I followed Beckham and Jaycen along the red river to our left, shaking my head. Something was happening to Beckham - I spotted the symptoms easily, and I was very familiar with them. What I didn't know was why they were happening to him.
I'd been resisting the urge to cross through his mind block all day, but my own morals couldn't hold back my curiosity now. Concentrating with my potential and ensuring my eyes - now glowing a crimson pink - weren't visible to anyone else, I bypassed the block quickly with only slight dizziness.
Instantly, I felt weighed down by his thoughts and feelings. Confusion, anxiety, anger, helplessness, numbness... He could barely feel regular emotion, and it was clearly showing through to me. I immediately wanted to help him, but I had to restrain my power not to. This was something he needed to get through on his own.
It'd be so easy to persuade him to change... That small voice in my head thought. This isn't something I should help him with, I shot back. He needed to gain the strength going through it, or else it'd surely happen again. My thoughts drifted back to Mai, how she had begged me to help her, how I persuaded her feelings away only for them to come back twice as strong.
Mai. As soon as her name entered my mind, I could no longer keep the connection with Beckham's mind. As much as I'd tried to help her, I had only worsened everything. Even to her last moments... I was her downfall. It's all your fault, you know... The voice taunted once again. I shook my head, prohibiting the voice from taking over my thoughts. I had to stay strong. Beckham was who I should be worried about.
Jaycen turned around to look at me, and I was glad my connection with Beck's thoughts had ended. However, even though my eyes weren't glowing unnaturally, apparently Jaycen still realized I wasn't acting normally. He fell back a bit to walk next to me.
"What's wrong?" He wondered. I shrugged.
"I'm just thinking, don't worry." I assured him.
"Happy thoughts, I hope?" He guessed. I chuckled a bit and nodded.
"Sure, happy thoughts," I lied. He nodded and walked back to the front of the group, his smile unfaltering.
I wondered if he ever thought about anything other than positive things; I wanted to read his mind to see, but I was too tired to focus on his voice over the whispers of everyone else's. What would a person have to go through to be so incessantly optimistic? I began to wonder if his life had been perfect. Perhaps he wasn't accustomed to pain and sadness, or even negativity. I'll figure it out later, I thought.
"Where are we going?" Chanson asked, interrupting my thoughts. "Last I knew, none of us knew our way around this dimension." We all stopped, waiting for an answer from Beckham. He shrugged, and Jaycen grinned.
"We are trying to find the demons, of course!" He exclaimed happily. "It is indeed difficult to fight if we do not know who we are fighting. What better way to find them than searching?"
"Waiting?" Grace suggested fearfully.
"That would give them the power in the situation. We must keep some for ourselves, you know," Jaycen pointed out.
"Can't they just sneak up on us at any minute?" Grace wondered. "We can never predict what they'll do."
"Probably!" Jaycen smiled. "But unpredictability is what makes life fun!"
"You're kidding," Chanson sighed, annoyed.
"How'dya figure?" Isaac asked. "My life is determined strictly by predictability, and I think it's fine."
"It makes my life better. Imagine how incredibly boring life would be if you knew everything that was going to happen!" Jaycen said.
"I reread books all the time and they're still interesting," Isaac explained. "I think it depends on what you're talking about." Jaycen shrugged, still happy as ever. I shared a look with Cowyn. Those two had very differing ideals; it'd be interesting to see how they interacted with each other later.
We continued walking, only to stop soon after once again. There were two "rivers," one on each side of us, and they were narrowing quickly. Our path would barely be wide enough for one person. Looking between everyone's faces, they all seemed to be deciding whether to travel the path or not.
"D'ya reckon we keep going?" Isaac asked Beckham. He simply shrugged, looking to Jaycen for a definitive answer.
"I suppose. There is no where else to go unless we wish to go back in the direction we came," he decided.
"What if the path narrows too much to walk?" Cowyn asked. Grace nodded vigorously; Cowyn had voiced her own fear, as well. "That's hardly safe."
"We shall press on!" Jaycen exclaimed. I hid a laugh - he really did act like a knight, and it was hardly difficult to imagine he was one before we met. "We must defend The Last Few, and we must do it together!"
The Last Few. Link and Laelyn. They probably weren't even aware of their own importance at the moment... I was so worried about them; my best friend and his sister, both of which I barely knew now. They were both from a different dimension. As our group conformed into a single-file line, I thought about how much had changed in the past few days. Demons were real, and I was on a mission to help defeat them. Jaycen said I was in the journal... How was I so important if I never knew?
Lost in my thoughts, I never realized the path narrowing even further. I stumbled on the edge of the river and fell forward, hitting Chanson. He turned and glared at me, pointing to the molten lava flowing beside us.
"Don't kill me, idiot. Watch where you're going." He rolled his eyes. I looked down to avoid eye contact. His inner monologue was much louder than usual, and the only thing he ever thought about nowadays was his jealousy - no wonder he was acting like such a jerk lately. His mind didn't have room for any happier thoughts. Ignoring the outburst, I continued walking. I was the last in line and couldn't see anyone else, but that was fine. As long as we were on our way to Lyn and Link, I couldn't care less about the conditions of the journey.
Soon, fortunately, the path widened again. We walked two-by-two, three-by-three, then in a group once again - however, this wasn't the miracle I'd hoped for. The path was a dead end, and we were stuck in a cul de sac. Isaac immediately looked for a way around the third river cutting off our path.
"Wait! There's a lever here!" He exclaimed excitedly, reaching down to pull it. My gut told me it was a terrible idea.
"Isaac, w-" I began, before we were swept upward. Cries of confusion filled the air as we were caught, suspended individually by what felt like nets, but were invisible. "How did you think that was a good idea?" I sighed.
"Sorry. Wasn't thinking, but the reason why is up in the air at this point," Isaac laughed. "Oh, sorry, not funny." Everyone groaned in annoyance, except Jaycen.
"Perhaps this is what needs to happen!" He said. Grace sighed.
"Not everything is a miracle, Jaycen! How can being caught be-"
She was cut off by the sound of a girlish giggle coming from directly above us. My stomach dropped - that couldn't be good.
So, how do we like things from Mason's POV? I've been really excited to put his chapters in this book, so I hope y'all like it!
How do y'all like the cliffhanger of sorts? Thoughts? Predictions? Random musical ads to interrupt your day? No? Okay.
Love you guys, thanks for reading!
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Throne of Byrinthia - Book TwoFantasy
When Laelyn and Beckham escape back home, they think they're finally safe. However, this is far from the truth. The instant they arrive home, Beckham is greeted by his sister, Grace, who he hasn't seen in five years. She explains that she has info...