I assume you have heard the news here in the Philippines of the so-called very huge city that is missing somewhere here around the Philippines, you know, it's in the news, the radio, social media sites, in the television, the newspapers and all sorts of news conveying thing, I just suddenly remembered that: about the news and the tale of Biringan City. I just never thought that it will be confirmed, but now, I'm standing in this high hill that you can see the view of the whole awesome city. In which, I will describe later on.
When I was like twelve or thirteen years old, there was this trending news about a missing city and about a so-called enkanto (an enchanted creature but in a humanoid form, we'll meet a lot of them soon enough.) named Carolina, and sometimes, Carol. She was said to be the one that goes outside this city and to the mortal realm and persuades some selected good people, those kinds of people that are not greedy and those who lived with kindness and a very good heart, to go into this city and live their lives there. The news said that there are those who returned from the city, or took phone calls from Biringan saying that they are in the best condition, those kinds of things. Honestly, when I first heard that story, it really gave me massive goosebumps, it's a creepy story in an amazing way. But in the news, no one knows the truth, but now, I'm standing in the very place they called Biringan City. Just literally, wow.
The hallway where I exited leads to a place that looks like a very huge city, so huge that why the hell this isn't on Google Maps or any maps or even in history books. The houses on my front look like modernized Philippine Nipa huts and some Spanish style homes, and farther than that seem like a market square. In my right, there is a very secluded forest and a rice crop field and also more houses. I see the sea (boom, rhymes) also in my right. On my left, there is an orchard slash garden-like place. I seem to be on a very high hilltop or a plateau because there seems to be another group of buildings in which I cannot see yet clearly, but yeah, this seems to be the meaning of paradise. I even think that I may be in heaven already and angels here are just doing their good cop/bad cop thingy wherein they will beat you to pulp at first then be kind at you after, but honestly, I am not so sure.
Bagwis gestured his arms towards the place that looks like a marketplace "Come along, Ramil, time is running." And he and his comrades continued walking.
So I walked, following Bagwis, Gringo and Ben into the unknown.
As I got neared the city proper, God, or gods, have you ever been to Spain? Or in Vigan city here in the Philippines? It looks like that, this looks like a very awesome replica to those places, except this place isn't filled with annoying tourists and also, this place seemed more, full of life.
Cobblestone streets snaked the city where children played the usual Philippine street games such as Patintero, Tumbang Preso, and other stuff that I used to play when I was young. There are some teenagers, couples holding their hands while walking around the majestic city, floating flames that look like will-o-wisps which seem to act as streetlights in the city. The houses are full of life, Philippine music and some modern music surely selected by millennials filled the air with life, the aroma of lots of foods from the whole city smells so good. This is my very imagination of heaven.
A couple waved at me happily like I was an actor or someone famous, or something, so I waved back at them. Also, children swarmed at me and gave me warm hugs like I was someone long lost but then, I found my way home.
"They are the chosen people of the city," Bagwis commented "I'm sure you have heard of us in the outside world, well, we select the only worthy people to live here, the ones we saw who doesn't deserve the toxicity and corruption given by your world, the ones who deserve to live better that is why people here are like that. And also, as they are chosen to live here, they can also reject the offer by going outside the city with our blessings."
I nodded, "So I am a chosen person by your city?"
He shook his head "Nah, you are just a special case."
That hurt, but nevertheless, this isn't even important, I need to find Elise but I wanted to see more of this place.
"Who's going to protect the city? I did tell you about an army of monsters nearby here, right?" I asked them to change the topic.
He stopped walking and stared at me mournfully. "Oh, that is your special case, Ramil Liwayway." And then he continued walking.
So far, it's going well. Nah, I'm just kidding.
We kept on walking the very picturesque streets of the city and it seems to never end, until a few minutes, we've got to a place that looks like a market square.
In the market square, there are lots of stalls selling resources such as food like meat, vegetables, and fruits, and also there are clothing, garments, and every human need. I also noticed that this place isn't that tech-savvy, they seem to follow the traditional way of living in which I kinda like than living with those very toxic technologies that disrupts one's lifestyle.
The smell of spices bombarded the whole square from some of the stalls that are outright hypnotically intoxicating, it's like someone inside me is telling me to go buy stuff or many stuff. I walked in a trance towards the nearest stall until Gringo pulled me from getting in there.
"Cut that out, Liwayway," Gringo scolded me, "don't let this marketplace go into your head, let it go into your head once you have retired into this city, nevertheless, it isn't the marketplace why we're here
I was bothered by what he said, did he say retire? "Wait, what do you mean to retire?" I asked the Beatle drummer named guy.
"You will know once you lived here for a longer bit." He told me, "Which we aren't sure if you are about to live that long."
Bagwis snickered at Gringo's comment and then he looked at me "Anyways, as to why we are here, you are about to meet our camp and city leader, show some respect, or else, he will surely turn you into a banana tree, or worse than that."
They stopped walking so I stopped walking too, who is this camp leader they are saying? A leader that can turn people into banana trees? Who is he? The great god of bananas?
"I can also read minds, you know." Some voice in one of the stalls spoke with a very deep, raspy voice, like a drill sergeant kind of voice "and yes, I can turn you into a banana tree instantly as I wished."
The guy who spoke walked out of one stall and walked towards me and uh, well, he looked like an ancient Greek movie actor, you know those kinds of guys that can whack your heads downside up, except, he is a teenager. He has long brown-black ponytailed hair, chiseled face like an actor's, he seems to be wearing a leather breastplate, just like what Bagwis and his company are wearing, camo cargo pants and combat boots except he doesn't have a shirt under his armor like what Bagwis is wearing which showed his muscular arms. He is holding a clipboard and a pen in his hand like he was just checking some market things and whatsoever and until I kinda disrupted him on what he is doing. He releases an aura of the serenity when you are in the woods and you just want to chill and hang out with trees and those things. Also, he's got glaring green eyes.
Bagwis, Gringo, and Ben kneeled in front of their so-called camp leader so I did their example and stood afterward.
Their camp leader raised his right hand "Well, rise, heroes." And he stared at me. "It's just, this youngling seems to be not given yet any orientation, what's your name, kid?"
"Ramil Liwayway, sir." I told him.
"He claimed to be a son of Apolaki, sir" Bagwis commented.
"Is it?" The camp leader frowned "Oh, you are the boy they caught with the umbrella kampilan that owned all of these wimps? Ha! I saw that footage from one of our cameras, you fight well for someone who wasn't trained yet by this camp."
I tried my best not to think about Anakdatu, "Yeah, I was self-taught, it was easy though," and I pantomimed some slashes and stabs "hiyah!"
Their camp leader scratched his chin "You seem to be nervous, are you hiding something, you wouldn't act like hiyah all of a sudden, what is the matter?"
I stood up straight and made sure that I wasn't doing any sudden inconspicuous movements. "Oh, uh nothing, anyways, who are you?"
He seemed to be reading my mind again because his expression looks like he is concentrating, and then I saw his pupils constrict and go back to normal, he found something unpleasant, I assume.
He stared faraway blankly "Oh my gods, I see…" and he cleared his throat "anyways, I will take care of this new guy starting now, thank you, soldiers, you are now dismissed."
Bagwis stepped forward "But sir,"
The camp leader guy stared at Bagwis with his intimidating glare "Go polish your spears or something, I will take care of this young fellow, after all, he is the 'special case', eh?"
Bagwis gulped "Yes, sir."
I raised my hand for a timeout "HOLD UP!"
I pointed to Bagwis and his friends "You said I am that whatever special case that is, what the hell does that mean?" And I looked at the camp leader "And you too, please, as a leader, stop telling me stupid riddles that I cannot even understand, it's just so stupid!"
The camp leader put a hand on my shoulder "Ramil, we will tell you everything, we promise that but not now, especially there are lots of problems, I will tell you, I promise."
"Okay, but who are you?" I asked our camp leader.
"Oh yeah, call me Dom." He told me casually. "not sir or what, I don't know why these people call me sir always, but yeah, Dom seems a lot cooler than being called as sir because that makes it sound like I am an old guy."
"Dom? Like Dom as in Dominic?" I asked Dom.
"No, you pathetic young fellow, Dom, as in Dumakulem." Dom said.
It's not easy to act casual after meeting casually the very god of the mountains and forests and hunters and whatsoever, it really is hard but dropping the bomb like that, well, it's ten times harder but I'll get used to it.
We were just standing there, in the same spot in the middle of the marketplace, staring at each other, in summary, we look stupid, especially I because it's my first time meeting a god, and I am not even sure if he is a god.
Dom's face darkened. "You want to try me, kid?"
All the people in the stalls took cover and covered themselves with their products.
"Uh, no, sir-I mean, Dom, I just remembered my mother reading me the stories of gods before I sleep and I kinda liked your story, actually, it's one of my favorite stories, the god of mountains and hunting, it's more like the god of Monster Hunter." I told him honestly.
Dom seemed to be more at ease "Oh well, that's a nice game too, but yeah, I'm that god, more likely the god of camping and sorts but yeah," he looked at Bagwis and his friends "dismissed you three, I told you already, right?"
Bagwis, Gringo and Ben bowed and hurriedly scuttled off which left me and Dom (damn, I can't do mental comments whenever I am near this guy.) and the people in the marketplace went back to their normal daily errands.
Dom started walking away from the marketplace.
"Sir Dom!" I followed him and walked by his side outwards the marketplace "Uh sir, I need to go out this place right now, I need to find my-"
"Your girlfriend?" He stopped walking and looked at me "Oh no, she is still alive, for now but before I let you go out, we need to confirm first if you really are a son of Apolaki, you have the smell of a godling, but we need a confirmation so I hope you understand, don't worry, she's still alive. I can sense it."
Thank God! Or the gods, she's still alive! That may have been the best news I can have on my whole expedition.
"So come on," Dom continued walking "it's time for your orientation and tour, there are lot's to see, hurry up! The Invisible City is waiting!"
So then, I followed the Monster Hunter god.
HEYYYY! It's your author Captain Universe here and for those who are reading, well Happy New Year to you all! And I just wanted to say that thank you for reading! And I hope too that you will stay tuned to read Ramil Liwayway's story! But I've got an announcement to make, I'm sorry in advance but I won't be uploading for the first two weeks of January because I'm going to be really busy, but I promise you, as soon as I finish on those things, I will upload right away! I'm sorry but Thank You very much! Hasta luego, my friends! Happy New Year!
I kinda put the Author's Note before this because of Webnovel's Author's note 'limits', but yeah, Happy New Year Everyone! :D
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