Chapter 22: Max

Reks lead the trio up the giant mountain through a series of passages wide enough to fit the horses. They were about one quarter of the way up when they came upon a cave. There he got off his stallion. "We'll leave the horses here." He secured his to a rock, making sure the beast wont break the rope. Max and Val did the same.

Almost there, Max told himself. 

"One of us needs to stay behind and guard the horses." Val suggested. "If Dyus is still following us then he-"

"Let him." Reks interjected. He grabbed his bag along with two rabbits which he had hunted the day before. "He wont steal them." He also secured his bow around his bag and wrapped the scabbard of his sword around his waist.

"How do you know?"

"I just do." Reks assured her. "Grab your supplies. I have a feeling we'll be in there for more than a day."

"What?!" Max and Val said simultaneously.

Reks just smiled. "Meetings with the Seer usually last that long. Especially if it concerns the target of a Judge."

After gathering their supplies and making sure the horses were well secured, the trio entered the cave with Reks leading the way. He had come prepared. He pulled out a log he had cut from the night before, and lit its tip on fire, using it as a torch. Torch in hand, he ventured deeper into the cave, Max and Val following close behind. Max tried to remember each turn they took, but got lost after the first three. They passed through narrow and wide passages alike. The light of the torch illuminating the way ahead.

While on the way, Max tried to rehearse what he'll say to the Seer. All the questions and doubts he had. He needed to know why he was here. How he got here. And more importantly, how he got here. 

After for what felt like hours to Max, they finally came to a dead end; A large chamber. "Now what?" He asked Reks.

The Mercenary walked up to a wall and started inspecting the stones. Max was about to asking him what he was looking for when the stones began to move, opening up a passage. "From here on, Max, you'll have to go alone."

"Why?" Val asked. Max was thinking the same thing.

"Only those who seek the Seer gets to meet him." Reks Explained. "If the Seer sees you worthy, he'll let you go through."

"And if not?" Max was scared of the answer.

"Then you are not what I think you are."

"What do you mean by that?"

"We'll find out once you step through." Reks said.

Max gulped. "Alright, here goes nothing I guess." He slowly walked to the opening. How bad did he really wanted to see that Seer. I guess I'll find out soon enough, he thought. He took a deep breath-

"Almost forgot." Reks said. "You'll need this." He handed Max the torch who took it with shaking hands. "I've never been in there, so I can't tell you what you'll find. Yell out for the Seer if you have to."

Max nodded. "Wish me luck."

"You'll be fine."

"How do you know."

"You'll have to just trust me."

Alright, second try. Max took a deep breath and step through. Once he was inside, the walls behind shut, leaving him in pure darkness. The torch helped by proving some light, but did not ease the fear. Well, he thought, might as well go forward. 

Luckily, it was a narrow passage straight ahead. He walked forward, making sure not to trip. He walked for a couple of minutes when he noticed the light at the end of the tunnel. He went toward that light. The irony, he thought. At the end of the tunnel he found something which immediately dropped his jaw in pure awe. 

There before him was the legendary Tree of Life. A massive tree whose round fruits shined brightly, illuminating the the whole cavern. The tree was gigantic with it's massive vines reaching the walls of the mountain. But Max noticed something off about the tree. It's trunk seemed to pulse with light. It was as if the core of the tree was pulsing light to its outer vines and roots. It was all so beautiful. Mystical in a way. Max thought about the white tiger he encountered when he first arrived in Altia. It was magical.

The End

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