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Chapter 36

Posted by PURPLEYHAN STORIES on Saturday, October 29, 2016

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"I have been waiting for you, Reika."
"Phoebe . . ."

Nakaawang lang ang bibig ko habang nakatingin sa kanya. The girl in front of me is the owner of the voice inside my head, and she's Phoebe.

"H-how . . ."

Ngumiti lang siya sa akin. Bigla siyang humakbang palapit sa akin kaya naman nagpanic ako at agad na umatras. I still don't know how to deal with this situation given the fact that I'm facing someone who's supposed to be a phoenix. A guardian. Not a human.
Nagulat naman ako no'ng nakita ko ang pagtulo ng luha niya. Pinunasan naman niya agad ang pisngi niya at muling ngumiti sa akin.

"Ah. It's been a long time since someone called me by my name," sabi niya at muling tumulo ang luha mula sa mga mata niya.

Hindi ko alam kung dahil ba sa spirit particle concentration kaya hindi ako makahinga o dahil nasa harap ko siya ngayon.

"You . . . all this time . . ." sabay hawak ko sa ulo ko. "But how . . . Phoebe is . . ."

I can't even form a sentence anymore. My mind is racing with so many thoughts and they are making me dizzy. How? How did all of these happen?

"Did you read the prophecies?" tanong niya at tumango naman ako.

Her blue eyes and hair keep on distracting me. With those features, I know that she's somehow connected to Phoebe, my guardian. On top of that, she bears the same name, too.
Suddenly, the spirit particles encircled her and then her appearance started to change. Her white dress turned into an elegant one, with accessories glittering on it and her whole body; and her hair, glowing like blue fire, was styled with a simple braid and a tiara. From her innocent and young look earlier, she transformed into a graceful princess.

"Do you still remember the immortality prophecy?" she said with a smile and I nodded.

Unlimited power will be hers,
Accompanied by its curse;
Death can't claim her spirit,
But few will be after it.
Fire will claim its flame,
And seal the owner and her name;
Until the second finds its way to her,
The world will fall as hell takes over.

Pagkatapos kong sabihin ang ang prophecy ay napatingin ako sa kanya.

"It's you," I said after I realized the meaning of the lines.
"And the second prophecy?"

Born on the night of silence,
The world shall know her existence;
The second shall awaken
The power that was taken;
Inheriting the name of the first
Free her from the curse;
Keep the world from the raging fire,
And soar across the sky.

"And do you know who the Second is?" tanong niya.
"M-me . . ."

Ngumiti siya sa akin at unti-unti siyang lumapit. I was about to step back but the spirit particles behind me pushed me forward.

"I know that you're too confused right now, and I'm really sorry for that. But before everything else, you need to be the Second."
"W-what?"
"Do you know the history of this nation?" pag-iiba niya sa usapan at napaisip naman ako.

According to my parents, neighboring kingdoms were at war before and that's why guardians were born. Each kingdom received their guardians but because of greed and the creation of Exorcists, almost all guardian-user kingdoms were annihilated, except our nation.

"A bit," sagot ko. She smiled at me again and I can see the wistful longing in her eyes.
"Kilala mo ba kung sino ang namuno noong nagkaroon ng guardians sa lugar natin?"

Of course. All Divians know them.

"King Enos and Queen Divina," I said and she nodded.
"And I am their daughter, Princess Phoebe."

Napanganga ako sa sinabi niya at kahit may ideya na ako ay hindi pa rin ako makapaniwala. King Enos and Queen Divina ruled this land centuries ago, and here I am, in front of their daughter, who's probably hundreds of years older than me but looks like a fourteen-year old girl.

"And for you to know and understand everything, you need to be the Second completely."

Napatigil ako dahil sa sinabi niya. Completely? May kinalaman ba 'to sa seal na nasa likod ko?

"Yes, Reika," bigla niyang sabi no'ng nakita niyang nakahawak ako sa likod ko. "I had to stop you from undoing the seal before because that wasn't the right time and that'll lead to your death. But now that you're here with me, you can finally be free from the seal," sabi niya habang nakangiti pero kita ko ang lungkot sa mga mata niya. "So am I."

Her expression became serious and all of a sudden, her body was covered with blue fire.

"S
ignum resolvia zer amus termini. Cies notas pervum kai."

She started chanting and I felt a searing pain on my back. I yelled and collapsed on the floor as the pain intensified and it's more painful than the first time because the throbbing and stinging feeling spreads out my entire body. I clutched my back as I screamed in agony and some memories flashed in my mind. I want to shut them off but both the memories and pain started to clash inside my mind.

"Stop! Stop it!" Humawak na rin ako sa ulo ko dahil pakiramdam ko ay unti-unti na iyong nabibiyak sa sobrang sakit. "Please! Stop!"
"Hyva comvien relivus anima. Kai!"

Pagkasabi niya no'n ay isang malakas na sigaw ang lumabas sa bibig ko dahil sa buong panahon na nagchachant siya ay bigla kong naramdaman ang pinakamasakit na ilang segundo. The sharp pain gradually subsided and I almost passed out due to exhaustion.

"Reika," tawag niya at habang nakahiga ako sa sahig ay tumingin ako sa kanya. Nakalahad ang palad niya sa harapan ko kaya naman kinuha ko 'yon at tinulungan niya akong tumayo.

Bigla naman akong may naramdamang kung ano sa likod ko. I felt a soft breeze touching my skin followed by the warmth spreading around that area.

"I removed the Limiter seal," sabi ni Phoebe at napatingin ako sa kanya. Agad naman akong napahawak sa likod ko.
"T-the seal is gone?"
"Yes," sabay ngiti niya. "But the effect won't be immediate."
"What effect?"

Hindi naman niya ako sinagot at naglakad siya palayo sa akin. Nang makalayo na siya ay humarap ulit siya at nilibot niya ang paningin niya sa buong kwarto.

"
Retinen," she chanted and the spirit particles started to gather between us. "This Havoc is rooted from our history and I think you'll understand everything once you see what had happened before."

The spirit particles encircled us and suddenly, flashes of images appeared in my mind.

"Let's go, Reika," Phoebe said.
"W-where?" tanong ko naman habang nakatingin sa spirit particles sa paligid ko at hindi ko na makita si Phoebe dahil sa kanila.
"To the past."

Pagkasabi niya no'n ay nakaramdam ako ng matinding pagkahilo, dahilan para mapahawak ako sa ulo ko. Lalo pang bumilis ang pag-ikot ng paligid kaya napapikit na ako. I tried reaching for anything that I can lean on but my body collapsed on the floor before I could even start to walk, and my consciousness slipped away.

***

Pagmulat ko ng mga mata ko ay nakita kong nakahiga ako sa sahig kaya naman agad akong tumayo. Inisip ko kung ano ang nangyari at naalala kong may ginawa si Phoebe kaya nawalan ako ng malay.
Speaking of Phoebe, where is she? And where am I?
Napatalon naman ako no'ng bigla akong may narinig na malakas na tunog. I think the sound was from a group of horns or trumpets.
Naglakad naman ako papunta sa pinamalapit na balcony dahil baka kung ano na ang nangyayari sa labas ng Hydra, pero pagdating ko roon ay napahinto ako sa nakita ko.

"The King and Queen are back!" sigaw ng isang lalaking naka-uniporme.

Following him was a herd of knights and in the center was a tall and muscular man and a beautiful woman with their crowns. The King and Queen.
Napanganga ako sa nakita ko at bigla kong naalala ang sinabi ni Phoebe. Talaga bang bumalik ako sa nakaraan? Sa panahon kung kailan mga hari at reyna pa ang namumuno sa lugar na ito?
Sinundan ko lang sila ng tingin hanggang sa makapasok sila sa palasyo—wait, why am I inside the palace?
Magtatago na sana ako dahil hindi ko alam kung bakit nandito ako sa loob ng palasyo pero nagulat ako no'ng biglang may tumakbo sa harapan ko, kasunod ang dalawang lalaki. Nagulat naman ako no'ng nilagpasan niya lang ako. Hindi niya ako nakita? Am I invisible here?

"Mother and Father are here!" sigaw ng isang babae na nakasuot ng magarbong damit. Napatingin naman siya sa likuran niya habang tumatakbo at ngumiti. "Hurry up, Arsen, Erno!"
"Yes, Princess," sagot ng isang lalaki habang nakangiti.
"Princess, don't run in the hallway," sabi naman ng isa pa at siniko siya ng kasama niya.

When I heard their conversation, I immediately knew who she is. Even though her hair and eyes weren't blue, I know that she's Phoebe. Pero ang ikinagulat ko ay ang isang lalaking kasama niya. He looks like the younger version of the Divine General and Phoebe called him Arsen. Does that mean he's also immortal? How come?
Sinundan ko sila ng tingin at sinalubong ni Phoebe ang mga magulang niya.

"That was before the change happened."

Nagulat naman ako no'ng bigla akong nakarinig ng boses sa likuran ko at paglingon ko ay nandoon si Phoebe.

"P-Phoebe?" Tumingin ako sa baba kung nasaan si Phoebe at binalik ko ang tingin ko sa nasa likuran ko. "P-paanong . . ."
"We're just spirits here," sabi niya habang nakangiti. "These are not our real bodies. Just our spirit particles. That's why they can't see us."

Kinalma ko muna ang sarili ko pagkatapos no'n at pareho naming pinanood ang nangyari. Saglit akong lumingon sa direksyon niya at nakita ko na naman ang kalungkutan sa mukha niya habang nakatingin sa sarili niya.

"What do you mean by that change?" tanong ko naman.
"You'll see," sabi niya at bigla na namang umikot ang paligid.

Napapikit ulit ako at no'ng naramdaman kong huminto na ang pag-ikot ay dahan-dahan kong iminulat ang mga mata ko. Pagdilat ko ay nasa throne room na kami at nakita ko nang harapan si King Enos.

"How's the situation?" King Enos asked the guy nearest to him. I think that's his adviser.
"Still bad, Your Majesty."
"And it's getting worse, Your Majesty."

Napatingin naman kaming lahat sa pumasok sa throne room. He's wearing a unique armor, with his sheathed sword on his hips, and his presence exudes immense strength and power.

"General Helios," sabi ni King Enos at lumuhod naman ang lalaking kakarating lang.
"We need reinforcements in the southern district, Your Majesty, or the Garyans will charge through our defense and seize the area."

The King's expression became grim and even the advisers and ministers have the same looks on their face.

"During this time, war is inevitable," sabi ni Phoebe sa tabi ko. "The neighboring kingdoms see us as a threat because of our military strength and land expansion. At the same time, a kingdom in the south has fallen that's why the kingdoms surrounding them want to conquer their lands, and we're one of them."

Hindi ko akalaing may mas lalala pa sa Great Havoc na nangyari seven years ago. Kung dati ay dalawang panig lang ang mayroon, ngayon ay iba't ibang bansa ang naglalaban. Kinuyom ko ang kamay ko dahil nakaramdam ako ng matinding takot sa sitwasyon.

"Your Majesty."

Napatingin ulit kami sa pumasok at lahat ay napatigil noong nakita nila kung sino ang dumating. Queen Divina walked through the room with elegance and stood in front of her husband.

"The High Seer has finished her divination," sabi niya at lumakad naman mula sa likuran niya ang isang babae.
"Your Majesty, I received the prophecy."
"Go on."
"The Queens of the kingdoms have the task to pray to the gods and goddesses with the Seers to ensure the success of the war and the safety of their own kingdom," biglang sabi ni Phoebe. "They prayed and prayed until the Heaven heard them."

'
Light will fall upon the lands
Waking up the spirits of thousand
Blood will shed by their hands
Until the one chose to command.'

Nang marinig ko ang sinabi ng Seer ay napatingin ako kay Phoebe at nag-iba muli ang expression niya. Magtatanong na sana ako pero bigla na namang umikot ang paligid at pagdilat ko ay iba na naman ang setting. Gabi na at nasa balkonahe kami ng isang kwarto at pagtingin ko ay nandoon si Phoebe at nakatanaw siya sa may railings.

"I know that you are there, Arsen," sabi niya at nagulat ako nang biglang may tumalon mula sa itaas. He landed on the railings without losing his balance.
"You should sleep now, Princess."
"I can't. And I told you to call me by my name if there's nobody around us. Buti pa si Erno."

Natahimik naman sila at sumilip ako ng tingin kay Phoebe na kasama ko. She's smiling while looking at her other self and Arsen but I can see the pain in her eyes, though I don't know why.

"Bakit hindi ka makatulog?" tanong ni Arsen noong makababa na siya sa railings.
"I don't know. It feels like something's going to happen tonight."

Pagkasabi niya no'n ay natahimik silang dalawa at makalipas ang ilang minuto ay may napalitan ng takot ang expression nila. Light, or should I say spirit particles, started to fall from the sky and it illuminated the whole kingdom.

"This is the change I was saying," sabi ni Phoebe.

Suddenly, the spirit particles clumped into groups and started to change their directions. Some of them went to our direction.

"W-what's happening?" Phoebe asked, panicked.
"Stay behind me," sabi naman ni Arsen at pumunta siya sa harapan ni Phoebe. He wielded his sword and pointed it at the spirit particles coming for them.
"A-Arsen!"

Lalo lang silang nagpanic noong pinalibutan na sila ng mga ito. The spirit particles separated them from each other and both of them were enveloped by them. I heard them shouting each other's name and Arsen tried to reach her but before he could even hold her hand, the spirit particles has swallowed them completely.

Napanganga na lang ako habang pinapanood ang nangyari. From the other places of the kingdom, I also heard people's scream as the cluster of spirit particles invade those places. As the night deepens, more people were consumed by these lights, just like what the prophecy has stated.

"Is this happening to the other kingdoms, too?" tanong ko kay Phoebe at tumango naman siya.
"Yes. This change was the start of everything. The war. The prophecy about me. And you."

Pagkatapos niyang sabihin 'yon ay unti-unting nawala ang spirit particles na nakapaligid kina Phoebe at Arsen, hanggang sa makita na namin ulit sila. Arsen was on his knees, panting and catching his breath, after the spirit particles dispersed, while Phoebe laid unconscious on the floor.

"Phoebe!" sigaw ni Arsen at agad siyang pumunta kay Phoebe. "Phoebe, wake up! Phoebe!"

Phoebe's eyes flickered and she gasped for air when she finally woke up. Arsen sighed with relief after seeing Phoebe and he silently moved away from her.
Doon ko rin narealize na nagbago ang kulay ng buhok at mata ni Phoebe. She looked like her current self, with her blue eyes and hair. On the other hand, Arsen's armor seems stronger and harder, and instead of iron, it became reptilian scale, just like that of a dragon.

"Phoebe!"

Napatingin naman kami sa pintuan at nandoon sina King Enos at Queen Divina, pati na ang ilang advisers at ang High Seer. When they saw Phoebe, their expressions were a mix of concern, shock and confusion.

"Mother . . ." tawag ni Phoebe habang dahan-dahan siyang tumatayo at nakaalalay naman sa kanya si Arsen. Maglalakad na sana siya papunta sa kanila pero bigla na lang sumigaw ang High Seer.

She yelled so loud and stood frozen afterwards. A second after that, she looked at Phoebe and recited something.

Unlimited power will be hers,
Accompanied by its curse;
Death can't claim her spirit,
But few will be after it.
Fire will claim its flame,
And seal the owner and her name;
Until the second finds its way to her,
The world will fall as hell takes over.

Even though I've read that prophecy a while ago, I still got chills after hearing it from the High Seer. Now I'm starting to understand its meaning and the story behind it.

"Do you know why you see fragments of unfamiliar memories when you merge with your guardians?" tanong ni Phoebe at hindi naman ako nakasagot. "It's because guardians were once humans. Like me. But when the very first Divians died, their spirit particles fused with their guardian's and came back to the spirit dimension."
"Then . . . that means . . ." Ngumiti naman siya sa akin.
"Yes. I am Princess Phoebe, and at the same time, the guardian Phoebe. And now, my spirit particles, abilities and power, are yours . . . Second."


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