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In The Spirit World - Chapter 9
Agawe felt light and floated in the air. He looked down and saw everything burning. Smoke filled the air. He could barely see through the thick smoke but in time he saw the lifeless form of Encanta among the ashes and a few feet away, he saw himself lying motionless on the rocky ground.
Agawe was horrified at the thought that he was dead and his soul had floated out of his body. And Encanta could be dead, too. He grieved that he did not finish his task. He failed!
The smoke cleared and Agawe saw Laidan kneeling beside Encanta. Gayon was frenzied while Ayong was hysterical as he shook Agawe’s limp body.
A sudden force sucked Agawe out of there. He tried to fight but he could not get away. The power was so strong he decided to let go and be drifted to wherever it was taking him. He closed his eyes.
Agawe opened his eyes and took in his surroundings. It was a beautiful place. I’m in heaven, he thought.
He was lying in a huge soft bed with gold and red satin sheets. “I am alive…” he muttered. “It was a dream… just a dream!!”
He turned over to his side and warm light fell on his face. He felt something odd and he sat up.
A huge and magnificent room bathed in a warm glow welcomed him. Sunlight came through an open window with thick draperies drawn apart.
He threw his legs over the side of the bed and he saw the sandals on his feet. Then he noticed he was not wearing his own clothes. He walked to a huge mirror. At first he thought it was someone else but he realized he was looking at his own reflection.
He had on a white tunic over dark brown pants. The sandals were strapped around his legs over the fitted pants.
This is Encantor clothes, he thought. He found his sword belt at the foot of the bed and tied it around his waist.
In spite of himself, he flexed his legs one after the other to see if his movements were not impaired by such layers of clothes. If felt light. He turned left and turned right to check his reflection. When satisfied, he walked to the open window.
He saw a flurry of activities down in the courtyard. Children were playing, running to and fro. He realized he was in DilikanKingdom. He smiled at the thought that he could be looking at the Dilikan adults and not children, because there was not much difference in their sizes.
If they become smaller than they are, I might not see them anymore from up here, he chuckled at the thought.
All of a sudden, a loud “thud” caused panic in the courtyard. It sounded like something heavy fell from the sky. Agawe heard the screaming as he dashed to the door and opened the heavy locks.
He ran through a long hallway and almost bumped into Gayon and Ayong. They stared at each other before Ayong hollered, “Agawe! You’re alive!” Ayong gave him a bear hug.
Gayon joined in, “Agawe…adi… you scared us!” He tapped him on the arm. “We thought you….”
Agawe grinned and stepped back, “You look good… I did not recognize you…” They too, were wearing the white tunic with fitted pants and sandals.
“And we thought you’re Laidan. You look like him now… we look like him… but much better looking,” Ayong laughed.
Their merriment was short-lived when they remembered the loud noise in the courtyard.
They all ran down a wide staircase.
At the bottom of the stairs, they could not decide which way to go until one Dilikan appeared and signaled them to follow him.
In the courtyard, they were greeted by a huge, black bird writhing on the ground and bound in ropes held by little people who swarmed him and threw stones at him.
“Stop! Stop!” Agawe heard a familiar voice and turned to see Encanta rushing to her people.
Agawe ran after her with Ayong and Gayon on his heels.
“Princess… this black bird is a buso-animal! We have to kill him!” one of the little people reported.
Then Agawe heard the bird groan, “Agaweee… I… have a… message for Agawe…” the weak bird uttered laboriously before he passed out.
They gathered in a room with an open balcony where they waited news from the Dilikan healers who attended to the black bird.
Agawe learned that Laidan caught the fleeing Tagamalings who confessed that Encanta’s parents were seized from them by the witch Induwa and they had no idea where they were.
The expression on Laidan’s face was serious. “Encanta… your power almost killed you and Agawe. You have to learn to control them.”
Encanta looked at her feet. “I am sorry… I lost control because I could not pick up their thoughts anymore. They could be in real danger. I blame myself for what is happening to my parents… I did not fight when we were attacked…”
“Why did you not?” Ayong asked the princess.
“Amma is peace-loving spirit. He thought he could talk to the Tagamalings but they grabbed him and said they will kill him if I don’t go with them peacefully…”
She started to sob. Agawe heard thunder outside.
“I knew they were lying. There were monsters in the palace when we left. I planned to escape and come back. But I was too late…” Encanta’s tears fell and rain poured in torrents outside.
“Encanta… we will find your parents… but we have to be careful… we could not risk that again,” Laidan admonished the princess.
Her sobs turned to a whimper and the rain outside stopped, the skies cleared. She turned to Agawe, “I’m sorry I almost killed you…”
“Well… I was more worried about you… I was alarmed when I looked down and saw you lifeless…”
“Looked down?” Gayon asked.
“I dreamed about it… in my dream my soul floated out of my body and I was looking down at you…”
“It was not a dream…” Laidan declared.
“What? It was real? I died?”
Laidan shook his head, “You have the ability to separate your spirit from your body… so you are always aware what’s going on while your body has shut down.”
Agawe started to ask a question when a Dilikan soldier appeared, “Princess… the bird is conscious.”
The Birdman Nibor
They ran to where the black bird was kept. As Agawe entered the room, he saw that the bird stood on its full length. He spread his wings and its expanse filled the room. They were dwarfed by the size of the bird.
“Who are you?” Agawe yelled.
“I was sent to see Agawe…” the bird answered in a voice that boomed throughout the room. “The King of the black birds, King Waku sent me to find him…”
“So you do not know who Agawe is?” Ayong inquired.
“No… all we know is that he is the human chosen to fight the Buso King!”
“What do you want from me?” Agawe moved forward.
“You… you are Agawe?”
Gayon stared at the bird. “Why is it hard to believe?” his eyebrows creased.
“So young… I expected someone older… someone….” he hesitated, “a warrior…”
“Sorry to disappoint you…” Agawe said coldly.
The bird apologized, “I did not mean to …”
“What do you want from Agawe?” Gayon interrupted. “Did you come in peace?”
The bird pulled back his wings and to everyone’s surprise, he slowly transformed into human form. “My name is Nibor…” he started.
“You are a birdman…!” Encanta declared gleefully. “Inna told me stories about your kind…”
“Yes… I am from the Uwak Kingdom. We live around the Ugis Volcano which is dead for centuries… but it recently erupted…”
“Ugis… the white volcano? It erupted? When?” Laidan asked a series of questions.
“When the moon was new…” Nibor replied.
“But we did not feel anything from here…” one of the Dilikan healers said.
Laidan was deep in thought. “It’s because it was not natural… a spell was cast…”
“We thought so…” Nibor agreed, “it was the work of the Buso King… many of us perished in the molten lava. There was no warning… the volcano just spewed out lava which buried our unsuspecting people and everything on its path.”
“Why did you not fly out of there?” Ayong asked.
“It was so sudden… in the middle of the night… some of those who had the chance to transform were met by spewing lava burning their wings… and they fell into their fiery graves.” Nibor closed his eyes, “It was horrible… we saved most of those with minor injuries… and they are out there in the plain with no food and no treatment…”
“Nibor, have you done anything that angered the Buso King or his minions?” Laidan asked.
“Two of our young birdmen flew to the mouth of the volcano to explore the top. That same night, the eruption happened… then the colugos came and guarded the volcano.”
“Colugos?” Gayon questioned.
“The flying lemurs…” Laidan answered. “They work for the Buso King… they look frightening with their wide head and big eyes. But it’s their ability to climb fast and glide unnoticed that make them deadly. Once they get you in their large clawed feet, you don’t have a chance to get away…”
“I barely got away from them… they thought I was going up the volcano so they attacked me. I thank Manama I was able to fly until I fell here…”
“You could have died in the air,” Encanta sighed, “or killed by my people…”
Agawe took a deep breath, “Nibor… you said you have a message for me?”
“Agawe… King Waku asks help for our people. In return, we will join you to defeat the Buso King… because as long as he lives we can not go back to our homes… he has driven us away from the volcano…”
“Why would the Buso King be interested in the volcano? Gayon wondered.
“Because the mouth of the volcano is the gateway to Gimokodan…”
Everyone turned to Encanta like she dropped a bomb.
“How do you know this?” Laidan asked the young princess.
“I hear the voices in my mind… from inside the volcano. There are people trapped in there…”
Read Chapter 10
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