Nemitus Forest
rating: -2+x

In the Cave of the Deus, where Adam had once resided, Lucis sat on a log as he gazed at the moon and the stars. There was a beauty in the pale moon. And that beauty reminded him of Caelyn. From those memories, and the danger of the approaching war, Lucis remembered when Caelyn had gotten Nemitus.

The group stayed in the cave, until the the rain abated. In the long time between when Roland had returned with Hammer and when they would leave the cave, all conversation in the group revolved around Roland and his new sword. Lucis, as always, was talking to Caelyn. Roland was with them. In the warm glow of the firelight, the three of them were examining the blade.

Upon the Hammer’s surface were swirls of silver and gold, resembling a flowing river of molten metals. Even though it had been in the tomb for at least several centuries, the blade was pristine as if it was newly polished. And the edge sharp as if it had been forged only a moment before.

Lucis noticed this, and asked, “The tomb that this was in looked ancient. But this blade is in perfect condition. There is not even a speck of blemish on this sword.”

“Strange.” Roland looked up from the blade. “But compared to the rest of the Island, this is not as mysterious.” Hammer glinted as he tilted it toward the fire.

“Look, there are runes on here,” Caelyn pointed out. Indeed there was. In the direct light of the fire, thin runes were revealed. Compared to the runes carved on Cain’s staff, those that were on Hammer had a much delicate stroke. Every rune seemed to be engraved with a beautiful precision.

“Wonder what they say.” Roland ran his fingers along the runes. He turned to where Cain was talking to Theresa, Diana, and Charlotte. “Cain, come here.”

Cain whipped around to find who called his name. Seeing that it was Roland, he walked over and took a seat beside Caelyn.
“Why did you call me over?”

Roland showed him the runes on the blade. His eyes widened as his gaze went from the tip of the blade to the hilt and back again. Raising his spear to the fire light, he compared the runes of the stick to those on the blade. He blinked, and pointed to a rune on the sword. Then, he moved his finger to a rune on the stick.

“Look, these two are the same,” he said. And indeed. There was a rune on the sword that was also carved on the spear. “I wonder what it means.”

Lucis shrugged and gave them a slightly mischivous smile. “Another mystery in our endless ocean of mysteries.”

Cain froze and stared at the blade. Then he gaze crawled to the point of his spear. Roland noticed this and asked, “What?”

“Oh,” Cain turned to look at Roland, “Can you sharpen my spear with your sword. The tip is quite dull.” He flashed a smile.

“Of course.” Roland reached for the spear and placed the tip upon Hammer’s edge. With a movement of the stick, a thin piece of wood rolled off the point. After a few cycles of turning and repeating, the spear was sharp enough to satisfy Cain. Roland returned the spear to its wielder and Cain returned back to where the three girls were holding conversation.

After a few more words, Lucis decided to go to sleep. Settling on the soft dirt, next to the fire, he closed his eyes. The crackling sound of fire combined with the soft mist that floated into the cave gave a sensation of relaxation. And so, he quickly fell into a dream.

The dream began like always—Lucis woke up on the middle of the forest. After realizing that he was in a dream, he began to wander around. It was after a while of wandering did his dreams start to differ from each other. This time, the forest opened up to the Island’s majestic mountains.

In between two mountains there was a gap. The ground to the pass had a softer slope than the mountains beside it, but was still steep. Lucis turned around and strolled back into the forest. There, he reaching a clearing, and in the center of the clearing was staff of wood. However, he didn’t get to clearly see the staff, for it was at this moment that he was woken from his dream.

Lucis’ eyes flicked open. Caelyn knelt beside him, nudging him awake. Getting into an upright position, Lucis looked around. At the center of the cave, where the fire once burned, was a pile of ash. People were stumbling to their feet. When Lucis turned to the mouth of the cave, he saw that the rain had stopped. All that was left from the storm was an overcast.

At the opening of the cave, Cain shouted, “We are leaving now. I don’t want to stay here for even one more day. The earlier we get off the Island, the better.”

As Cain marched out of the cave, Lucis followed. When he took a step out from the cave, there was still a slight drizzle. But even so, Cain did not stop walking.

Lucis thought that the rain was a refreshing contrast compared the previous days of sun.

As the cave disappeared behind them, conversations began within the group, until everyone was deep in conversation. Caelyn was beside him, as was Theresa.

Theresa said, “I am so hungry. When was the last time we ate something?” She looked at the sky. “I don’t even know how much time had passed.”

“I have to agree,” replied Caelyn. “Everything about this Island is strange. Especially when we went down that cave. Cain said that time barely passed for them. But it felt like at least a day had passed for us.”

Lucis was deep in thought. Not only about the mystery in the cave, but also about what he had seen in the dream. Over the past days he had been on the Island, Lucis had found that his dreams always came true.

After a while more walking, Cain stopped, and was gazing at the mountains. There was an inital moment of confusion, before Lucis jerked his head toward the mountains and saw why had made Cain stop.
It was a gap between the mountains.

The slope to the pass was rocky and steep. Yet, not so steep that it could not be traveled upon. Trickling down from the gap in the mountains was a stream of water. As soon as someone saw this stream, they sprinted to the water and threw the water into their mouths by the handful.

After resting at the stream for a moment, Cain said, “We will now climb the path to the pass.”
With that said, they began the journey to the other side of the mountains. At first, Lucis could walk up the slope with relative ease. However, as they got higher, he needed to put his hands onto the ground in order to balance himself. When he became thirsty, he would come over to the stream and drink some of the sweet water.

Finally, they reached the pass. From there, Lucis saw that the pass itself was flat compared to the slope he had just climbed. After a moment of walking, they found the source of the water—a small lake that had collected rainwater.

They stayed there for a while, for no one was willing to part with their source of water. Finally, everyone was prepared to continue on their way. And so, with Cain and Roland leading, the group continued on their journey.

The other side of the mountain was much steeper than the slope they came from. As soon as Lucis saw this, he considered it to be a cliff. Even Cain hesitated as he looked at the long drop below. Lucis could hear Cain and Roland discussing how they would manage to climb down the cliff.

After a long time of discuss, Isabelle came to the two of them and said, “I’ll go first. I used to climb mountains like these all the time. I’ve climbed slopes that are steeper than these all the time.”

After a moment of thought, Cain nodded. “Be careful.”

Isabelle began to climb down. Peddles and gravel fell as she took each step. Finally, she got to the ground. Lucis breathed a sigh of relief. One by one, they began climbing down the cliff, until everyone had got to the ground with only minor scrapes on their legs.
At the foot of the mountain was a dense forest of lush foliage. Everyone was wary about going into a forest, but they knew there was no other way. Cain led them into the forest. As soon as Lucis took a step into the forest, he found that there was something strange about it. Every tree seemed to glow with a warm light, filling the entire forest with this glow.

The smell of wood hung in the air, creating a relaxing atmosphere. Lucis smiled as he looked at the scenery around him. As they went further into this forest, the effect became stronger. Here, he felt the pure power of nature.

Somewhere along the way, they reached another spring of water. After a short rest, they continued deeper into the forest. Scarlet birds flitted from tree to tree. The dirt was soft on the ground below.

Caelyn nudged him and pointed to a mango tree. Others saw where Caelyn and Lucis were going. Lucis and Caelyn climbed the tree and tossed everyone a mango. After everyone had their mango, the two of them climbed back down. As he ate his mango, he thought about how good it was. For this was sweet without any tartness. When everyone finished their mango, they continued their journey.

In front, he saw Cain and Roland disappear into the bushes. Lucis followed. Through the bushes was the clearing. When he saw what was at the center of the clearing, he gasped. Standing tall at the center was the wooden staff, shining with a glow the color of wood. Because of this radiance, Lucis could not see what the staff itself looked like. Runes drawn from energy floated around the staff, so many that he could not count the number.

Caelyn passed through the bushes behind him, and froze upon the sight of the staff. Everyone else came into the clearing and stared in awe at what stood at the center.

Then, as if drawn to by a hidden force, Caelyn approached the staff. When everyone realized what she was going to do, it was too late.

Bolts of energy shot out from the tip of the staff and arced toward her. Caelyn screamed as the bolts made contact with her. Her very material was being torn apart. Golden light seemed to force its way into her skin. Lucis bent down and covered his ear, for he could not bare the sound of her screams. A wraith of golden energy seemed to leave her body. The wraith seemed to glow brighter as more of the energy connect with it. Finally, the wraith returned to Caelyn’s body and the bolts of energy stopped. She fell onto the ground.

No breaths came from her.

Tears rolled down Lucis’ eyes as realized that Caelyn was dead. Everyone was shocked as they saw his tears—everyone assumed that Lucis had no feelings. He scrambled toward her and knelt by her.

Suddenly, she gasped for air. With a swift movement, she got to her feet. Caelyn didn’t look as though she was torn apart only a moment ago. Contrary, she looked better than she ever had been. Caelyn strolled toward the wooden staff, and pulled it out of the ground. A wave of energy and heat ripped from the staff, and all was cold again. The light of the forest extinguished, and the only source of light came from the tip of the staff.

Caelyn gave the staff a twirl and smiled. “Well, now the boys aren’t the only ones with weapons.”

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