“Okay…now!” Nathan ran towards me, and jumped. Once again, it failed, and he went right through me. It has been two days since we fought General Blaque. And yet we still hadn’t figured out how I merged with Nathan during that battle. It wasn’t as simple as us throwing ourselves into each other. There was something that we were missing. What caused the merging in that battle? I knew we had to keep trying, but Nathan was getting tired of it.
“I don’t see why we have to learn how to do this, anyway. I mean, as long as we have the jewel, we won’t have to worry about fighting some monster again.”
“But what would happen if we did lose the jewel? Then we’d have to get it back. And we’d probably have to fight a battle just like with Blaque. Who knows, we may have to fight him again. We didn’t exactly kill him.”
“I doubt that we have anything to worry about from a rat.” Of course he was a rat. We turned him into one. But I knew that as long as he still could talk, he’d be able to command his troops if they’d let him.
We eventually gave up trying to merge and continued our journey westward, to the Valley of Borea. I didn’t like the idea of having to perform this quest. The sooner we got it done, the better. I just wished that Nathan would take one of those “cars” instead of walk all the way there on foot. I did complain about it from time to time. But he’d just say, “I’ve read plenty of stories where the heroes journeyed on foot, and I’ve always wanted to experience that.” It didn’t help that we had no idea how far the valley was, nor did we know how close to the next city we were. We barely even knew where we were. But someone else did.
Being a ghost was unlike anything I had expected. Nathan was the only one who could see me. I could still feel the ground beneath my feet. Gravity had an effect on me, but my weight had no effect on the ground. I could still breathe, but couldn’t smell. I could walk through some things but not through others. I had to fly using my wings as if I was still alive, but they didn’t create a gust of wind when used. And I of course could see and hear things as well as I could when I was alive. The latter was probably what helped us that day. My hearing was as good as ever, and I could hear them coming.
Nathan turned towards me, and must’ve seen the concern in my face. “Is something wrong?”
“I hear footsteps. And they belong to more than one person. Someone is looking for us.”
I was a bit surprised that he didn’t realize who it was. “It must be Blaque and his soldiers. Come, we must flee.” Fortunately I was able to hear them before they spotted us, and we were able to get away, though not very far. Eventually we were able to find a small cave hidden behind some bushes. We were still in a mountainous region. “Hide in here. I’ll go out and see if I can find out any useful information.”
So I left Nathan at the cave. It didn’t take long before I came across a group of soldiers. I could hear others in the distance. They indeed were searching for someone, most likely us. They wore the same uniforms as the soldiers in Durhia Castle. I left that group and tried to find Blaque. Unfortunately, none of the groups had Blaque with them. I started to head back to where Nathan was hiding, when I came across a group with a soldier in a slightly different uniform than the others. It didn’t seem to be Blaque. I figured that Blaque either lost control of his troops, or he put someone else in charge of chasing us.
Then I heard the leader’s radio. “Sir, we think we’ve spotted our target. Male, about 5 foot 6, brown hair. He appears to be carrying some gear for camping.”
“That sounds like our target. Follow him, and see what he’s up to.”
That sounded a lot like Nathan. I told him to stay in that cave. Why would he come out of hiding? I rushed back to the cave. To my surprise, he wasn’t there. “Nathan, they’ve spotted you!” I knew my voice would be loud enough to reach him. But was I too late? I had to find him as fast as I could, so I quickly took to the air. I knew finding him wouldn’t be easy. The forest extended for quite a ways, and it was difficult seeing below the trees. I saw a few soldiers here and there, but there was no sign of Nathan. It had occurred to me that Nathan could have used the jewel to blend in with the wildlife, but I had strictly told him that he could not use it.
Suddenly, I spotted him, being held captive by soldiers. I knew that he desperately needed help, so I dove down, and flew right into him. Success. Our minds had merged, and my strengths given to him. But we quickly decided not to try anything just yet, for the soldiers had their guns with them. Soon the leader came along, and was greeted by the group holding us captive.
“Well? Did he have it?”
“Um…no, sir. We searched his gear, and does not seem to be carrying anything like what we’re looking for. We probably got the wrong man.”
“No, he’s the one. I’d know that face anywhere.” Naturally this caught us a little off guard. Neither of us seemed to recognize who the leader was. He sounded a lot like General Blaque, but he looked nothing like him. He stepped up to us. “Where is it? Where is Aura’s Jewel?!”
We had to think of something. “I placed it back in the shrine.” It was the first thing that came to mind. We already knew Blaque had it destroyed. Or at least, that’s what we thought, until…
“Under all that rubble? I don’t think so. You thought you could slow us down by destroying the shrine, didn’t you? Well, you thought wrong.” Blaque wasn’t the one who blew up the shrine. He would have told his troops had he been the one responsible for it. But if Blaque didn’t do it, then who? And what did Blaque mean by us not winning if he didn’t have it destroyed? We figured that he meant that he still had control over his troops.
It seemed that we weren’t going to get any more information out of him. At this point the guards had set their guns down, thinking we couldn’t do anything since we were tied up to a tree. We took advantage of the situation, and broke out of the ropes holding us to the tree. The first two soldiers were easy enough, but the third had already picked back up his gun, and started to fire at us. We were able to dodge his shots, and knock him out like we did with the other two soldiers. Then we turned towards their leader, and hit him hard in the stomach.
“I have a message for Blaque. He can’t win. I’m stronger, faster, better than any of these soldiers. Don’t mess with me again.”
The leader then started to get up. Unexpectedly, he started laughing, though still choking a bit from the punch. “You fool. I AM Blaque!” He then took a knife out, and slashed at us across the chest. It was an unexpected attack, and we weren’t able to dodge it. Enraged, we picked him up, and threw him into a tree. We then heard some troops coming our way, most likely because they heard the gunshots. We decided it was best to run once again. The slash across our chest was painful, but we were able to endure it long enough to get away from them.
Our minds and bodies suddenly split like they did during our previous encounter with Blaque. I could tell that Nathan was in great pain. The gash in his chest was worse than I thought. Together, we were able to endure it, but Nathan is only human. “Will you be alright?”
“Yeah. I just need the medical kit from my backpack.” He then suddenly had a look of fear on his face. It took a moment before I realized what was wrong. We had fled away from Blaque’s troops so quickly, we forgot to grab the bag. If we didn’t get Nathan healed soon, he could very well bleed to death.
I then decided that I should try merging with him again, but then Aura appeared before us. She came close to Nathan, and put her hand on his chest. Nathan’s injury started to glow a light blue, and I saw his injury heal in a matter of seconds. Nathan slowly got up, amazed at how much better he felt. Aura then turned towards me. “You have found that you could possess Nathan when he’s in trouble, I see. But don’t think that doing so could help an injury. It would only ease the pain, not stop the bleeding. However, as your quest continues, you will find that you have other powers as well, yet to be awakened. I’ll leave the discovery of those powers up to you. Now, I must leave.”
“Hold on,” I said. “If you are able to be here and heal Nathan, why can’t you take your jewel to the valley yourself?”
“Because, I’m not the one who tried using the jewel for greed.” And she disappeared.
“She had you there.” Nathan had fully recovered, a little to my dislike. “Problem is, we have to go back to that cave. I left the jewel sitting in there.”
“Why did you leave the cave in the first place?”
“It was full of spiders. I have this fear of spiders.” I found it to be a stupid fear, but at least the jewel was safe. We started to head back to the cave, when we heard a loud shout. It was Blaque. Something had happened to him, and we had no idea what. Nor did we know how he was able to not only change back to human, but be in a different human form. Some of the jewel’s power could be drained from it, but how could he have known that? I asked Nathan, and not even he knew about it, and the book he read didn’t mention it.
We found that getting the jewel was easy. The soldiers were gone. And as we continued our trek to the Valley of Borea, we couldn’t help but wonder. What was going on that we didn’t know about?