The Spring’s Appearance (14)
Snow. All around was snow. The wind was loud. With the wind came the heavy and cold snowflakes that landed on my face. Snowflakes were supposed to be soft, yet they stung when hit my face. The wind was so strong that it was practically impossible to open one’s eyes. The scene was the same as a scene one would see in the North.
I assumed I was at the snowy plains in the North’s mountain pass, the place where I lost what was most precious to me.
My cloak billowed in the wind. I wiped the snow off my face then looked to my side. I saw a maiden in a white dress sitting at the cliff, kicking her feet dangling off said cliff. Her dancing white hair blended in with the snow. I couldn’t see her face; but nonetheless, I was certain that I didn’t know her. She sat at the cliff and gently kicked her feet as she looked into the distance.
I instinctively went over and draped my cloak over her shoulders. I sat down next to her. Before I could see her face, she had already turned to look at me. With a smile, she asked, “I really don’t want to go near the world in your heart, after all. Why do you keep thinking of this place? Does it hold some sort of meaning to you?”
“I guess it’s where everything began as well as where everything ends. Come to think of it, I went through lots of things here and lost lots of things… Nevertheless, you’re very similar to my Mommy Vyvyan. Why are you here? What exactly did I go through? I just remember the conscious in the spring taking control of my body, and then… and then I arrived here after returning.”
“Too many questions.”
The woman shook her head with a smile. She combed her long white hair. Had it not been for her blood-red eyes, she’d be unnoticeable in the snow.
I didn’t continue asking questions. She pondered to herself for a moment then replied, “I shall answer each of your questions, then. First, this place is the place you have the strongest attachment to, which is also the place that you consider to be the most meaningful. With that said, due to it being the most meaningful place to you, it’s simple to identify. This place is a phantasmal place. I merely turned it into an accessible place. Your conscious exists in tandem with mine, so I went through your subconscious a little and then created this place, where we can have a normal conversation. By the way, isn’t it obvious why I’m similar to Vyvyan?”
She clenched her teeth. While she acknowledged the fact, it was a reality that incredibly displeased: “I’m a counterfeit, a clone, a fake image. I’m a mana entity that the Galadriel Tribe nurtured using Vyvyan’s blood. Vyvyan refused to become God. As a result, I replaced her. I’m a shadow and clone created from dark elves magic; hence, I can never appear in sunlight. All I can do is live in the Tower of Heaven for eternity as a shadow and a replacement.”
“No wonder why you’re so similar to Mom.”
I nodded. She stood up and peered at the mountains in the distance. With a vigorous wave of her hand, the mountain in the distance crumbled, causing a loud explosion sound in addition to snow slowly toppling down. Her mana really was on Mom’s level. Actually, I should say, that’s God’s power for you.
“You can consider me Vyvyan’s younger sister or daughter. Either way, I’m your senior.”
“What shall I call you, then?”
“That’s not important, not that I have a name anyway,” she answered. Tone serious, she exclaimed, “Haven’t you always wanted to be a fair and just Hero King? Let me ask you this: do you think that this is fair? I replaced Vyvyan when nobody would. I lived on as a shadow, yet she came to me without any explanation, killed me and absorbed me. Do you think this is fair?! Is it?! What, she can kill me as she pleases just because I’m her replacement?!”
The temperature rapidly dropped. She gazed into the darkness and snow before her. She thundered, “I want to continue living, as well!! I may be a mere shadow, a mere clone, but I still want to live!! I want to live even if nobody knows me or cares about me. I want to see sunrise. I want to see the animals and creatures in the forest. I want to see the sunset on the water surface’s ripples! Why? Why did that woman randomly kill me when I never did anything wrong?! I want. To live!!!”
“I want to live! I really want to live.” That wasn’t just her speaking. It was a heavy blow that came from within my heart. I felt it over and over again. And each time, it shook my heart.
She balled her fists. Two trails of tears of blood coursed down her face: “My body was ripped piece by piece starting from my arm. This mana may belong to her, but the pain I suffer comes from myself! She couldn’t absorb all of my mana. She, therefore, spat a portion into the spring, subsequently creating me. Put another way, I’m just a conscious or a spirit, if you like, now.”
“That’s your real form?”
“That’s right. This is me, nothing but a copy that’s pitiful, sad and resentful, a shadow, something that doesn’t even exist, a clone who wants to live!”
She stood up and then took a few big strides. Then, she sat on the ground similarly to a grumpy girl. She stopped talking altogether. I hesitated for a moment before going over to her side. I picked up my cloak from the ground that she shook off and gently draped it over her shoulders again. Form hunched, she muttered under her breath, “Leave. You just have to continue along this path. Once you leave, you’ll be able to escape this place. Since you’ve returned, I can’t continue controlling your body anymore. My little revenge has come to an end. Oh, right, I hurt your wife. I’m sorry about that. She’s innocent; however, I just furious. She’ll be fine, nevertheless. Go hug your wife and comfort her, and everything will be fine. I feel no guilt for what I did to Vyvyan, though. As a matter of fact, I will hate her forever.”
I looked over in the direction she gestured toward. I would be reunited with my family once I headed down; nonetheless, I didn’t head straight down. I caressed her head. Softly, I said, “Sorry. I know that it’s pointless for me to apologise now, but part of the reason that Mom killed you was due to me, so I’m still very sorry to you about it. I know that I will definitely have to pay the price.”
“Can you let me kill you, then?”
“No. I must live on for my wives and children.”
“Move aside, then. I’ll use your body to kill Vyvyan.”
“I can’t allow you to do that, either, for she’s my mother.”
“So what are you saying? Don’t waste my time with impractical things. Go. I don’t want to see you again. You’re very similar to her.”
“I just want to say, I’m very, very sorry.”