Chapter Four: Direction
This time when I woke up I knew where I was, I stood up and looked out the small window. Small thatched building could be seen along with horse-pulling carts and people dressed in middle-age style cloths. I could see some farms in the distance and beyond that a tall mountain. The sky was clear and blue. I breathed deeply and realised there was one good thing about this place – I wasn't breathing in dirty, polluted air anymore.
I turned around to examine my room and saw that Hunter was still curled up on my pillow – I don't know when he did it, but he pushed me off the pillow and stole it for himself, cheeky bugger. There was a bedside table and a small chest of drawers. On top of that was a pile of fresh cloths. I looked at each garment separately. Not exactly normal clothing, but it was better than my current rags. There was a note by them with scratchy, rushed writing on it. I assumed both the cloths and note where from the friendly women. She had seemed very worried yesterday. I should properly explain...though how I was meant to go about doing that I wasn't sure. The note explained that there were bath houses next door and that I could wash and change into my new cloths there.
I left the inn, grateful to see that the streets were mostly empty. I'd poked Hunter awake and told him to stay in the room. He mewed a grumpy acknowledgement before falling back to sleep.
I entered the building and walked into the women's side of the building, releasing a breath I didn't know I was holding when I found it was empty. I'm pretty sure people would stare at me if they were in here.
I didn't realise just how worn out my muscles were till I submerged myself in the hot, steaming water with a contented sigh. I have no idea how they got it this hot - maybe the building it built around a natural hot spring? - but I was more than glad to relax and use the time to sieve through my incoherent thoughts. I could've stayed in those warm waters for hours, but I had to get moving. I figured the innkeeper women might be able to tell me something. If not I had no clue what I was supposed to do. I pulled myself from the baths and sat down for a few minutes on the wood paned floor. I hadn't realised just how hot it was and vertigo certainly struck me. It might have something to do with me eating so little since I've been here. It couldn't be good for my health. Then again neither could all this stress.
I forced myself to stand up and approached the pile of new cloths somewhat nervously. It wasn't anywhere as bad as I thought it might have been, what I found where a pair of simple, dark, linen trousers with a short-sleeved, pale blue tunic top and a sort of poncho/cardigan woollen thing to wear over my bare arms and shoulders. I didn't think I'd need that soon as this world seemed to be experiencing it's summer. Strange as back in the normal world it's nearing the end of winter. I should properly be more pissed about possibly missing Christmas, but honestly when it's just me and my dad, it's kinda depressing. My dad was a lonely child and my mum disappeared shortly after my birth with seemly no family ties – weird right?
Maybe she would've been able to explain the weird powers to me, would've made for a less stressful puberty. Waking up one day and suddenly seeing my dad surrounded by a pale blue aura was quite a shock. It took me a while to understand what the different colours meant and honestly I'm still not one hundred percent sure. But the day I gained that ability was also mum's disappearance/death – according to the police – day. So I kind of figured the blue meant his sadness. Mum was always a touchy subject with my dad. He would show me the few pictures we had of her – she made our pitch black hair look amazing, unlike myself – and tell me the things we had in common. He didn't know about my powers. I kind of figured when he sat down for the “talk” and only mentioned the very embarrassing stuff that he didn't know they existed. And your wondering why I said “disappearance/death – according to the police” right? That because my dad doesn't believe she's dead and honestly. I just have no clue what to think. If she is still alive then I guess she's a sucky mum that I wouldn't want. Either way, she's an unsolved mystery that I'm happy to leave alone.
I got dressed and headed back to the inn, the cardigan thing hanging over one arm. I saw the innkeeper women when I re-entered and she walked over to me, a mix of relief and concern on her face. Her aura a mix of pink, yellow and dark blue shades. The blue was a small part of it thankfully, wouldn't want to cause a lot of worry afterall. Pink is a colour I don't see very often if I'm honest. I only see it when mothers and fathers are looking at their children adoringly – until they misbehave and the colour is lost – or with a few lovers, a few because a lot of the time people are only contented with each other. Which, hey, fair enough. But it's a bit depressing that real love is rarely seen. With my eyes anywhere. Obviously this women was a rare kind of person. I mean I thought Gale had motherly eyes, this women was a whole other level. She strikes me as someone who would really go the extra mile for you. So I guess I shouldn't be surprised when she told me not to worry about pay – as if I had a way to do that right now?!.
I wonder what this world's currency is...What was this world called again? The Captain had said a lot of names of places...actually I should properly find out where I am. A map might be useful right now. That way I at least have an idea of how this world looks.
“Did you hear me?” I jolted out of my internal thoughts to face the innkeeper.
“I, uh...sorry.” I said sheepishly, she shook her head with a smile and small “tut” sound.
“It's fine dear, I just wanted to know what happened last night. You were very confused last night, not much sense could be made of your words to be honest dear,” she explained with a kind voice. God, I must've sounded crazy, I properly talked about my world and ending up in this world, no wonder the concern.
“I'm fine now. I was involved in a....ship that got caught in a bad storm. I woke up on the beach,” I replied. And understanding crossed her face. Yes! She'll tell me where to find the others, she knows where the ship is. She must do. Then grey entered her aura. Normally I would assumed tiredness but she was far too perky which meant she must be confused.
“There's a shipwreck on the beach...but it's on the opposite side of the island dear....how did you end up on our small cove when the ship sunk so far away?” She replied. And all I could think was, that was a very good question. Couldn't my day have some normal in it?! I released a deep breath to calm my raging emotions.
“I need to get to that shipwreck. The person I was travelling with was on that boat,” I said. Hoping she could help me. Her small nod reassured that yay, some help was here. She disappeared into a room behind the bar area and when she re-emerged she handed me a piece of rolled, yellowed paper. I opened it to see a map. The kind people make for treasure hunts I guess, only there was no “X” to mark the spot. The map was mostly made of sea dotted with islands, then to the far right seemed to be the mainland I guess. Really it just looked like a much bigger island, but I didn't really have a scale to work from. The lady pointed to a small island near the centre of the map called “Bevian”. The captain mentioned a place called that, didn't he? But he'd said it was a day away. Nearby I noted a vortex drawing with a scribble next to it saying “Aquarius' Hold”. Strange, was that maybe the storm we ended up in? I looked at the top of the map and in beautiful calligraphy was written
“The known realms of Amadore”
I noted areas where there was no details of the land such as mountains or forests. A strange symbol marked these areas. The closest thing I could compare it to was a hand pointed to the ground, only with scary, sharp claws.
“Demons.” The innkeeper said when she saw my confused face. The sweet motherly tone was gone, replaced by a bitter one.
“They occasionally venture to this island so be careful on the path to Oa,” She continued, causing my eyebrows to raise. Really? A place called “Oa”? This world was beginning to sound like something out of a fantasy novel. And I wasn't even going to think on the so-called “Demons”.
“And we are in....?” I begun
“Pancarsa.” She finished. Okay, so it wasn't as silly, but it was still a weird name for a town.
“Okay...thanks for the help, I guess I'll go...” I trailed off, she quickly interrupted.
“Not without some supplies and a decent travel cloak.” Before I could object she waddled into that back room again and a few minutes later I had a dark, leather shoulder satchel filled with food, a compass – something I've never even used – and a small knife.
Wait, knife?! I really hope I don't have to use that....
I went upstairs to grab Hunter, he was wide awake and before I could explain to him what was going on he hopped from the bed and onto my shoulder, his yellow eyes meeting mine for a second. I quickly left the inn, noting the name before I left. In case I needed it. It was called “The Rusty Helmet” odd and again, fantasy. But think the word rusty worked, the inn felt old and creaky, but in a good way.
I kind of felt sad to be leaving somewhere that had become somewhat normal, even if it had been for a day. I pulled up my cloak hood as I reached the end of town. Hunter quickly burrowed into it, nestling next to my neck and acting like a scarf.