Do you dream of me in the next life?
While The Order plotted their nefarious plan, Josie and Alice made their case at the Dragon settlement. The speaker announced their decision. Disappointed, Josie and Alice went outside.
"The Settlement Council didn't agree to help...what do we do now?" asked Alice.
Josie placed a hand on her chin and pondered. “I know the Nightmare Kingdom and the one I found you in. Gary mentioned a city…could there be more kingdoms?"
"Maybe. Let's talk to Alvin, he would know better about that answer."
The deer scare tapped down and raised to the heavens. Josie and Alice walked across the yard to Alvin.
"Oh, you're back," he sipped his tea. "How did everything transpire with the councils?"
"None of them wanted to help. But I have a question, do you know of any kingdoms that can help us?" said Josie.
"Yes. Come inside and I will show you."
They went into the kitchen. He instructed them to wait at the table and he dipped out of the room for a second. Alvin laid a rolled up paper, then unfurled it which revealed a map of the Dream World.
“There are three kingdoms to choose from. In the east is the Kingdom of Illusha, to the west is the Water Kingdom, and up north past the mountains is the Dream Kingdom.” He pointed out.
“Do we need the strength of all three?” inquired Alice.
“No, no…I highly advise against it.”
Josie tilted her head. “Why not?”
Alvin leaned against the countertop behind him. “Years ago, King Fredrick of the Nightmare Kingdom set up a meeting to create a peace treaty between all kingdoms. This was an historical moment, no one has ever attempted a peace treaty in the past. But this moment was shattered by another moment…someone dressed in knights armor dropped in and stabbed Fredrick. The assassin ran off and disappeared without a trace. With the death of the king and no evidence of where the assassin hailed from, finger pointing ensued. Trust faded away, and the spark of war became constant. While the dust has settled in recent times, there’s no telling if conflict will arise again.”
They sat there in surprise for a moment.
“So that means only one kingdom can help us then?” said Josie.
“Correct. And I suggest you try this kingdom first.” He pointed to the one in the east.
“Um, would it be ok if we took your map?” said Alice who started rolling it up.
“Sure! Take whatever you need.” smiled Alvin.
Before they left, Alvin handed Josie a bag tied at the top with string.
"What's this?" questioned Josie.
"Dream coins. You're gonna need it to buy more food later." explained Alvin.
"I see. Thank you for all your help!"
"No problem. It's the least I can do for a former student." he smiled.
Josie and Alice waved goodbye and left for their destination.
Night had fallen over the sky. Josie and Alice made good travel distance and decided to camp next to this tree in the woods. Alice told Josie that Nightmares were more active at night, so she suggested they take turns keeping watch while the other slept. Josie was awake first. She took out one of the dream coins and admired it against the starry sky. One side of the coin had a bird with the sun behind it while the opposite side of the coin had a wolf with the moon behind it. She laid her hand that held the coin across from her, Josie was now in a t-pose position on the grass.
"I wonder what the Illusha Kingdom is like. Can't wait to see it tomorrow!" Josie thought to herself.