“ugh… Five more minutes…” He groaned.
“Come on, wake up already!” She nudged him.
“I said five more minutes… shut the hell up, Fai!” He groaned again and shove the hand away. Then he realized that the size of the arm was different.
“…huh?” He looked at the girl with eyes staring wide. An image of his brother was quickly replaced with the annoyed face of a girl crouching next to him. “What do you mean, Fai? I’m Tairah!” She pouted at him then stood up and walked away. He could hear the small rustling sound. He could hear birds chirping around happily. And the grasses around him were green.
“Did we return to the real world?!” He shouted as he sat up and looked around. They were in a forest. A calm bright forest. “No, I don’t think so, these might look real, but this is also someone else’s dream… I think.”
“Someone else’s dream? What do you mean?” He asked. “And… weren’t we in that plain with silver grasses and purple sky, and black cherry tree, and the skeleton thing?” He added.
“Yeah. We were. But we’re not anymore. This world, as I said is ‘dream’ which consist of people’s dreams. Well, I guess there are two kinds of people here. Those who can travel through dreams and have abilities like us, and people who create worlds we travel through. I guess I would like to call us ‘travelers’ while them ‘dreamers’.” She paused a while before taking a breath and continued.
“I think that blond girl determines everything, so don’t ask me why. This theory is basically something I made by collecting testimonies from people. Oh, and about how we can move from that place, it’s because we climbed the dream stair. The dream stair will appear whenever we defeat those Nightmares.”
The silver haired nodded in understanding. It’s not like he believed in her story, sadly it already happened and he had no choice but to agree. Then he realized something about the girl and decided to ask her out of curiosity. “You said that you have gathered information from people, where are they now and why are you traveling alone? You’re after all, a girl. Isn’t it dangerous for a girl to travel alone? In such a place like this?” He asked.
“Hey! I’m fifteen! I’m old enough to travel alone!” She replied. Then she sighed and looked away. “…The people I met are all older than me. I don’t feel safe with them. Besides, they are all guys.” She said with a blush in her face. No wonder why she felt unsafe.
“… But I’m a guy too?” He replied. “Well, at least you’re younger than me. Aren’t you? How old are you anyway?” She asked.
“…Thirteen.” He said with a sigh. Now he felt inferior toward the girl.
And at that she smiled widely with a winning aura from her face. “Oh, may I ask something?” The girl asked out of the sudden. He didn’t think of it and immediately answered with a ‘yes’.
“About this Fai person. You called me Fai just now, who is he?” She asked. This time, it was Will who looked away. He couldn’t define his relationship with his brother. Although brothers, he couldn’t feel the relation. It’s like they were strangers. And whenever he saw the younger boy, he felt… irritated. Now that someone has asked how they are related, he couldn’t find the word and just stated the obvious.
“…He’s my brother. I lost sight of him when I came here.” He said.
“Ah! I’m… sorry, you must miss your brother a lot, didn’t you?” She apologized, sympathizing the boy.
“…Nah, I don’t really like him. I don’t really care what happened to him.” Or so he thought, but then again, he had shouted to defend the younger boy. Now he wondered what he really feel for the boy.
“Eh? Are you not blood-related?” She asked. But then realized that she might have hurt the boy’s feelings that she apologized again.
“…No, we are blood-related. It’s just that… I don’t know. I can’t… I can’t love him like what brothers do.” He said.
“…Will…” Tairah had put that worried face again. She had no idea what to say to him. She fell silent for a while… then she chuckled. “What’s funny?” He grumbled at the girl, yet she kept her smile. “No, it’s just that… I had a brother too.” She said.
“We are twins although we don’t look alike. He’s really wild, but kind… He was really a good brother, however…”
“… As we grew up, He was… ignoring me. It felt distant. Everything is just so wrong.” She confessed, then sighed. “…We were so close back then.” She finished.
Now it was his turn to fall silent. Why was she telling her story out of the sudden anyway?
“O~kay. Enough of sob stories. We can fix everything when we return to our world.” She said as she stretched her arms to the sky. “You know, sometimes I don’t feel bad of coming here. It’s like, we came here so that we could change something. I never thought I’d miss my brother this much. Back then, I thought I don’t want to care for him anymore...” She turned and show her sad smiling face.
“I’m speaking too much, aren’t I? Me and my big fat mouth!” She yelled as she smiled with a blush.
“…No, maybe you’re not wrong at all.” Will added as he stood up as well.
It might be true…
I… never thought I’d be worried.
Where did this feeling came from?
The two continued their exploration for a while and found them lost in the forest.
“Booey, where is the exit?! I’m tired of trees!” Tairah protested.
“Calm down, Tairah. We have to keep our head cool.” Will advised.
Although… It feels weird. It’s as if we’re walking in circles
“Ooh, I want to see something else…” Tairah keep protesting.
“Eeh?! Now you’re telling me to leave you?! You meanie!” She shouted at the boy.
“… That wasn’t me.” Will said, looking cautious as he examined the area. The voice belong to someone else. “…Tairah, we’ve got company.” He notified the girl. Her face turned serious as she drew her Tarot deck.
“Will, use your ability.” She whispered to him.
“…” He gulped
“Will! Get ready!” She whispered even louder.
“…” This time, his face paled.
“Hey, Will! I told you to-“ Not waiting for the girl to finish, he shouted back at her.
“I know! It’s just that…”
“… I don’t know what my ability is.”
There was a long pause before the unknown voice returned.
“Leave this place… or die!” The eerie voice shouted. Along with that, a herd of human-shaped mud launched to attack them.
The boy grabbed Tairah’s arm and led her away from the herd of mud monster thing. They ran for what felt like hours and managed to get away from the mud monster. Then they arrived in an unfamiliar place. Wherever they are, they must be far enough from where they were. Both of them were panting, they were out of breath after running for so long.
“Youuuu!! What do you mean by you don’t know what your ability is?!” She shouted at him and he responded with the “I don’t know what I don’t know” look. She sighed then crossed her arms. “Well, I already told you that ability is a gift given to us… travelers to fight those monsters. Which would be the skeleton thing, and that mud thing.” She said.
“Yeah, but how do I know what is mine? How did you know yours anyway?” He shrugged. She seemed to be taking it so seriously that she responded with nothing but a serious face. “… Now that you mention it…” She muttered. “… I don’t really know.” She stated with a confused face.
“Huh?! But- Wait, this isn’t right. You’re able to use your ability, but you didn’t know how you got yours?!” He shouted at her. She closed her eyes, as if trying to remember. But when she opened, all she gave was a sigh. “…I don’t remember much… It’s like I’ve known about it from the start, you know.” She stated.
“From… the start?” He repeated. ‘Then what is mine?’ He thought. The thought saddens him. Without an ability, all they could do is run. And there’s not a chance that he will rely his life to some random girl. He was a boy. A man. A man shall not depended on a girl. Although he was younger, he should be the one protecting her. Not the other way around. ‘I don’t want to be useless.’ He said to himself as suddenly a music box tune cracked the silence between them.
“…Did you hear that?” She asked him. He nodded in return. Still not in the mood to talk. “It’s so beautiful.” Tairah said, totally mesmerized to the tune.
“There might be someone else here. Let’s try to find out where this song came from!” She said to the boy.
“What if it’s a trap?” He replied shortly.
“I don’t think it’s a trap, besides, you have me! I’ll protect you until you know what your ability is!” She said cheerfully.
At her statement, he felt even down. A little angry. But that anger was addressed to himself. He was angry, because he was useless.