Week 19 - Novel - Dreams Part XIII - October 7-13

Ardin interrupted, now. “Hold on. Why should we just believe everything you’ve told us? It sounds like a nice story and all, but I have no idea if you just made all of that up on the spot to use us for your own purposes. I’ve never heard of any of this before. What are you getting out of this whole situation? If what you said is true, I want this man dead and will stop at nothing to make it happen…but I need to know that what you said is true.”

As Jo looked over at Ardin, she noticed that his face was red, and she could see tears streaming down his face. She felt a stab of pain and sorrow for him. She could only imagine what it must have felt like to learn, so suddenly and unexpectedly, about the loss of his entire family.

“You may choose to believe me or not. There is little I can do to convince you one way or the other with any more than my words here. However, the truth of what I say will become apparent soon enough. If what I say is true, and no action is taken, we are all doomed in a matter of weeks or months at most. You may choose to take a leap of faith now and pursue Aeon on belief, and confront him yourself, and then you can determine the truth on your own. If what I say is a lie and you discover this then, then at most what you have lost is a few brief moments of your time. If what I say is the truth, however, you will have saved the world, and received the vengeance you crave.”

Ardin seemed to weigh Elvir’s words thoughtfully for a moment, before finally nodding.

“Okay. I don’t trust you fully, but your word is all we have to go on for now. I’m willing to see this thing through, and come to our own conclusions later. Jo, I think we have to do this thing. No matter what, I’m going to find who’s responsible for this, and make them answer for it. If you choose to come and follow Aeon, I’ll follow you all the way.”

Tan nodded his assent. “I don’t think it’s right for us to obligate you to do anything, first for having just met you and second for this being our world, not yours, but we would be forever grateful for any help you’re up for giving us, Jo. If what Elvir claims is true, we can’t do this without you, even though we’d try regardless.”

Jo struggled to figure out an appropriate answer. This was an overwhelming amount for her to take in. She was being beseeched by two boys and a dragon she had just met to give up her entire past life and join them on a quest to save the world. Part of her felt that she should decline the request simply because it seemed unreasonable to ask her to give up her past life. Reflecting on that feeling, however, she slowly came to acknowledge that in reality, she already felt closer to Ardin and Tan than she did to almost anyone back home, sad as that realization was.

No, that wasn’t the real reason why she hesitated to agree to this journey. The real reason, and the far more frightening one, was that she would fail, and let them all down. They seemed to think that she could save their world. They wouldn’t think so if they only knew what a complete failure and nobody she was where she came from. She, however, did know this. She finally decided that it was only right that they know too.

“I…don’t know if I can do this. I think I’d let you all down. I’ve never, um, saved a world before. Actually, I’ve never done much of anything, back where I come from.”

“I suspect you would be surprised by what you might accomplish here,” Elvir replied. “In any case, we are certainly doomed to failure without your help, so there is no harm in you trying your best. We have nothing left to lose. Why don’t we try your hand at stoneworking first, and then we can see what you think from there?”

Jo couldn’t think of a way out of this one. The way Elvir had described Aeon with the stones had made him sound like the best stoneworker in their entire world. She found it hard to believe that she could compete with that, and that she really had been chosen by some special force of nature. She decided that maybe if she agreed to try working with the stones, they would end up realizing what a miserable failure she was, and relieve her of the pressure of saving their world.

“Okay. I guess I can give it a try. What should I do?”

Elvir beamed at this. “Excellent. First, we do have the minor logistical issue of bringing you into this world first so you can properly harness our stones. I trust you will be up for this task? Rest assured again that the time you spend here will not be missed back home, and that upon completion of our goals here, you may return home through the portal stone just as easily as you came.”

Jo shifted uncomfortably. She had forgotten about this prerequisite step, and wasn’t in fact fully, or at all comfortable, with the idea of leaving her entire past life behind to come here. Unfortunately, she felt like she had already committed to giving this a shot, and didn’t know how to turn back now and not let everyone down. She tried to stall for some time and find some way out.

“Um. How exactly does the portal stone work again? How do I find it?”

“Very simple. The portal stone is located not too far from where I pull you from now. All you need to do is find your way there and learn the harness the stone. I will be watching the partner stone on this side, and will draw you in as you activate your stone. Let me show you a picture of the stone and where it is. I understand that it is somewhat well known in your world.”

 
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