long had we been walking?

‘Tired?’ Angi asked. She almost sounded concerned.

‘Nah, more…bored. And hungry!’ I almost forgot that I hadn’t eaten for quite a while.

‘Here.’ She held out some kind of bread. It looked kind of strange, but edible and that was good enough. To my surprise, it tasted great.

‘Thanks!’ I said with my mouth full? I swallowed the bite. ‘What is this?’

‘Special recipe! There is something in it that keeps you from getting tired. I made it together with grandma!’ Angi said proudly. I nodded and took another bite. She got another one out of her bag and started eating as well.

‘Should we save some for him?’ I motioned to Sato with my head.

‘No, I have one for him in my bag.’ We walked silently for a long time.

I heard Sato’s stomach rumble. Soon after that he woke up. Angi gave him his bread thingy and started to eat silently. He was kinda cute. I wondered if I had a little brother…

‘Say, why don’t you have a name?’ Sato asked me. His voice had this typical curious little kid tone.

‘Well, I have a name, I just don’t remember it.’ I answered honestly. Sato thought about this for a while.

‘Do you want a name?’

‘Of course, who doesn’t want a name?’

‘Well…’ Sato seemed to doubt before he continued. ‘Should I give you a new name?’ That question surprised me, but I nodded.

‘Be careful with names little brother. Once you give one, you can’t take it back!’ Angi warned. Still, she smiled as well. It could have been her idea… Sato looked at the night sky, thinking as hard as he could. It was silent again.

‘Tsuki!’ Sato exclaimed. I looked at him surprised. ‘It’s your new name!’ Tsuki, I liked the sound of that. I looked at Angi, she nodded. ‘Do you like it?’ The little boy asked, a little uncertain.

‘I love it. Thank you very much.’ The little boy smiled.

‘And that’s done.’ Angi looked very satisfied. ‘Right on time, were there.’

‘What do you mean with there?’ I asked curiously.

‘Our home.’
 

Nelo Angelo

Enigma of Extreme
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Merry Christmas!

Another interesting chap, I wonder what they exchanged, hm. Love the name Tsuki. Great work Laura ;)
 

Lectori Salutem

secretly sadistic
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Thank you!


6 Angi’s home 6​
I looked around to see what Angi was talking about. I saw nothing but sand and rock. We had to be near those rocky not sandy desert places Angi talked about earlier. Maybe Angi was hallucinating due to lack of sleep. That wouldn’t come as a surprise; I had a hard time staying awake too. Sato, however, jumped of my back and started to dance around like a hyperactive kid who finally gets what he wants. And that was his home, or so it seemed.

‘You sure this is the place? It seems kind of lifeless here…’ I said. Angi wasn’t listening. Instead, she was doing something funny, I couldn’t see what. Suddenly, the ground started to move. It was clear something was going to happen, but what. At first, the movement was hardly visible, but gradually the rock rose more rapidly. An entrance was now standing right in front of us. A dark stairway, seemingly without end, went down.

‘Are you coming or what?’ Angi had already started to descend. I hesitated a little. Something about that dark path down just didn’t feel right. At least, not to me. Angi turned around. When she saw me, a mean little smile formed. ‘Say, you don’t happen to be afraid of the dark, or something pathetic like that?’ She teased. ‘Why didn’t you say so before?’

‘How would I know! I lost my memory, remember?’ I said. Well, I tried to say it, but it sounded more like shouting. ‘And I’m not scared, just a little uncomfortable.’ That wasn’t a lie. Even though I lost my memory, I knew what fear was. This wasn’t like real fear. I was just tense, like I expected something to happen. I couldn’t figure out why I had this feeling. And no matter what, it was always better down there than being alone in the desert with just my sense of direction. I followed Angi and Sato.

We walked down for what seemed an endless time, but was actually just a few minutes. Every now and then there was a torch on the wall to light the path. After another turn around a corner Angi stopped. The reason for that wasn’t hard to guess. The stupid tunnel just ended right there.

‘I am Angi, oldest daughter of Mardon,’ to my surprise, Angi had just started talking to the walls. It looked kinda stupid, it’s not like the rocks will talk back… She wasn’t finished though. ‘I have returned together with my younger brother, Sato. The person accompanying us is Tsuki. I will take full responsibility of her.’ When Angi said Tsuki, I was about to look around to see who she meant. I guess I wasn’t quite used to my new name yet… ‘Please let us through.’ Angi finished.

And nothing happened.

Or so I thought.

It was hardly noticeable, but the end of the tunnel looked different. When I tried to figure out what was different, I couldn’t find anything, but I still felt something was odd. It was like the stone in front of us was suddenly lighter. Not in colours though, it was like it had become less dense.

‘Did you do something funny to that wall, or am I just imagining things?’ I asked Angi. She had a strange look in her eyes when she turned around. I started to wonder if I said something wrong…

‘You mean you can notice something is different?’ Angi replied with another question. That look in her eyes, what was it? Unbelief? No, it wasn’t unbelief. Surprise? Yes, it kind of looked like surprise… A very well hidden surprise…Either way, it wasn’t something I was expecting…

‘Is that bad?’ I asked back.

‘No, it’s just weird…’ She answered.

‘Oh, so now I’m suddenly weird?’ I said, obviously joking, I hoped…

‘We found you lying in the desert without any memory. There hasn’t been a moment you weren’t weird!’ Angi said with a grin.

‘Hey! That wasn’t very nice!’ I said. But Angi just grabbed my arm and pulled me towards the weird wall. Sato was walking behind us. When we were about to hit the wall, I closed my eyes. I was really expecting to collide with the hard and cold rock. But it didn’t happen. I opened my eyes to find some well hidden opening that should be there. There wasn’t any. Before my mind could comprehend this, Sato was suddenly at the other side as well. When I felt if there was an opening, all I hit was stone. It felt as impenetrable as before.

‘Would you mind explaining what just happened?’ I said, after rephrasing the question that was echoing through my head to a more polite one.

‘I’m sorry Tsuki, but that will have to wait.’ I turned my head, following Angi’s line of vision. ‘There’s something I gotta do first.’ I hardly heard what Angi said. I was amazed by the magnificent view I had. I knew I was underground. We had descended so much, we should be underground. But what I saw could never be underground. We were standing on some sort of plateau, and we had a most magnificent view.

It was a city. A beautiful and surprisingly colourful city. Every single building in this city was made of stone. I could’ve never imagined stone could come in so many colours. All shades of red, yellow and brown were visible, together with the deepest black I had ever seen. The less common colours were pink and purple and I managed to find blue and green as well. Some building even combined those colours in their walls, at random or in patterns. In all those colours, there was one building that stood out. Although, there were others with a very light colour, this one was pure white. It almost seemed to shine. It was also larger than most buildings. The whole place seemed sunny, but when I looked up there was just rock.

‘Lady Angi,’ I hadn’t even noticed when the two men approached us. I was too busy looking at the city. ‘Did you succeed?’

‘Of course. I will report now.’ Angi pointed at one of the men, the older one. ‘You may accompany me.’ He had short, dark hair and piercing eyes. He wore light armour with a dark green colour. His face was full of lines, some of happiness some of sorrows. The younger one had short hair as well, but it was still just a little bit longer. His eyes and hair had the same colour, a warm brown. His armour was the same. Angi’s next words were addressed to him. ‘You will accompany my little brother and my guest.’

‘But Angi,’ the older man gave him a nasty look for those words. ‘Lady Angi…’ He didn’t finish what he wanted to say. His facial expression changed, it became more formal. ‘We can’t just let strangers in our city, Lady Angi.’

‘I know that, but I do not think she will pose a threat to our city.’ Angi said.

‘As you wish, Lady Angi. You do know that you will be held responsible for all her actions until her stay in the city is approved by at least two elders?’ His voice was so cold. It formed such a contrast with the warm colour of his eyes. I wondered if he hated me before he even knew my name…

‘I’m starting to suspect if you have forgotten who I am.’ Angi replied, just as cold. ‘How could I not know? Take her to one of my rooms. That is…’ She now turned to me, ‘I don’t think I asked if you wanted to stay here. So?’

‘Hehe, it’s not like I have somewhere else to go.’ I said. ‘If it is not too much trouble, I would love to stay here, at least for now.’

‘Okay, then that’s set!’ Angi said. ‘Sato, will you stay with her? I’ll come and get you when I’m ready, okay? I promise it won’t take long.’ Cute little Sato just nodded and grabbed my hand.

‘Lady Angi, we should be going now.’ It was the older man.

‘Yes. Well, I’ll see you later!’ And with that, Angi was gone, the older man followed after her. Down one of the stairs that went down from our plateau. I decided it was time for introductions. You can’t get used to a name when nobody uses it, and nobody can use a name they don’t know.

‘Hi, my name is Tsuki. Nice to meet you!’ I said.

‘I’m Jordo. Please follow me.’ Not the talkative type I guess. When he passed me to lead the way, his formal face finally cracked. Before he could fix it, I saw a bit of sadness and disappointment. I pretended not to see anything.

Sato and I followed that Jordo guy through the city. He was in such a hurry that I couldn’t make a proper sightseeing tour of it. And with my sense of direction, I was lost after the second turn. Left, right, left, right, until we arrived at a house made of red and yellow stone. Jordo opened the door and led us to a room.

‘Stay in this room and don’t come out until someone tells you to.’ And with that, he left. He really didn’t like me, did he?
 

Nelo Angelo

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Wow a huge city withint the rocks of a desert, that is really cool ;D Loved it, another great chap! Way to go ;)
 
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