AFTER I WOKE UP FOR THE SECOND TIME
When I woke up again I thoughtI’ll find myself at the top of the tree, but I was not. I could breathe the smell of the ocean. I was actually on a large wooden ship. It’s like a ship for trading during the ancient times. There were a lot of wooden boxes and big white cloth bags everywhere. However, no one is around. I looked around the ship deck, then inside the ship, just everywhere. After an hour of searching around, I panicked because the thought of being alone in the middle of the ocean crept into my mind with fear. I was staring blankly on the calm water when I heard a voice, “You’re awake.”
I turned around to find the person who spoke, but no one’s around me. I looked down from the ship onto the water again and there I saw him, standing on the water and looking at me. The Masked Man. I also saw a number of men running on water towards the ship. So that’s why no one is on the ship, because everyone is on……………..on the……….water.
“Who are you?” I asked the masked man.
“Who am I? I think I should be the one asking that. I saw you climbing up a tree wearing………wearing…….I don’t know but is that a pajama? Did you actually walk while sleeping and ended up falling from a tree rather than on your bed?” He laughed teasingly.
My cheeks turned red from shame. I didn’t notice that I was still on my pajama when I got there.
“I didn’t! Something strange happened. But you’re not answering my question. I’m asking who are you and why can you stand on water? Are you a…..are you a…..”
“A Shinobi.” A guy emerged from the water jumping on the ship and answering my question. He’s wearing a black robe and his hair is all white yet he doesn’t look that old to me. All other men running on the water a minute ago also finally reached the deck.
“Of course a shinobi!” Exclaimed the masked man. “What’s wrong with you? How could you possibly not know that? Are you from out of this world or something?” He rolled his eyes.
My body froze from the recognition I was taking in at that moment. I was looking at the man with the white hair and the scar on his nose all the way down to his chin. A scar left from a slash of a knife or something sharp. I know this man. He’s one of the characters in the book I always read. He’s Natsuo’s sensei. Only at that moment I truly realized where I really was.
“Kai Sensei.” I said with a short breathe.
“Sorry. Do I know you? Are you from our village?” He asked.
I know what village he is talking about but I do not know how to answer. “I don’t know what’s happening.” I mumbled my words.
I started telling them what happened to me and there was silence all throughout the time I was narrating. For seconds, no one spoke after I finished. It seems like they cannot completely comprehend what I was telling them. Some of them looked like they don’t believe me and that includes the sassy masked man. He started laughing like a drunken man telling jokes with his drunken mate. He’s suddenly saying that I should go look for a doctor, or that I should stop reading Kori’s fantasies, or that I should just stop lying to myself and I was really ready to strangle him and pull out all his golden hair strands until Kai Sensei said something.
“She’s not lying.”
The masked man suddenly stopped teasing me and looked at Kai Sensei with confused eyes.
“What’s your name.” Kai Sensei asked.
“Nika. Follow me.” He walked toward a staircase going down to the inside of the vessel.
The masked man protested to Kai Sensei but Kai Sensei just kept walking and not noticing every word. There’s something about the masked man’s clumsy and airy tone that made me convinced that I’m really near in taking off all his hair strands.
Kai sensei led me to a room at the far end of the ship. It was a simple room with a huge rectangle table on the center and chairs around it. It actually looks like our dining table in our house just without the table cloth. He made me sit on one of the chairs then he spoke immediately.
“I’ll go straight to the point. I know the possible reasons why you’re here. This has happened before, a few times actually. I can’t really go into detail but here’s what I can tell you. There are two possible reasons why you’re here. One, is you’re in a one of a kind deep dream right now. This is called a Miracle dream. The other one is the one that you wouldn’t like.” He hesitated for a moment. “A portal between the two worlds may have opened again. Both situations are possible only every Perigee when the moon is closest to your world. But going back to one’s world has different ways to each situation. To the first situation, you can go back after the perigee and by just simply waking up from the dream. But on the second situation, you’re chance of going back to reality comes on the next perigee and the possibility of the portal dragging you back to your world is lesser than it putting you in this other world. I know one person who had the second situation and he never got back to his world.”
That took me a while to understand. I had mixed emotions. I do not know how to react. I know I’ve been long dreaming about getting here in Natsuo’s world but I’m not sure if I’m ready to leave mine, permanently.
“So how am I supposed to know whether I’m dreaming right now or got through a portal?” I asked.
He seemed to think for a while, and then he said:
“There’s no way. You just have to wait for your fate.”
To tell you the truth I was both excited and terrified to be there. I’m a girl born for adventures, I know that. But living here forever and not to see my family again? Well that kind of scared the hell out of me.
I did not really want to but my cheeks got hotter and tears slowly escaped my eyes.
The door opened. The Masked Man came in.
“What-the-heck Kai Sensei! You know all along that I was eavesdropping outside and you could’ve just let me in….you know…….. save me from the all the hard work!” He complained.
“I was saving myself from your childish arguments.” Replied Kai Sensei in a bored tone.
There was silence for a moment.
“You.” I can feel the masked man staring seriously at me but I’m not looking back anyway. “Stop crying. Crying won’t change anything.” He continued and I finally looked at him.
“I’ll try to help you, since I think I’m responsible for you now.” He said.
“Who said you are?” I asked. I felt like he was smiling under his mask.
“Me. Since I’m the one who found you. I don’t know. I just feel responsible for you. As much as I don’t want to, I would really not rather feel that way but yeah, that’s how I feel and I don’t like not dealing with what I feel.” He quite felt awkward while telling me this.
We continued to stare at each other, and then he broke away.
“Now get up there and stop feeling sorry for yourself. Are all the girls in your world like you?” He snorted.
I stayed on that ship for about two days. The ship is actually heading to the village of Kavanna to deliver supplies of food and water. Kavanna has been experiencing drought for 7 years already and the people there barely have food to eat and water to drink. Sir Kai’s village, Konowa, has been sending help every now and then recognizing that both villages have the strongest bond.
For two days I had nothing to do but talk to the people on board. They are nice people, my diary. They told me a lot of stories about the greatest battles in their land, the greatest people and also the simple way they live and the simple people you can encounter daily in their world. They talked about their wives, children and friends. In turn, I told them about the people and things in our world. They are fascinated about the idea of a car and an airplane. But oh well I already know in their world, as I always read about it, that they don’t necessarily need a car or an airplane. Being a ninja makes you able to move fast and for some who have incredible abilities; they could possibly have their own way of flying up in the sky.
I tasted a lot of food I’ve never had and wore clothes that I’ve never tried before. They always sing happy songs and dance with it. I was beginning to feel that I’m okay or might be okay in this place but you know I still thought about things I can’t let go in our world. Everything was doing fine there except for one thing and that is that Masked Man. I try to interact with other men on board as much as I can but most of the time; the Masked Man is always there. Sir Kai always entrust me in the company of him since Sir Kai disappears from time to time.
I can’t figure out what’s wrong with him but since I got here we never agreed on one thing. I don’t know how to talk to him. I don’t know anything about him. I don’t know his name. I don’t even know how he looks like. It’s like his a human puzzle that I can’t figure out how to solve.
I tried asking his name once and we only ended up in an argument.
“I was just asking your name idiot! It’s difficult for me to call you Masked Man all the time!” I said to him.
“My name is too precious for you to know. So back off.” He shouted back.
“Fine. I’m not really that interested anyway. But how about that face? What’s with the mask? Got an ugly face or what?” I raised an eyebrow.
“That’s the worst possible thing you could ever say! First of all you don’t care about my mask; second, my face is even more precious than my name for you to see!” He started pointing out his finger to me like he can’t believe that I exist. “Care about your own business. You don’t even know how to get back to your bed. Find a way to get out of here first.”
“Well as far as I can remember, it’s now your responsibility to get me out of here. You’ve taken full responsibility of me yesterday……….. right? So go find a way to get me out of here yourself!” I felt like all my nerves were coming out.
“I will really find a way to toss you out of here. Then I’ll make sure you’re existence here would be as impossible as ever.”
“Then how do you plan to do that?” The question seemed to strike him. Obviously, he hasn’t thought about it yet.
“I don’t know. But there must be a way. I can even go to your world myself and drop a bucket of ice cold water on your face to wake you up. I don’t know! All I know is that I can’t exist in a world you exist. Whoever who had put you here, curse him!”
“Curse him then! If I know, you’re the reason why I’m here. You’re the first one I saw and I don’t know but maybe you were summoning someone from another world at that top the tree and ended up getting me here instead.” I was stroked by the possibility.
“Why would I do that? I would never summon a monster like you. This would be the end of our world.” He continued thundering me with his senseless arguments and I’ve continued to wish a way out of that place.
There are times when I accidentally stare at him and thought that “is it possible that he is Natsuo?” It’s possible, since he’s a student of Sir Kai, and he’s got golden hair and blue eyes. But I always say no to that. He can’t be. Natsuo doesn’t wear mask and he can’t be that childish and bratty. No. Just. No.
TO BE CONTINUED…………