Tipping the scales


Level 2
Sep 30, 2018
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Cho wrestled with his eyelids, awakened by the faint ringing of wind chimes. He squinted against the strange landscape that welcomed him back into consciousness. It was familiar, yet strange. He found himself within a wooded land. Tall trees surrounded him on all sides, taller than he’d seen before and in strange, different colours than he was used to. He’d seen this before, not long before the amalgam had feasted on his skull. The bark of the trees was a dull red, the leaves were purple. The sky itself had shifted to a warm shade of lilac, giving the scenery a softer tone. He found himself a little unsure of the time of day. The lilac sky gave him the sense that it was near dusk, but he wasn’t sure if this was the day or night sky. A vague mist wafted around the scenery, floating in and around the trees. It seemed to part preemptively as Cho began walking, having decided to try and find the source of the wind chimes.

In spite of the violent last few moments of his life, the Earthbender found himself at relative ease. Something about this place was soothing. He was consumed by thoughts of the events of Dante’s Comet, but he no longer felt fear or panic. He was able to reflect on everything that happened, without falling into a spiral of panic and anxiety. He snorted a quiet laugh, he and Sigmund had made it all the way to the top five. He wasn’t too sure if Sigmund had taken the win or not, but they’d given it their all. It dawned on him that he’d spent the better part of the first day just cowering.

“Shit.” He groaned, the realisation that this entire thing had been live to a whole bunch of people. They’d probably all seen him shitting himself because of a fucking Owl.

“There’s no need to be embarrassed, Cho.” A familiar voice rang out through the haze.

“Easy for you to say.”

“Fear is a natural response to stressful situations, my dear.” The ethereal voice drifted around the Earthbender, echoing vaguely, “You fought as well as any of the others.”

“Heh. There were some real monsters in there. Dude literally ate my face.”

“Mhmm. I saw.”

“Okay. But who are you? And what do you want with me? This is the second time you’ve brought me here. Just as confused as the first time. Hell, what even is this place?”

“ I suppose you deserve that much of an explanation. My name is Shaan. What I want with you remains to be seen. There are things missing from this place. There is a tentative balance that, with enough care and attention, can be maintained. There isn’t a force in place to watch over that balance. This place is the equivalent of what you would know to be the Spirit Realm. Yes, I am one of the spirits. But, your time here is almost up. Find a way to return here. Then, we can converse for longer.” Shaan’s voice trailed off until it was little more than a lingering echo, a whisper in the wind.

“Wake up!” A second voice pierced the veil.