Light Seekers #16 – Lampu


“I think I see the exit,” I shine the light as if Mask could see it from here.

“I’ll take your word for it. Just watch for more chimera.”

We’ve come across a few rats, occasionally a dead one, but nothing else like the chimera. Mask seems to think that the chimera was surviving on them since it doesn’t look like anyone has come to feed it lately. Beyond that, the cave seems to be long, a straight shot, but constantly heading upwards. In some spots it’s steeper than others, but nothing that’s too much to handle. Wooden pillars support parts of the cave that were probably man made, but eventually they always led back to a natural part of the cave. It’s a long walk, longer than we were in the forest for sure. I didn’t want to rest when we jumped off the train, but I’d love to rest now.

As we get closer to the exit it keeps getting colder, colder than I’ve ever been before. Little white flakes of something keep floating in from the outside. Mask doesn’t seem to mind them. I keep trying to catch them, but as they land on my hand they turn into water before I can really study them. But they’re starting to stick to the ground. It’s soft, but sounds like it’s crunching beneath my feet.

“It’s snow,” Mask says.

“What?”

“I saw you trying to catch the snowflakes in your hand.”

“Okay, so what’s snow.”

“It’s like frozen rain. It snows when it’s cold enough. We live in the southern hemisphere so you’ve probably never had a winter before. Winter is the cold season in most places around the world. Snow is pretty common there. It’ll snow more as we get closer to the top and the temperature drops.”

“Hemisphere, winter and temperature.”

“What?”

“Those are the words you said that I don’t know.”

Mask just laughs and keeps walking, speeding up as we get closer to the exit, almost as if he’s excited. It’s the closest thing to happy that I’ve seen him be.

Outside, the ground is covered with snow, it’s incredibly cold. But, more than that the light. It’s brighter than I’ve ever seen anything. The places where it touches my skin is warm. This is it, this is sunlight, the thing I keep hearing about. It’s warmth is real. Everything they said it would be. The light I received at home, the light that people chase around the world is nothing compared to the real thing. This is amazing.

“We’re here. We’ve got about a mile to go. From there the left will take us to the infinite stairs, the right will take us to the village. I’m sure it’s abandoned so we’ll just head for the stairs,” Mask is speaking but I don’t care. “Hey, let’s go before the sun sets.”

“This doesn’t last forever?”

“No, but it’ll come back the next day.”

My mind is spinning at 1000 miles an hour right now. I just follow him through the snow, catching glimpses of things I had never seen before. A tree with pink leaves, the snow seems to glitter as it falls from the sky. There’re clouds, but not like the normal clouds. They’re white, and fluffy, almost as if you’d fall through if you tried to touch one. Nothing like the usual dark clouds that cover the sky.

“It’s beautiful isn’t it,” a voice I’ve never heard answers.

“Yeah,” I respond.

There’s a man in strange clothing, sitting alone near a small fire. Some kind of mixture of strange furs draped over his shoulders barely show the loose yellow clothing beneath. His head is shaved bald, but there’s a distinctive white tattoo around his eye stands out against his dark skin. The same sun symbol that Mask pointed out on the trees earlier.

“Would you like to join me,” the man asks.

“No,” Mask responds coldly.

“It won’t hurt to warm up, and share your story. It is so rare that we see pilgrims these days.”

“You must be a sorcerer,” I ask.

“Yes, I am. You must be seeking to become one.”

“I’m looking to bring sunlight back to the world.”

“Stop talking to him,” Mask interrupts trying to lead me past the fire.

“Then, would you like to hear a story about how the sun was taken away.”

Mask seems infuriated when I take a seat on one of the rocks around the fire. I’m interested in adding another story to the list, more than that I’m interested in finally taking a break after walking through that cave that seemed near endless.

“If you come to regret this, remember, I warned you,” Mask says taking a seat. He leans in and whispers, “don’t say I didn’t warn you.”

“This story tarts a long time ago, like many stories, it starts with a child. A child that had a great magic, but did not have the ability to control it. As the child grew older, the magic in his body grew stronger. The other sorcerers were afraid of him. The child was prone to temper tantrums and never learned to control his emotions or power.”

“Where is this going,” Mask interrupts him, irritated by the whole thing.

“One day, the child threw a tantrum,” the sorcerer continues. “This wasn’t like any other tantrum. They say he pulled the sun down from the sky. When it was all done, the world had gone dark and the child had fled. Remnants of the sun remained here on Earth, and we do what we can to spread those among the people. It is all we can do to make up for that child’s actions.”

“What a load of crap,” Mask responds.

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