Afront of a house in the middle of nowhere, within the ruins of war and the sweet smell of incense, stood a man on flowing robes. Aria fast asleep on his back as her newly transcendent hair glowed white under the moonlight. He looked around to reveal a city that was once there. A city filled with so much joy and laughter. What was left of it could easily have been the house of which he stood right in front of. This is the fate of Cities that get the attention of Halos. The wreckage was so much the that the only way you could make out that a City was once here would be by observing the pattern of the brick stones on the sandy floor with few traces of incense filling the air.
Inside the house, laid a Colleen on a single water bed reading a book that said on its cover Words Of The Murabak. He turned to the left side of the room to place his sword vertically on the wall, revealing a Table with an ancient light source. Aria still on his back, he took a book from the table, tossed it to towards the bed, in an attempt to give it to her.
”Milana I see you haven been doing what was asked of you. Slacking off everychance you get. ”
”Oh no it isn as it looks Mark. I wasn expecting you to come home soon. Should I have known I would have switched the books before you arrived. Unfortunately this time your footsteps were a little too silent. Don you think? ” Milana said, With a fake smile that could have been sworn reached her ears.
As she finished, he walked to the other corner of the room where he lit the incense, revealing Arias body on his back.
”Who is that on your back?One could hardly notice anything due to the clothes you wear. ”
”Oh I found her on the desert. She was amongst a crew sent out in on an expedition I believe, considering they had bikes and food to go round for a long time. Well fun fact, They were all dead before I arrived. A Halo was about to send her packing for the grim reaper before I sliced it in half. If only I was any bit faster, They wouldn have died. Her crew mates I mean. ”
”Oh. I see. Im beginning to feel sorry for the young lad. Bring Her here. Is she asleep? ” She asked, scooting over on the bed in an attempt to make room for one more.
”Yes it seems so. Shes passed out. Although her eyes are widely open, there seems to be no sign of consciousness left in them. Can you help me check on her to make sure shes okay at least? ”
”Sure. Bring her here. ”
After a close examination of Arias unconscious body, she exclaimed.
”By the Halos Rings! Shes burning up! What ever were you doing since you arrived.! ”
”I had not the slightest of ideas she was having a fever. She was completely warm to me.! ”
”Gosh. Nevermind. Get me a cloth. A damp one. We need to beat this fever tonight or she might just die. ” Milana said with a rather sinister look on her eyes.
Mark reaches for a really worn out cloth, dips it into a bottle on the table containing water, squeezes and hands it over to her. As he watched her tend to Aria, he noticed Milanas initially tensed expressions escalate as she used her hands to softly comb Arias pale white hair.
”Milana. Whats wrong? ”
” Mark What was the Halo doing when you killed it? ” Milana asked while still looking at Arias hair, with fear of the unknown.
”It was squatted. She was on the floor Speechless from fear. ”
”Did they make eye contact??. Mark tell me. ”
”Yes. I think so. why ever may I ask if it be important that you know? ” He asked looking really puzzled this time.
”I hope its not what I think it is. If this really is it well, I have no idea what to do currently. For now lets try bringing down this fever. We don want her dieing on us for now do we? ” Milana said, looking at Mark as she faked a smile.
Through the night, Milana and Mark worked side by side to cool Arias fever down. Hopefully it worked.
When Morning came, Arias body temperature seemingly came back to normal. The both of whom worked the hardest to ensure that it happened were lying on the floor outside the house, in exhaustion. They hadn gotten any sleep throughout the night.
”We did it Mark. ”
”Yes. we did. ” Mark said, looking at her with eyes revealing his state of fatique, raised his fists and Milana reciprocated with a fist bump. After a long while of silence with the sun becoming visible in the horizon, Milana spoke out.
”Shes dying Mark. She won make it past five days from now. ”
”Why what do you mean? You said should we not treat her fever this night she will die right? We did treat it, successfully may I add. ” Mark said, with a rather frustrating look in his eyes.
”Yeah I did and as I was treating her I noticed her hair. ”
”Whats wrong with her hair? ”
”Humans are not born with pure white hair. Some have patches of it due to a disorder but what happened to her isn natural. I combed it with my hands to check if its dye or something. Well turns out it wasn . ”
”Where are you going with this? ” Mark asked, seeking she goes straight to the point.
” Mark have you ever heard of the Halos Curse? ”
”No I haven the faintest idea. Should it be related with whats happening to her right now? ”
”Yes. The Halos curse is a sickness that affects only humans. It is triggered should a human look at the Halos ring, or stares directly into its eyes, of which the case for her laying down on the bed right now would be the latter. You really haven heard this right? ”
” No I haven ” He said reluctantly.
”it has six stages to it. First of which is the discolouration of your hair. The discolouration is visible or not depending on how ever long you stared. In this situation, it affected her entire hair. This leads me to believe she was staring for a long time. Second is the fever. From this stage, the illness actually becomes fatal. The third is the appearance of a dark eye lining. Indicating lack of sleep. Which eventually leads to a boisterous attitude where your body deceives you into thinking you have energy. This stage is short-lived as what sets in next is total body paralysis. Slowly but surely, the seizures kick in. A painful way to die. Luckily its not contagious ”
” This is really bad. Is there a cure at least? ”
”yes and no. Yes being the fact that there actually is a cure out there and the latter being no recorded cases of one surviving this sickness. The cure is so hard to find some might even call it a myth. It is a fruit called The Witches Green. It is said the tree hates sunlight and despises air, making it grow only underground or inside the seas. You don bite of it. itll take a bite of you. Should you survive its venom you will be cured. ”
”is that even considered a cure? ” Mark asked looking really tired this time as he struggled to stand up, using the wall behind him as support.
”Yes it is. This is concept is actually gotten from the most prominent religion in the city of Murabak. It says one day, a hero will be born wholl be bitten, die and be given The blessing of the gods. Hell resurrect to fight against the entire Halo population to wipe them out, restoring earth and bringing forth a new Dawn. ” she said, as her face lit up in excitement.
”did you get all this from that one book you read? ”
” I have told you times without number to stop reading those books. It doesn help matters. it gives you false hopes. ”
”Its not false if its true. The book was said to be written in a time before the Halos peak. ”
”That isn enough evidence to go on ”
”It sure is. Murabak was the first of the Seven Great Fortress to be created. Why do you think that is so? ”
”Because that was the first place news of the first sighting of a Halo was first reported? Milana stop placing your beliefs on irrelevant teachings. The are not real believe me ”.
”Weve been through this countless of times Mark. Ill never give up on this. Its real. Fate might be calling on us to find The Witches Green. I mean, it brought you to a girl that had nothing to do with you in the first place. ”
”What would you have me do? ”
”Its completely your choice Mark. Wherever you lead Ill follow. ”
Sigh. ” Do you know the location of The Witches Green? ” he asked so reluctantly.
” Like I said earlier, it is a myth but…. ” she storms into the house and on coming out has a large scroll on her hand with the book she was reading earlier last night.
”Ive been doing my research and I found out the Witches Green might not even be on land, the skies or the seas. Narrowing it down to underground yes? ”
”Yes go on ”
”So I did a little thinking. There are seven great Cities. spread out across earth. The three most powerful of them being Murabak to the North coast of Asia, in the direct opposite of Asia lies Our Location. Tanabrae right?. South of Tanabrae and farther south of Murabak lies the ocean of which in it The City Of Mer yes? ”
”So in the book, chapter seven, line four it says. through the stars upon the seas through its flip over there lies thee. The path to Salvation, the Witches Green shall be amidst for all eternity. This had me wondering for a really long time. The stars are up in the sky so it might be above the earth but the book still said at some point in the same chapter that he tree of life will never fly . This means the skies were eliminated from my search, implying that the stars in the sky wasn the only stars on earth. In the nights of the City of Mer, The seas tend to light up in small continuous dots leaving behind a Sea Of Stars. ”
”Milana, Where are you going with this? ” Mark asked again, this time it was so clear suspense was getting the best of him.
” My point is, amidst the sea of stars and its flip over, Murabak, Because it is directly opposite The City Of Mer, which city lies? yeah you guessed properly. ”
” I didn even say anything ” he said with a smile on his face.
”So there you have it Mark. The Witches Green Lies underground of Tanabrae. Best we begin our journeys soonest to avoid her death.
” She said with a rather confident accent. Ill leave it to her. When shes ready, well ask if she wants it be so. ”
He entered the house, Milana followed suit.