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In The Spirit World - Chapter 16
Reunited at the Encantor Kingdom
Agawe looked out from the balcony. The Encantor courtyard became an infirmary where the wounded and the injured were treated. Atina’s warriors suffered the most injuries but not one lost her life. Nibor’s injured birdmen remained as black birds and occupied a large area of the courtyard.
“Agawe…” a small voice called.
He turned, “You never surprise me anymore, Encanta… the way you appear and disappear like that…”
“I came to thank you… before I go back to Dilikan with my parents.”
Agawe knelt, “Encanta… it is I who should thank you. I couldn’t believe you were able to stop the moon…”
“I had to… whatever happened up there, I did not want the Buso King to succeed!”
“You should have been there when the Buso King realized the moon stopped moving…”
“I’m so glad I helped…” she looked down and said stiffly, “I’m sorry for stealing your stone, Agawe…”
“I understand, Encanta.” Agawe took a deep breath, “I was glad you picked up my thoughts that night in the balcony…”
“I didn’t know what to do… when the witch talked to me in Gimokodan… she promised to release my parents once she got the purple stone.”
“Encanta… you’re only a child… she took advantage of you. I was scared that you won’t listen to me that time…”
“I knew I can trust you, Agawe so I agreed to give the witch another stone. I should have confided in you the first time the witch got to me,” she sighed, “you almost got killed…”
“Well… it really didn’t matter, Encanta… I don’t know why but I keep escaping death these past few days…” Agawe smiled.
“Because you are the Chosen One, Agawe! You are the reason we can now live in peace and without fear!” Encanta hugged Agawe, “Goodbye Agawe…”
“I’ll be back tomorrow for the coronation…”
“What coro…?” Encanta was gone before Agawe could finish his question. He sighed and walked to the massive bed. Laidan gave him strict instructions to rest and that was what he intended to do.
He lay down and thought of all that happened from the time he and Laidan left the ApoMountain.
Laidan took him to the Encantor Palace. He refused to go to the healers until he saw Gayon and Ayong.
Gayon was doing well. Addalin served as his nurse.
“Thank you, Agawe… the healers said I lost so much blood. They’re wondering how I lived through it.” Gayon handed him the purple stone necklace. “I can’t believe you gave it up for me… when you were as critical as I was.”
“I would do it for anyone… especially for you and for Ayong!”
Ayong became emotional. “I don’t know how much of this I can take, Adi… fighting I can face… but the thought of… going home without you…” he tried to control his tears.
“We are all going home, Adi…” Agawe assured him.
Ayong took a long, deep breath. “So this is it? We can go home?”
“Yes! We can go home, Adi… it’s over! We did it!”
The palace healers declared that Agawe was well. Ayong, Gayon, and Atina swore he was badly gored and bleeding when they were on the mountain.
“I have a very strong suspicion you are not human!” Atina said seriously.
Though he was physically fine, Agawe felt exhausted so he did not argue when Laidan offered him a stately room to rest. He was tortured mentally. His mind was flooded with questions.
The following day, the King of Encantor gave a banquet in honor of everyone who worked together to defeat the Buso King. The highlight of the feast was the return of their swords. The Queen of Diwata appointed Laidan to hand the swords to Agawe, Gayon, and Ayong.
“She wishes you well and it is her desire that you take these swords with you to your world,” Laidan said.
They thanked the Diwata Queen through Laidan.
As the feast progressed, Agawe found himself alone under a canopy of trees. There was a hint of longing in his heart, a longing to be as happy as Gayon and as excited as Ayong.
Agawe had never seen Gayon so happy. Addalin never left his side.
“I can’t wait to see Ingan and my son …” Ayong told him earlier.
He was startled when Nibor tapped him by the shoulder, “King Waku is forever grateful to you, Agawe…”
“Nibor… we could never have made it without you and your men.”
“Agawe… you can count on us anytime. You brought us peace and we can now rebuild our kingdom! Thank you!”
“We all did our part, Nibor… I will be honored to visit your kingdom in the future!”
“My father will be happy to hear that,” Nibor said as he left to join his men.
Agawe watched in amazement as huge black birds transform to human forms when Nibor, their beloved prince, walked by their side.
“Agawe… !” he turned to see Atina waving at him. He walked to her.
“Atina… you are the very person I want to talk to,” Agawe said as he sat next to her in the marble bench.
“You said in Gimokodan that you are not dead but trapped in that realm… how can that happen?”
Agawe thought he saw a frown cross Atina’s face. “That’s it? That’s what you want to talk to me about?”
“Why? Is there anything else…?”
“Oh, nothing…” she made a face and sighed. “It’s a long story, Agawe…”
“I want to know how you came to the realm of the dead…”
Atina put down the mango she was eating and rubbed her hands briskly together before she started, “My father and my brothers were all warriors. I lost my mother early so I also became a warrior. One day, when all the men warriors were at war, the earth shook, opened up and swallowed our entire village. We found ourselves in a place we did not even know but we had to survive. I was the only warrior, all the others were helpless… young girls and old women.”
“Uhm… you can slow down… there’s no need to rush…”
Atina ignored him, “When the souls below us heard that we were not dead, one or two of them would creep up to take our bodies so they can go back to life. That’s how I knew we were in Gimokodan. I had to fight the souls off until the other girls decided they had to train and become warriors themselves in order to survive. So we became vicious warriors and those souls below learned not to bother us…”
“Do you know who would trap you in Gimokodan?”
“We believed it was the work of a strong and wicked mabalian in the other village. Until now, not one of us knows why…”
Agawe could only shake his head. “So what are your plans now?”
“We have no idea how to live out of Gimokodan. Maybe we should just stay here, find a place of our own, make ourselves useful…”
“Or maybe you could live upground… in our world…” Agawe stopped when he noticed Laidan standing beside him.
“The King wants to see you…”
Read Chapter 17