The Guardian: An Unfortunate Wish
It was dark around me. The painful memories were flooding back. The day when my parents left me. The days when I fought for my survival in the streets. And now I could add another one to my memory archive. The day when somebody almost lost their lives because of me. I wished I could erase it from my memory like you delete a file from your computer. Right-click and then delete. However, it does not work like this in our brains. Even if we wanted to delete a memory, we were not capable of doing so. Maybe we can forget but most memories we remember for the rest of our lives. I tried to open my eyes, but I was unable to do so.
My right shoulder was killing me. The pain was getting worse and worse. At some point, I passed out again.
When I woke up again, I managed to open my eyes. I was in a bedroom. The windows were open, and a light breeze blew inside the room. It felt good.
The sun was shining, and I saw a forest from the window. I looked around the room and saw another bed only two feet away from me.
It was Reiker's. His left eye was bandaged. I could not see his right leg because of the blanket. He was sleeping. If it were not for him, I would not be here.
The door opened and Gagan came inside. She noticed that I was awake.
“Hey. How are you feeling?” she asked as she sat down on the chair next to my bed and started to unwrap the bandage on my right shoulder. It hurt badly.
“Sorry if I am doing it too harshly,” she said.
“No, it’s alright. Thanks,” I replied.
“Don't thank me silly. So, how are you feeling?” she asked.
“A little dizzy but other than that I am fine, I think. How is Reiker?” I asked her.
She finished removing the bandages from my shoulder. I could clearly see that a big piece of my shoulder was missing. You could see the bite mark. It looked gross. I felt sick.
“Oh, he is fine. Don't worry. We did a blood transfusion and aided his wounds. He is resting now,” she explained.
“You found a blood donor?” I asked surprised.
“Yeah. Apparently, Ray and Reiker have the same blood group,” she said.
“Reiker lost an awful lot of blood. Didn't you, therefore, need an awful lot of Ray's blood?” I asked her. She smiled.
“Yes. He passed out after the transfusion, but he did drink a lot of water the last two days. He should be alright now. Don't mention it to him. It would hurt his pride,” she told me while giggling.
“What? The last two days. How long was I unconscious?” I asked her shocked.
“Three days,” she said. I was stunned. How on earth could I have been unconscious for so long?
“You lost a lot of blood too, but we couldn't find a blood donor that matched with you. So, we waited until you would wake up,” she explained briefly.
“It sounds like you waited and watched me if I would die or not. Does that seem right?” I questioned her.
She started laughing.
“No silly. We aided you like Reiker and we put you on a drip. We made our own IV solution that consisted of water, electrolytes, painkillers and some antibiotics to prevent any kind of bacterial infections,” she defended herself.
“Oh. I'm sorry. I didn’t mean it that way,” I apologized.
I buried my face in the blanket. It was so embarrassing. I really should have thought before I spoke.
Gagan started to treat my wound with an antibacterial solution, and it burned like hell. She stood up and helped me to sit on the edge of the bed. I was wearing pyjamas. It did hurt when I moved my body, but I found something strange. My right arm did not move at all. It felt numb. Even if my right shoulder was damaged, I should have been able to move my right arm a little but I could not.
“I am going to do a few tests to see how fast you're recovering from your injuries,” she explained to me.
“Ok,” I nodded.
She tested the mobility of my legs and knees. Then my left shoulder and left arm. There were no problems. When she came to my right arm she looked into my eyes.
“That could hurt a little,” she said warning me.
I did not say anything. I knew it would hurt. She put her hand on my right shoulder. Or should I say what was left of it? She brushed with one finger over my shoulder and down my right arm until she reached my hand.
“Did you feel that?” she asked.
I shook my head. I could not feel anything. She pressed her thumb into my palm, but I still could not feel anything.
“Oh. Ok. Did you feel this?” she asked me again.
“No. I can't feel it,” I answered.
For a second, I thought a worried expression hushed over her face. She continued pressing her thumb against my right arm.
“Nothing?” she asked.
“Nothing,” I said worriedly.
“Ok. Let's try to move your elbow,” she said.
I tried to bend my arm, but I failed. Then Gagan gave it a try. She bent my arm a few times and then smiled.
“Your mobility of your elbow and lower part of your right arm and your right hand is fine. Your shoulder is bothering me. Your muscles aren't responding to the nerve impulses,” she explained.
My shoulder looked terrible. My bones were exposed. I realized something was attached to the bones of my shoulder and went down to my arm.
“What is this?” I asked. I touched it with one finger. It felt like rubber.
“Oh, that. These are stripes of rubber to keep your right arm attached to your right shoulder,” she described.
She started touching them too.
“Does that mean my right arm could fall off?” I asked her worried.
I tried to imagine it. It was a truly disturbing image.
“Maybe. We weren't sure even though Ray told us that it was nearly impossible for your arm to fall off. It’s for security. We didn't want to take the risk,” she explained.
“Thanks for not taking it,” I said trying to smile.
“Don't worry. You’re going to be alright,” she assured.
“I can't use my right arm, can I?” I asked.
“Yes. For now, I'm sorry. Grandfather is trying to find a solution to give you back your arm. There is always a solution,” she said.
“Hopefully,” I replied.
“I bet you’re hungry. What do you want to eat?” she asked me while she was bandaging up my shoulder again.
Now that I thought about it, I was hungry. My stomach agreed with me by making a loud growling noise.
“Sorry. I don't know,” I said.
“Well, we have hot chicken soup with bread or smoked salmon with salad,” she said.
“Then I want the soup please,” I said.
“And what do you want to drink? Water or should I make you a nice cup of tea?” she asked.
“Water please,” I answered.
“Ok. It’s only going to take five minutes. Lay down in your bed and rest,” she ordered.
I did what she said. Gagan bent down to me and gave me a kiss on my forehead and went through the door and closed it slowly to prevent any loud noise which could wake Reiker up. For some reason, Gagan reminded me of a loving mother. I waited patiently.
It was quiet. The only noise that I could hear was coming from Reiker's direction. It was his soft and quiet snoring. I turned my head to see him again. He was looking so peaceful. The thought of how much pain he is going to feel when he wakes up made me angry. It should have been me and not him.
The snoring stopped and Reiker opened his one good eye. I panicked. Someone had to explain to him what had happened and aid him. He was probably in horrible pain. I stood up as fast as I could with my damaged shoulder and went over to his bed and sat down on the edge of it. It was odd walking with one arm dangling and not having control over it. I pushed my thoughts about my shoulder aside. I had to think about Reiker. I should probably call Gagan.
“Don't worry. Everything is going to be fine. I am going to call Gagan. Just give me a second,” I said trying to calm him down.
Reiker grabbed my hand.
“You don't need to call her. She already aided me and by the looks of it, she aided you as well,” he said.
“Wait a moment. It’s not your first time waking up?” I asked him hesitantly.
“Of course, not. I am happy that you finally woke up. It’s been three days now,” he explained.
“I know. Gagan told me,” I replied.
I lowered my head. Should I tell him that it was because of me he was in such a horrible state? He probably knew it.
“Don't blame yourself. It was and it will never be your fault,” he said with a soft voice. I looked up.
“So, the others told you?” I asked.
“No. They didn't. I knew you would blame yourself because I rescued you. It was my decision, and I don't regret it,” he said smiling at me to cheer me up but it did not work.
“But it was my fault. I didn't do anything. I should have run when you told me to, but I didn't. I am an idiot,” I said.
“Well, you have a point. You could have run,” he agreed.
“See. I was useless and stupid,” I said.
“No, you weren't. The guys told me what you did. You fought for me. If it weren't for you these creatures would have devoured me completely,” he said.
“No. I didn't fight. I was just standing there with your baton in my hand. Other than crying and screaming I did nothing,” I explained.
“Crying and screaming? Whatever you did, it worked, and you saved my life. So, therefore, I owe you big,” he said happily.
My mouth fell open. What was he talking about? He was the one who rescued me. Therefore, I was in his debt.
“You’re talking rubbish. Like I said before I didn't do anything and above all, I did not rescue you. I owe you,” I said annoyed.
He started laughing.
“I don't think we are going to agree on what happened and whatnot,” he said.
“I agree,” I said.
“How are you feeling? How is your shoulder? Gagan told me how badly you are injured,” he asked me.
I was scared to ask him how he was. There is a high probability he knew that he lost half of his right leg and his left eye.
“It’s fine. How are you?” I asked him back.
The volume of my voice decreased with every word that came out of my mouth.
“I'm good. It’s a bit annoying that I am only left with one good eye. But hey, it could be worse. My leg is healing fast, and grandfather told me he could give me back my leg. So, I have no worries,” he said without any doubt in his voice.
Every word of him was like a knife striking my heart. How could he be so optimistic?
“How can you be so sure? I mean, how can you be so sure that grandfather is going to give you back your leg and how is that even possible?” I asked him.
“I trust him. That's how. You recently met him, but I have known him my whole life. He's a wise old man. Somehow, he always knows what to do in situations like these,” he explained.
“If you say so,” I said still not believing his words.
The door opened again and Gagan came in with a big tray in her hand. She told me to sit down on my bed, but I decided to sit on the small table next to the window. She did not mind and put the tray in front of me.
On it was a plate filled with hot chicken noodle soup, a plate with pieces of bread and a big glass full of water. Gagan sat down next to me.
“Don't you have something better to do than babysitting me?” I asked her and started eating. I was starving.
“No. Not really,” she replied. “You should bring something to eat for Reiker too,” I suggested.
She looked at Reiker and smiled at him.
“He already ate but if he's hungry I could bring him something,” she said.
“No thanks. I'm fine,” he said while turning around in his bed after giving Gagan a big smile.
“What are the others doing?” I asked and dipped a piece of bread in my soup.
“They are preparing themselves,” she answered.
I took a sip of my water and then realized I was thirsty and drank all of it in one go. Gagan filled my glass with water again.
“Preparing for what?” I asked.
“I don't know. Grandfather told us to be prepared to go somewhere,” she said.
“Who is going?” I asked.
“Everyone. That includes you too,” she answered.
“Me? Why? I came to this world to find my parents and I only found some weird creatures who would love to eat me. I didn't find any clue where my father could be,” I said annoyed.
“I wouldn't say that. I still have the CDs we found in the laboratory. And to cheer you up, you were not the only one who they wanted to eat. We were attacked too. Remember?” she said with a smile on her face.
“Sorry. I didn't mean it that way,” I apologized. Why did I keep saying stupid things?
I finished my soup and took the last sip of my water.
“Finished?” she asked me.
“Yes,” I said.
“Good. Grandfather wants to talk to you. He is waiting for you in the kitchen. You can change your clothes if you want to. There are some clothes in the bathroom. They should be your size. I have discarded your old clothes. Well, that's all for now,” she explained.
She pointed at the other door of the bedroom and then picked up the tray from the table.
“Why does Grandfather want to talk to me?” I asked her.
“I don't know,” she said and walked out of the room.
I went into the bathroom and took a quick shower. My right arm with my shoulder was in a plastic bag which Gagan gave me to prevent it from getting wet.
I tried on the clothes which she left for me, and they fitted perfectly. I shouted for her to tie my hair back and stared in the mirror after she left the bathroom and smiled. I looked exactly like the other guys. I was wearing black cargo pants with a lot of pockets, a white t-shirt, a grey jacket with a high collar that reached till my waist and black sneakers with a snapped collar and with buckles on the outside.
While I was going through the bedroom, I looked at Reiker to see if he was awake, but he had fallen asleep again. I opened the door and closed it quietly behind me. Gagan had left the room too. My right arm was still dangling beside me, and the pain had worsened. I went down the stairs and went into the kitchen.
Grandfather was standing in front of the stove making some tea. I sat down at the table and realized I was sitting in the exact same chair when I visited him for the first time.
“Do you want some tea, my dear?” he asked.
“No, thank you,” I said.
“Are you sure?” he asked me again.
“Yes, I am,” I replied.
He turned around and looked at my right arm. I was not even able to move it a bit and I had to carry it with my left hand. He put his tea on the table and went to a cupboard standing in the hallway. I could hear his mumbling.
“Where is it? Ah, there it is,” he said to himself.
He came back with something in his hands. He put it around my arm and knotted both ends of it behind my neck. It was comfortable and light. It was a lifesaver.
“Here you go. I bet it is now much easier for you to move around,” he said.
“Thank you,” I said.
He sat down.
“How is your shoulder?” he asked me.
“Fine,” I said.
“What is the matter? Usually, you’re the one who talks, and I am the one who listens,” he said looking at me.
“I think it’s the medication,” I said dully.
“Oh, I see,” he replied.
“You wanted to talk with me, but I guess it wasn't only to ask me how I am. Am I right grandfather?” I asked him.
“Yes, my child. It’s about the bite,” he started.
I felt a sudden pain in my shoulder. I suppressed it by pressing my hand on it.
“I know. It can't be healed,” I said with a sad face.
“Who said that?” he asked and looked at me suspiciously.
“Nobody,” I said.
“Then stop talking nonsense. I am going to explain later how we are going to fix your shoulder and arm. I want to talk about the bite first. It’s really important,” he said in a serious voice.
“Fine,” I agreed.
“Look, I was the one who treated your injury and I discovered something. Your blood seemed to be in a different color. The usual color of blood when it is exposed to air is scarlet red. Your blood was scarlet red but with a shiny green tint to it,” he explained.
I tried to remember if I was injured somewhere else, but my shoulder and my head were the only part of my body that actually were.
“What does that mean?” I asked.
“I didn't know and therefore, I tested a small sample of your blood. To be on the safe side I took another sample of your blood from your leg to see if it was the normal color and discovered it had the normal scarlet red color without the green shiny tint to it,” he explained again.
“Does this mean half of my body has the normal scarlet red blood, but the other half has the shiny green tint to it?” I asked him worried.
“No. It was only the blood in your arteries and veins near the bite. And this is not the whole story. I also found out that it was spreading really fast through your whole body,” he described.
“Did you find out what it was?” I asked.
“It was poison and it’s still in your body,” he said focused.
The elbow of my good arm slipped from the table where it was supporting my head.
“What? Why is it still inside me? Couldn't you remove it?” I asked panicked.
“I could but it wasn't necessary. Somehow, you’re immune against this poison which I have never seen in my life before. I did some tests with it. This poison inside you is aggressive and attacks the nerve cells of an individual. If this poison gets into someone's blood circulation, the person will have a dreadful death. It would kill that person under thirty minutes,” he explained.
I was unconscious for three days and I did not die. That should be a good sign, right?
“Does it have any other effects on the body?” I asked him scared knowing this was not the happy ending I was hoping for.
“I don't know. I am not very skilled in this area. That is why I am sending all of you to a good and old friend of mine. He is a scientist and a doctor, and he should know the answer to your question,” he answered.
Now it made sense why everybody was preparing to leave.
“And what about my father? Did you watch the CDs?” I asked swiftly.
“The CDs. No, we didn't. We waited to watch them with you but right now we don't have any time left. You and Reiker must go to my friend so he can fix you. We can find out what is on them afterwards,” he explained.
“He's going to fix my arm and shoulder?” I asked skeptically.
“Of course. Everyone is ready to go,” he said enthusiastically.
The door to the garden opened and Daiyn came inside and sat down next to me.
“How are you?” he asked me.
I think he was worried about me, but I couldn't tell for sure.
“I'm fine. Thanks. Grandfather, where does your friend live?” I asked him.
“He lives in Deviion,” he said.
“And where is that?” I asked.
“It is one of the kingdoms I told you about,” it was Daiyn who answered.
“Oh. Yeah, I remember. How long will it take to get there?” I asked Daiyn.
“About six and a half hours. We have to walk to get to the train station and then be on the train for about six hours. The station lies a few feet away from Deviion. From there we only need a few minutes to get to our goal,” he explained.
“Grandfather's friend, does he know that we're coming?” I asked.
“Yes, he knows. He is excited to meet you,” Daiyn said.
“Why me?” I wondered.
“Because he's got the chance to fix a shoulder of an actual human being and of course the leg and the eye of Reiker,” he said. I was getting a little more sceptic.
“Doesn’t that mean he has never performed a surgery on a human before and Reiker or I, are going to be his first patient? Are you sure he is the best person to perform these surgeries?” I asked.
“Yes. If you want to have your shoulder back, you have to trust gramps and his friend. He is the best. If someone can fix your shoulder, he is the one,” he said confidently.
“Looks like I don't have any other options,” I said.
It sounded more like an experiment, and I said yes to it. Someone could officially declare me insane. Daiyn left the room after he agreed with me.
“Your group is leaving immediately to get the last train to Deviion,” grandfather said.
“It's not my group grandfather. They are a group. I joined temporarily,” I explained to him.
“They became your friends. After such an incident, even people who would hate each other would become friends. They went with you to search for your father, thus making you the leader of this group. In conclusion, it’s your group,” he said smiling.
“Maybe,” I replied in a low voice. The possibility of me having friends was surreal. I always kept a discreet distance from other human beings. I did not have a social life. Interacting with other people was for me like putting my hand into a fire. I just did not like it.
“I packed some food for you in this backpack. A bottle of water is inside the side pocket,” he said holding a backpack in front of him showing everything that was inside.
“Thank you,” I said.
“And don't forget your pocketknife,” he said.
His hand went into the backpack to get the pocketknife he got me. He threw it towards me, and I caught it.
“I won't,” I assured. I put the pocketknife where it belonged. Into my trouser pocket.
It was like the morning of the day we left to search for my father was repeating itself but this time, we were going to get treatment for the wounds which we got because of that journey. Four days. I had already been in this world for four days.
Cher and her father had probably given up looking for me. I used to disappear for some time but not for so many days. I felt sorry that I did not have the chance to say goodbye. The risk that I could not go back to my world was real and I knew it but now I had the feeling that I could die trying to reach my goal.
The sky was dark blue. Stars and a full moon were shining our way. You could hear the noises of animals. I saw no other people. The fresh air was filling my lungs and the coldness gave me goosebumps. It was like walking through the dead streets in my city during the night. It was a good feeling. I loved the night. Fewer people on the streets who could disturb you and more sounds of nature.
I felt hungry and opened a bag of weird-looking and odd-smelling crisps and passed it to everybody around. We were heading towards the east. The forest was in the south of Deonion, and I was truly happy we did not have to go through it another time. Not only because it was filled with soldiers who did not hesitate to kill but also because of Reiker. He was having a hard time walking with a crutch but did not want any help. He has his pride and dignity. Jasmine was walking next to me, and we were walking behind the others.
“Can I ask you a question?” I asked her.
She grabbed the crisp which was in my hand.
“Sure. What is it? Wait I know what you want to ask. It’s about Ray, right?” she said with a funny expression on her face.
I saw Ray slightly turning his head, showing us that he had started listening in to our conversation.
“No. Where did you get that idea?” I asked her confused.
“He's weird and you don't know him. If I was you, I had some questions in my mind,” she replied in a low and mysterious voice.
I got closer to Jasmine to see her face. She was serious.
“But I am not you. Can I ask you now the questions I had in my mind?” I asked.
“Shoot,” she shouted while grabbing the whole bag of crisps from my hand.
“How did you get out of the building?” I asked.
“With the weird creatures?” she asked back.
“No. The other one without the creatures,” I said sarcastically.
She looked at me puzzled.
“There were two buildings?” she asked me surprised.
She was serious again.
“No, there was only one,” I said.
“Then why are you asking me about the other one?” she asked.
“Forget it. I meant the one with the weird creatures,” I corrected myself not to confuse her more. I could hear the chuckles from the other guys.
“Let me explain. Gagan carried you. Benjamin and Edwin were responsible for Reiker. Ray opened any door that was in our way and Daiyn and I were watching if some of these creatures were following us,” she told me.
“And what about the one that attacked me?” I asked trying not to remember the terrifying scenes.
“Oh. That one. Yeah, it got away. Disappeared in the darkness. There was no point going after it. It already caused the damage, and it didn't attack us anymore,” she explained.
“I see. Did you carry us all along the way?” I asked.
“Yes. We switched after an amount of time. Ray and I helped Benjamin and Edwin. Daiyn carried you all the way through the desert and forest. The desert was not that bad. It was nighttime when we finally came out of the building. The temperature had fallen. The tricky bit was the forest. The number of soldiers had been doubled but we still made it through,” she explained.
“Wow. Thanks, Gagan and Daiyn,” I said gratefully.
Gagan smiled back at me and Daiyn raised his hand as a sign that he had heard me.
“Do you have another question?” Jasmine asked me.
“No. Thanks for answering my questions,” I said. “You’re very welcome,” she replied.
Nobody talked. We were walking under some rocks that nature had formed to look like bridges. From the outside, it looked like a gigantic rock, but it had big slits that were letting the moonlight in. It looked amazing. Green moss was growing on each one of these rock bridges. Vines were hanging from them too. In the shadow, some gorgeous-looking flowers were growing. The blossoms were lilac with black stripes. I stopped and picked one up. I was going to smell it if Ray would not have stopped me.
“These flowers attract animals by their strange smell and trust me you don't want to meet the animals which are attracted by the scent. So, if you don't mind throwing it away,” he said in a very annoying voice.
He was waiting impatiently for me to drop the flower on the ground.
“Did you ever meet these animals?” I asked him sharply.
“It's like I'm talking to a wall, and it seems that it isn't a really bright one,” he answered.
“Hey!” I shouted. He did not have to be rude. I asked a question. What was the harm done?
“I said trust me. A normal person would have already dropped it but somehow my gut is telling me you are the kind of people that loves to attract problems and death itself,” he said angrily grabbing the flower out of my hand and throwing it away.
It was unpredictable what he would do next.
“You’re cold and indurate. If you keep up this attitude you will never find a girl who wants to marry you,” I said infuriated.
He looked vacant like he could not care less.
“If most of the girls are like you, I am happy to stay single for the rest of my life. At least I wouldn't die an early and miserable death because of my wife,” he answered back in a biting tone.
“Fine. Then stay single. Die lonely,” I shouted annoyed.
He laughed at me and walked away.
“I couldn't care less,” he said amused.
“I would love to stick some of these flowers in your trousers!” I said diabolically.
He turned around and challenged me.
“Try it,” he said with a smile on his face.
Before I could say anything Reiker came between us and interrupted our fight.
“Stop it. Both of you. Ray, keep in mind that Ari isn't from this world. Don't expect she has the knowledge that we have. Ari,” he said disappointedly.
Oh no. My turn.
“Sticking flowers into his trousers? Really?” he asked me while shaking his head.
Yeah, that was by far the worst idea I have ever had.
“I'm sorry. I got a little carried away,” I said.
“We are not only a group. We are friends and at this moment, we can't afford such silly and immature fights. Got that?” he asked us both.
Ray just walked away. I nodded agreeing with the second part, but I was not so sure about being a friend of them. The others did not say anything.
We arrived at the train station. It was five minutes before 12 o'clock. The train station was in the middle of nowhere and looked old and deserted. It was a building that looked like a greenhouse. There were no walls at the east and west side of the building to allow the train to pass through it. It was more like a big bow made of glass. Some of the windows were broken. The climate was slightly humid. Plants were growing everywhere like in a jungle. Tiny white lizards were crawling all over the place.
Our train should come at midnight. We had five minutes left. I sat down on a moss-coated bench. The others were standing near me. I looked around to see if someone else was at the train station.
On the opposite side of the rails was standing a young woman in her thirties. She was wearing a bright rainbow-colored raincoat and holding a briefcase.
A few feet away from her was standing a soldier. He was wearing what looked like a uniform. His trousers, waistcoat, gloves, and knee-high boots were made out of brown leather. Underneath his waistcoat, he was wearing a white shirt. On his head was a hat. It looked more like a bowl. A typical bowler hat without the brim. It was also brown but with a pattern of snakeskin. The kingdom's emblem was stitched on the back of the waistcoat and on the front of the hat. The emblem showed a white pigeon flying out of its cage. Freedom was written underneath it. I liked the picture.
On our side of the rails was us and another group that was made of two men. Both were wearing casual clothes. They did not have any luggage with them.
The train was close. I could hear the sounds of the wheels and the whistle of the train. I stood up from my bench and tried to see if the rails were vibrating and they were. I kept watching to the west from where it was coming from. The lights were bright and could be seen clearly within the dark. A few seconds were left, and it would be here. As it came closer its speed slowed down. I noticed that even the train was covered in green moss.
The train looked identical to the trains in my world. It was white and had an orange stripe. An ordinary steam locomotive. It stopped in front of us. The door opened. There were no passengers on it. Daiyn went to the train conductor to buy each one of us a ticket. I sat down on one side of the train with Jasmine, Edwin, and Benjamin. Reiker, Ray, and Gagan sat on the opposite side of us. Daiyn came back and gave the tickets to Gagan and sat down next to her. All in all, there were twelve passengers.
Fatigue came over me and I doubted that I could stay awake for the entire journey. So as not to fall asleep I examined the uniform of the soldier again who was not sitting very far from us. Benjamin noticed it.
“Why do you keep staring at the soldier?” he asked me.
“I like the emblem. The pigeon flying out of the cage represents freedom, doesn’t it? How do the other emblems of the different kingdoms look like?” I asked him.
“Yes, it does. Deviion's emblem is the book of rules opened with a sword lying on it. Do you want to guess what it stands for?” he asked challenging me.
“I would love to but first, I have a question. Does the book of rules apply to all of the three kingdoms?” I asked.
“Yes, it does. No one, not even the kings themselves are allowed to break the rules written in that book. They were written by the founder of the three kingdoms and therefore their first ruler,” Edwin leant forward and started explaining before Benjamin could.
“Well, then I would guess it stands for justice. Am I right?” I asked both of them.
Yes. How did you come to that conclusion?” Edwin asked me. Benjamin was getting annoyed that Edwin had taken over his conversation with me.
“Book of Rules indicates that every individual, including every king, has to follow it, as you said. The sword usually represents strength. Hence, the emblem means no matter who it is, he or she has to follow the rules and if someone breaks those rules, he or she is going to be punished no matter who it is. That is justice,” I explained.
Benjamin pointed at the soldier's uniform. The soldier saw it but ignored us.
“The uniforms of the three kingdoms are exactly the same but the colors and emblems vary. Deonion has the brown uniform. Deviion the black one and Detavil the white one,” he explained.
“Aha. And what about the emblem of Detavil. How does it look like?” I asked him.
“It’s a heart held by two hands. This one is a little trickier than the other one. Do you want to give it a try?” he asked me again.
I smiled at Benjamin.
“Of course. Let me think. A heart and two hands holding it. Every person has a heart, and it is required to stay alive. The two hands could mean protection. Everyone protects it. That means we are more or less the same. I go with equality. The emblem means equality. Does that sound right?” I asked.
“You’re really good at this,” said Benjamin laughing.
Jasmine gave me a pat on the back.
After I found out about how the three emblems looked like and what their meanings were, I leaned against Jasmine and closed my eyes. The noises around me were getting distant and I fell asleep.
“Ari. Ari. Wake up.”
It was Gagan.
I opened my eyes, and she was standing in front of me.
“What? Are we in Deviion?” I asked and yawned at the same time.
I lifted my head of Jasmine's shoulder. It was still dark outside. The light of the white fluorescent lamps was hurting my eyes.
“We're almost there. I thought you didn't want to miss it. In ten minutes, we are going to reach the station,” she said.
“Yeah. Thanks for waking me up,” I replied.
She smiled at me and sat down on her seat next to Daiyn and Reiker. My neck was feeling stiff. I moved it from right to left and back and forth to loosen it a bit. It was working.The view outside the window was surprisingly normal. It was a mountainous area. Nothing special. I could see some lights in the distance. We were heading towards them. As we were getting closer, I saw something like a black sea in front of us. It was a cliff. I did not utter a word and kept staring out of the window nervously. By now I learned that screaming and telling others was not helpful. I bet they already knew it. After all, it was their world and not mine.