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Chapter II

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As always, my heart was beating at the top of its energies, but I didn't feel anything, just the coldness running through my empty veins and a frozen sweat covering my smoke-like skin. I looked around me, trying to be sure this was the place I thought it was, and after a couple of seconds, my breathing became normal once more.

It was still hard to understand those feelings, human feelings, without a human body. My conscience made a hard work to process all of them when they arrived, and sometimes it was impossible. A tide of pain, in all its shapes and intensities, was the result.

I rubbed my eyes with my hands, trying to feel better, as it would have been if I was in my body, but as a ghost all I felt was a cool, yet fresh, airstream on them. Nothing comfortable at all... It was very frustrating. A weary sigh came out of my lips, trying to focus on what I needed to do next.

It was all just a nightmare, something I should not be able to remember, but that replayed in my head every time I fell asleep. I had been for so long in that condition that it was already normal for me not to ret during the night, and to go through those images until something changed.

Trying to forget about it all, I floated to the nearest three to catch an apple. In Dreamare I still felt hungry, tired, and almost everything as if I had a body, but without that nexus between soul and mind, making the last to become a mess most of the time trying to understand how to give it all a right sense...

When I bit the apple, purple and sweet, almost twice its size in the real world, I didn't feel anything, but a piece of solid air passes through my throat after swallowing. Disgusting and bothering are small adjectives compared with what it felt like. Making a hard effort, I tried to focus on the environment, the gray, dusty forest I already knew, while eating and leaving its empty core floating in the air.

As always, there was a coldness, almost freezing, in all the place. Bursts of wind ruffled my hair and going through my body, between my bones and muscles. It was a sensation berely similar to feel blood running in my veins, and my mind focused on that so I could relax a little while I touched the floor once again.

The endless branches of the trees were entangled with each other, all of them with no leaves and changing skin, with holes that showed their empty inside, inhabited by strange creatures with a rabbit's body and cat's head.

Without anything else to do, I went to the Crystal Lake, which was not so far from that clearing. Not that I liked or enjoyed to see how my kingdom became a mountain of ruins, but it reminded me about my goal, besides the help it was to know its state. I floated to the place, trying not to touch anything around me, anything dead...

Anything like me...

No. No. I'm not dead, I reminded myself. I'm not dead; I'm still alive; I'm still breathing; I still have blood in my veins. It was getting harder each time not to forget those that, to keep it in my mind and be conscious of them. I gasped involuntarily when I saw the lake, filled with silver water and surrounded by a circle of black stones.

I didn't feel the dust under my feet, didn't feel it either when I walk, raising a cloud of dust of my size while I go to the lake. No particle touched me, so I remained impeccable... Just like always... Just like the first day I came to Dreamare...

It was not the time to think about it, so I shook my head and forgot about that. I needed to concentrate, just for a few minutes, in order to see through the lake. I already knew that having something else in my mind, besides what I wanted to see, will only summon a big, black stain to will cover the water. It happened four times before and I didn't want it to happen again, as it affected me as well.

I scowl when I realized that I needed to touch the gray dust on the ground, Dreamare's kind of earth, to use the lake. It was mandatory, no matter how much I hated the feeling, but it was better to be done with it than to think so did it, threw it to the water and recited the enchantment.

"Open my eyes and let me see what it's happening on the other side of the reflection. May the waters open as I say and as I order, so the images I get reflect what happens before it is over. Open yourself to my command. So be it and so it will be, because it is my wish."

The water started to move, forming different, abstract patterns on the surface, and caressing the borders, but not even a single drop got out. Little lights appeared at the bottom of the lake, that space where everything seems to be black, drawing lines and dots to open the temporal portal.

A square, surrounded by triangles with three dots on each end, appeared in front of me as it changed its light from white to purple. The wind around me became wilder and colder, proving that it was still possible for it to kill me by freezing, and agitated the whole lake.

Like the other times I did it, a chill ran over my spine, a small fear I always kept under control until that moment, when I was about to see what was left of my homeland and how much war and evil had corrupted it.

Keeping my mind focused on that, my home, my kingdom, my family, the fairies and the few friends I could make, I looked out over the water, feeling how my ethereal body turned into ice.

Keeping my mind focused on that, my home, my kingdom, my family, the fairies and the few friends I could make, I looked out over the water, feeling how my ethereal body turned into ice

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