I opened my eyes that were blinded from the dazzling light earlier. Doing so, I could not help but succumb to the dizziness it entailed. My head was spiraling and I was forced to kneel and place my palms onto the floor to firm myself, while suppressing a visceral urge. After the violent bubbling in my stomach had gone, I noticed that something was wrong with the situation. Then again, I was not normal, so anything “wrong” was “right”.

The darkness of the room retreated on tiptoe from the phosphorescent glow of green crystals embedded into the ground, walls, and ceiling. Each surface was lined fully with these crystals such that no space stayed untouched by the cool green light. However, the green of the light had specks of gold mixed in. I searched for the source and spotted the golden glow of a magic circle — right under me.

The gold magic circle was traced smoothly onto the stone floor. The light it shone held a regal quality and even as the radiance diminished, the majestic vibe persisted absolutely. I studied it and noticed its intricate patterns and signs; some were identifiable and some were not. I scanned the room as the magic circle dimmed and squeezed its last few drops of splendor. The golden drops splashed onto a dark figure I caught sight of and I studied his muscular fame. His wide shoulders pulled at his shirt and jacket, and he had a pair of toned arms with grips that could very well choke bears. Also, he was in a pair of jeans. With a gentle stroke of gold on his face, my gaze ventured onto his chiseled face and his handsome features returned my stare. His eyes were locked onto the floor and he appeared over 20 years old.

Hesitantly, I asked, “Who are you?”

A pause followed and he replied with eyes still locked onto the floor, “Richard Clanden. I welcome your presence to Begend.”

“Begend?” I thought.

I tortured myself to recall the little I could remember. The wind had blown without reservation as sunlight fell on my skin and kindly warmed me from the icy gale. I was sitting on a barrier plate in the sky and enjoying a picnic while watching the idyllic panorama around me. White fluffy clouds puffed themselves and crossed the sky, birds flew and curved on the unseen roads in the air, trees danced and leaves rustled with each breath from heaven, and rivers streamed and swirled in gushing delight. Suddenly, I felt the pull of a force, one that was compelling and rendered resistance futile. I relented and was dragged and thrown into a pool of blinding rays.

“A summoning?” I shouted. “Oh yes, a summoning — the magic circle was used for a summoning. You’re the one who summoned me!”

“No, that’ll be the First,” Richard replied with his eyes still locked onto the floor.

“I see, where’s this person?”

“He’s long passed.”

“I knew it,” I thought.

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