Dull droning, black and white blurry blobs were the limits to my hearing and vision.
I felt too weighed down to move. The sensation of movement was there but the feeling was too indistinct.
Famine... look... at... me.
Did someone call my name? Such a small voice; barely a whisper.
No. It was the droning noise. Besides, I would never allow myself to be known by a filthy consequence.
No. My name didn't begin with that letter.
"Of course not."
That voice! I know the sound of that voice!
"I'd be disappointed if you didn't Brother."
The droning noises pricked my head like a million tiny needles.
"Open your eyes, see me."
My eyes were already open. It was impossible to distinguish anything from the blurred blobs.
"Release the pain constricting your heart, then you can see."
The beating of my heart was literally thumping the hell out of my chest to make it ache all over, black and blue. If I could release myself from the pain, I would.
Et abiit dolore.
Ancient words flowed around my head to clear away the droning and restore my mind to a crisp and revitalised state. It softened my heart beats and soothed the pain in my chest.
"Is that better Brother?"
I blinked in an unlikely vision of a circular floor depicting a lotus flower in full bloom on still waters of a dark pond.
My body was lying within the center, reflecting my tired form. As I pushed myself, I smiled at the impression of water ripples around my hands. A coolness refreshed my flushed skin.
A familiar place.
The voice drew my attention toward the man standing on the opposite side of the floor that I sat on. Apart from the lotus floor, the area was a mass of grey space void of any characteristics.
"This place is?" My voice felt strange.
"All in good time Brother."
I felt old familiar feelings of longing and desperation tug at my heart.
"Pesti, it's you right?"
Pesti exhaled a disappointed sigh.
He stepped closer, so I could clearly distinguish his grey eyes and silver hair. It was him.
"It seems you're still seeing me with your worldly eyes. I suppose it can't be helped." Pesti's voice was expressionless.
"Where are you Pesti? Are you alright? I'm worried about you."
He sat down cross-legged before me, so we were facing each other. I mirrored his seated position, so we were at the same eye level.
"I am not Pesti, but I am the personification of pestilence." He answered.
"I don't understand." Frustration was aggravating the nerves of my hands, neck and sinus area.
"Your body is testing the limits of your will, I see."
Pesti continued to face me without expression.
"Before you leave this place, I'll give you my name, but you must promise to only say it when you see my body again," said Pesti, his voice becoming distant.
"That name is my mask. My real name is who I am," Pesti answered.
He leaned in close, so his dainty mouth was almost pressed to my ear.
When he told me his true name, my body relived every single sensation and emotion I had experience with the Pesti I know.
"Now you know." His voice left my ears.
I hiccupped, swallowing my tears and wiping my dirtied face clean with my sleeves.
"Brother. The Power of Preservation will not be enough to reset the false destiny you are facing. You will need some of your own," said Pesti when he resumed his cross-leg position. "This is going to hurt, sorry."
"By thy light of the Chiorning Star Ral, I evoke thee Powers of Clarity, Purpose, Preservation and Null!" Pesti's commanding voice saturated the air.
I felt his voice attack every part of my body like it was carrying needles. I was pin-pricked a zillion times, being torn apart. It hurt to breathe, to think, feel.
"I evoke thy Power of Null. Return thy power thoust hold to thee!"
My eyes were forced open.
I saw Gat Shiem's lifetime from conception, to its building stages and the day it was destroyed. Every single lifeform and creature who moved, lived and left that place, I felt them all until I knew them personally. It became clear that my power had been there from start. The Power of Null had made Gat Shiem and saw to its destruction. Naturally, my body was resisting to accept the fact with pain.
Pesti held out a glowing white ice cube in his hand before me. "You've glimpsed history that contained your power. Now that this course of history is complete, the power can be yours again."
"Don't want it." I choked back my tears.
"You have to take it for Sol's future. Gat Shiem will be forgotten if you do not take back this power." Pesti's voice was expressionless as usual.
"This's low, even for you Pesti. The lowest point of whatever I am." I sobbed.
I faced his unwavering grey eyes. "I want my brother back, whatever you are. You can call yourself what you want, I want him back!"
"I am him. Do not deny what you know in your heart is true, what you know this place to be. We all have one like it, the four of us."
Pesti held out the glowing cube under my nose. "Now take it!"
I grabbed the cube from his hands and braced myself for another painful experience; waited for a few moments but nothing came. I looked to my hands and saw that the cube was gone. More accurately to say, it had melted into my hands.
A white aura shone around my body. I felt present time tingling my fingertips.
"Good. You're ready to go back to your worldly life now."
I frowned, perplexed.
"Do well, Onii-san." Pesti's face lifted in a smile for the first time.
My vision was losing focus again, reverting to the black and white obscure blobs.
"No wait! Pesti where are you?! You have to tell me where you are?!"
I felt his image, grey space and the lotus flower floor leave my mind.
"Damn it! Don't do this to me a second time! PESTI!"
Worldly darkness reclaimed my senses. His ego was gone. Soon, so was the sensation and vividness of being there. Only a lingering impression remained as a souvenir.
Do I have to open my eyes?
I reluctantly answered my own question when my eyes fluttered open and I saw reality around me again.
YOU ARE READING
"I'll find a way to save my brother. Do whatever the hell you want. I'm stealing your guns." Famine is a man determined to save his three brothers after they were tragically separated when a magical fire destroyed their monastery home. He finds him...