"This is your lair?"
In the abandoned ruins of the old world at the end of the lower realm, this place that scares away most of the mortals of this world is actually the secret lair of the couriers who do illegal business between the realms.
"Yes," Pablo tells me nervously. He keeps glancing at Mogrok. I don't care if he is afraid. I want the information. The ruins are the leftover of the ancient city with its own forgotten history. On the walls, I see writings that are shaped like runes. I trace them with my finger. I don't know their meanings, but I can sense magic inside them waiting to be called.
"The one who can tell you more about the cursed sea is there." Pablo points at the stairs going to the basement. It's dark under there. Pablo stares at Mogrok again. Belle is standing beside him quietly, shaking with fear. To be honest, Deia isn't doing anything better, but she has held it inside her well. I let out a sigh. After living with this quirky spirit beast for a year, I have started to find it cute.
"Okay." I smile at him. "This better not be a trap. If it is, my lovely pet will eat both of you."
"No, I am not lying." Pablo shakes his head. Fear is good for handling these kinds of people. They are loyal to no one, but themselves. I look at Mogrok who looks bored. He loves scaring people, but he hates not being able to eat them.
"Watch them," I tell him. "I will go inside."
"As you wish, Master." He stretches a few of his arms. "I feel bored. Can I play toss with these two?"
"As long as they are alive and sane, I don't care." I leave after telling him. Deia and Kyo follow me from behind. I wanted to leave Deia behind to keep a watch on Mogrok, but she is too afraid now. It will take a while for her to be at ease with Mogrok.
Kyo is holding the corner of my sleeve. He is looking around curiously like a child. His eyes are full of innocence. I feel like pinching his cheeks, but I resist. I can do it later. Let's not be distracted.
"Say, Kresi," Deia speaks to me sullenly. "Do you think that it is a good idea to go downstairs?"
"You are the Seer." I hope that she would warn me if something isn't right. I don't trust her judgment much. If she has been a wise girl, she wouldn't have followed me and Kyo in the first place. Let it be. Her sight is advantageous to me.
I am not 100% sure where we are advantageous to her or not.
"There is a grumpy man here." She glances at the metallic door that looks out of place in the ruins. There is no lock or door handle. It looks like a wall. I touch the surface. Cool. Throbbing with energy. An unknown spell. I hate not knowing.
I knock the door. To my surprise, a handsome guy in his thirties forties opens the door. He scrutinizes our faces with his smoky eyes and chiselled features. He is wearing a loose unbuttoned shirt, revealing his bare tanned chest and a V line. I have only seen such a thing online on my laptop in my previous life.
He exhales loudly and signals us to follow him.
"Sister, why are you drooling?" Kyo pokes my cheek. "There is no food here."
Everyone eyes turn to me. If Kyo hasn't born cute, he would have received ten slaps right now. I feel like pulling my hair. I am going to give him lessons on how to become an adult later.
"I am hungry," I tell him quietly.
"Kyo is hungry too," Kyo pouts.
"We will eat after we leave this place." I rub his head. Silky soft hair. I rub it more. He smiles up at me. Okay, I can't be mad at this boy.
"What is your request?" The man asks me with a grumpy tone. It seems like Deia is right. I finally take a look around the small room full of different pieces of machinery and books with a distinct scent of burnt iron and oil. I have seen the use of technology in this world. If magic is not used, the technology is way behind than my previous world. Of course, I have only seen the lower realm. I can't say much of the upper realms.
"We want to go to the middle realm." I decide to admire his rough beauty later and look up at the ceiling. There are rune stickers on the ceiling. But, each rune is alive.
"Request rejected." He picks up a gear and a sharpening tool. "Anyone who can circulate mana will become a soulless or a corrupted beast."
"She is not initiated yet." I point at Deia. "My brother and I will be fine."
Deia gives him a nod. "I have not found my spirit yet."
"Then, only she can go. However, you are..." He takes a glance at me. "I am quite interested in knowing why a Mirin is wandering in the lower realm."
Mirin again? I sigh. How would I know why I am in the lower realm? That's the original owner story. She is dead. That story is probably dead too. I am not interested in knowing why she ended up in the lower realm. It's better if I don't get caught up in her mess again.
"What's a Mirin?" Deia asks me curiously.
"Kyo wants to know too." Kyo pulls my arm.
"Hmm?" He raises his brow expectedly.
"I don't know," I answer them honestly. When I go to the higher realms, I have a feeling that I will find more people asking this same question. I don't want to lie to Kyo and Deia. Deia will stay with us now. She's a Seer. It's better if I don't lie.
"You are joking, right?" The man crosses his arms and glares at me. "A Mirin doesn't know what a Mirin is."
"I have my reasons for not knowing." I click my tongue in annoyance. "If you know, care to elaborate?"
Please switch to the pop-up to complete the payment.
This's an experimental test for reading assistance in case.
We highly recommend you to enjoy the beauty of the original words.