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Chapter 17

Posted by PURPLEYHAN STORIES on Sunday, January 24, 2016


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Tahimik ko lang na sinusundan si Henric at habang nakatingin ako sa likod niya ay lalo kong nararamdaman ang lakas ng presence niya. He has that untouchable aura that keeps you from away from him. Bigla naman siyang napahinto kaya huminto rin ako at nung lumingon siya sa akin ay napaatras ako.

“We’re here.” Napatingin naman ako sa likuran niya at doon ko lang narealize na nasa harap na pala kami ng isang malaking pinto na kasintaas ng kisame at kasinlapad ng hallway.

Laxo,” sabi niya at unti-unting nagbukas ang malaking pintuan. Halos kilabutan ako sa tunog pero sinundan ko siya papasok sa loob at napanganga ako sa nakita ko.

The room glittered because of floating lights and after a few seconds, I realized those are spirit particles. Floras, domusaes, silvanias, naturaes and aquainas were also present and I can’t believe that their natural habitats can thrive here. Countless trees, flowers and bodies of water grew and blossomed inside this place but the huge, circular white table at the middle took my attention.

“You’re finally here, Henric,” sabi ng isang babaeng may hawak na libro pero nagulat ako dahil violet ang mga mata niya at ang buhok niya.

Lumapit si Henric sa table kaya naman sumunod ako at doon lang nagsink-in sa akin ang mga taong nandito ngayon. Nakita ko rin sina Lexi, Yano at Ryleigh sa gilid na tahimik na nakatingin sa pitong taong nakaupo sa gitna.

Kahit sobrang kinakabahan ako ay nagawa kong makarating sa pwesto nina Lexi at napahawak ako sa kamay niya. Ni hindi ko akalaing makikita ko ang pitong Spirit Masters nang sabay-sabay.

“It’s been a long time since the Spirit Masters have gathered together,” Gavin said. Just like before, he’s wearing his white uniform and white coat while fiddling with his sword. I also noticed that their seats were made of spirit particles.

“So where is he?” tanong naman ni Master at nagkatinginan kami ni Lexi dahil sa suot niya. She’s wearing an all-black attire with a black cloth covering the lower half of her face, just like her image as the Amazon Divian.

“He’ll be here in a while.” Nagulat ako nung marinig ko ang boses niya at hindi ko kaagad narealize kung sino siya. Nagpabalik-balik ang tingin ko sa kanya at kay Lexi at sa expression ni Lexi, alam kong ngayon niya lang din nalaman ang tungkol dito.

Tito Leon, Lexi’s dad, was sitting with the Spirit Masters...and he’s one of them. He still has that carefree expression but wearing a plate mail armor made him look stronger and dependable.

“Oh my. This will only be my second time to see the Divine General,” Adrielle said with a smile on her face. She looks like a nymph or a forest goddess because of her beautiful features and white dress in this nature-filled room.

“Of course. You and Henric are just new Spirit Masters,” sabi naman nung violet ang mata at buhok habang nakafocus sa binabasa niyang libro at tinignan siya nang masama ni Adrielle pero ngumiti ulit siya after a few seconds.

“I won’t give you any lenses anymore, Astrid.”

“You gave me too much last time. I have my stock.”

Doon ko narealize na ang babaeng kausap ni Adrielle ay si Astrid, the owner of the library where we went a few weeks before. Sabi nila, siya ang pinakamatalino sa lahat ng naging Spirit Masters at marami rin siyang nagawang seals na ginagamit hanggang ngayon.

Tahimik lang sina Henric at Lark. I remember Lark because of the incident before. He’s wearing his black eye patch on his left eye and with his ragged denim jacket and faded jeans, he looks rough and untamed, just like Tito Ramon. On the other hand, Henric looks like an heir from a rich family because of his ‘prince’ features. Clearly, he’s the youngest among them.

“I heard that almost all of us were attacked.”

Naramdaman ko kaagad ang tension sa pagitan nila nung sabihin ‘yun ni Master.
Natahimik silang lahat at naging seryoso ang expressions nila.

“Yes,” Adrielle replied. “The Divine Camp has been attacked for a few times before but they’ve become really aggressive these past few weeks.”

“They’ve been attacking several cities, too,” Gavin added as he carefully placed his sword on the table.

“I heard that the Capital is at alert level 3 right now,” sabi naman ni Henric.

“Those Exorcists are really challenging us. Why can’t they understand that we don’t have that ancient seal with us?” dagdag ni Astrid at sinara na niya ang librong binabasa niya.

“It just shows that Ignus is running out of time.”

Pagkasabi nun ni Tito Ramon ay tumingin silang lahat sa kanya at lalo ko lang naramdaman ang pressure sa loob ng kwarto na ‘to. Pati ang panginginig ng kamay ni Lexi ay nararamdaman ko kaya mas lalo kong hinigpitan ang hawak ko sa kanya habang sina Yano at Ryleigh ay tahimik lang sa likuran namin.

Ignus...I wonder who that is. And that ancient seal again. Naalala ko bigla ang usapan nina Gavin at Master dati tungkol doon.

The ancient seal of immortality.

I’m sure a lot of people, not only the Exorcists, will fight with their lives on the line just to get that seal. After all, immortality is waiting for them once they got it.

“Reika.”

Napatingin naman ako bigla sa paligid dahil naririnig ko na naman ang boses na ‘yun. Pangalawang beses na niyang tinawag ang pangalan ko simula nung mapunta ako rito sa Hydra at hindi ko alam kung bakit o kung sino siya.

“What?” mahinang tanong ni Ryleigh dahil napalingon ako sa likuran sa paghahanap ko kung saan nanggagaling ang boses na ‘yun.

“Did you hear that voice?” bulong ko at napakunot ang noo niya.

“Whose voice?”

“Hindi ko rin alam. A female’s voice.”

“Maybe that’s just them,” sabay tingin niya sa Spirit Masters pero umiling ako.

“No, it’s not...” Napabuntong-hininga na lang ako dahil hindi ko rin maexplain nang maayos. “Nevermind,” sabay ayos ko ng pwesto at tumingin na lang ulit ako sa Spirit Masters.

Simula nung nagtraining ako as a Divian, ilang beses ko nang naririnig ang boses na ‘yun. Hindi ko alam kung bakit ako lang at kung anong dahilan niya para kausapin ako. Pero minsan na niya rin akong tinulungan. I don’t know how but it’s like she’s watching me from afar.

“Pero kung wala na sa atin, sa Spirit Masters, ang seal, nasaan na ‘yun ngayon?” tanong ni Adrielle sa kanila.

“No one knows the location of the seal except the Divine General and—” Naputol naman ang sinasabi ni Astrid at lahat sila ay natahimik.

“He’s here,” biglang sabi ni Lark at halos hindi ako nakahinga nung naramdaman ko ang pagtaas ng tension sa buong room. Maging ang naturaes, floras, silvanias, domusaes at aquainas ay naramdaman ‘yun kaya lahat sila ay tumakbo at nagtago sa mga puno, bulaklak at sa ilalim ng tubig.

Unti-unting bumukas ang higanteng pinto at pare-pareho kaming nakatingin sa direksyong iyon. Tumayo ang lahat ng Spirit Masters habang kaming apat ay hindi na makagalaw sa pwesto namin. I can clearly hear his footsteps and when he appeared at the doorway, I can feel the immense pressure of his very own presence.

“Divine General,” sabay-sabay na sabi ng Spirit Masters at yumuko silang lahat kaya naman yumuko rin kaming apat sa direksyon niya.

I managed to look at his features and I can say that he’s in his late forties or even fifties. With his medieval black cloak and white plate mail, he looks like a commander of an army. He also has finger chains on both hands instead of armor gloves. His pale complexion highlighted the faded scars on his face but he still looks handsome for his age.

He walked towards them and sat at the center seat. From his left, the Spirit Masters’ arrangement is Adrielle, Ramon, Ariah, Henric, Gavin, Astrid and Lark, who is seated on his right side.

Hindi pa rin ako makapaniwala na kasama namin ang Divine General, the one who leads all the Divians, sa iisang kwarto. At tama nga ang rumors na naririnig namin. Ang bata niyang tignan. According to rumors, he’s the very first Divine General and until now, he’s still in that position. He should be on his hundredth but he looks at least fifty.

“Sit down, Spirit Masters,” sabi niya at agad namang umupo ang Spirit Masters. “Alam kong ang ilan sa inyo ay kuntento na sa kani-kanilang buhay at ang ilan naman ay matagal nang tinalikuran ang kanilang tungkulin,” sabi ng Divine General at halos napayuko silang lahat. “Pero dumating na ang panahon para magsama-sama ulit kayo.”

Kinilabutan ako sa paraan ng pagsabi niya nun na para bang may mangyayaring malaking kaganapan dahil sa pagsasama-sama ng Spirit Masters sa Hydra.

“At kayong apat,” sabay tingin niya sa amin at halos mapatalon ako sa gulat. Ni hindi ko siya magawang tignan sa mga mata kaya naman tumingin na lang ako sa space sa pagitan nila ni Master.
“Kaya kayo nandito ngayon ay dahil may malaki rin kayong gagampanan sa hinaharap.”

Bigla kong naalala ang prophecy ni Tita Aina at alam kong konektado ‘yun sa sinasabi ng Divine General.

“Hindi pa pala ako nakakapagpakilala sa inyo,” sabi niya at ngumiti siya sa amin.
“I am Arsen, the Divine General. I am pleased to finally meet you, Yano, Ryleigh, Lexine and of course, Reika.”

I got goosebumps while he was saying our names. And I don’t know if it’s just me or what but I saw a glint on his eyes when he looked at me.

“Reika,” sabi ulit niya at lalo akong nagpanic.

“Y-Yes? I-I mean, yes Sir!”

“Gusto mo bang malaman ang nangyari sa mga magulang mo?”

His question threw me off guard and made my heart sank. I want to know anything about my parents but at the same time, I’m scared. Hindi ko alam kung kakayanin ko ba o matatanggap ko kung anumang nangyari sa kanila para mawala sila sa akin.

“Nakikita kong hindi ka pa handa,” sabi niya at tumango ako.

“Pero...pero...gusto kong malaman...”

“Then I’ll give you a piece of information.” Naging seryoso ang expression niya at halos pigil ang hininga ko habang naghihintay sa susunod niyang sasabihin.

“Just like these people,” sabay tingin niya sa pito, “Kass and Ramon, your parents, were also Spirit Masters.”


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