True Heart ch.3

Chapter three: Adventure starts with one step.

Axel looked at the carving that was engraved into the tree's skin. He whispered to himself as he traced the words on the rough bark. "My story begins…" He smiled as what seemed to be noon sunlight caressing his scruffy pale face. A feeling of excitement started to bubble inside his stomach. "An adventure." He thought to himself. Axel's smile grew broader at the idea. He was in another world. Away from the pains of reality, it was like he fell threw a rabbit hole and ended up in his version wonderland. He sighed lightly as his heart, which was hours ago filled with grief, rage and sadness, was now replaced with hope and relief. He turned from the tree and looked down the dirt road that stretched for what seemed to be miles. Axel sheathed his blade and slung the strap of the sheath around his shoulder. "The journey of a thousand miles starts with one step." He thought to himself as he walked down the dusty road.
Rolling hills and the occasional shrub or tree was the scenery that Axel beheld with his eyes. As time wore on our hero's body started to grow weary and his throat parched. A sight though made him forget about these mortal pains. A behemoth of a tree loomed in sight. It was smack dab in the middle of the road that Axel was walking on. Axel stopped to look at this beast of nature. It was bigger than any Red Wood on Earth or any Ent that existed in Tolkien's Middle Earth. Massive roots, thinker and wider than anacondas' ravaged the earth and dirt; they snaked and dove along the surface of the ground. The trunk of the emeraldian giant escalated up to the sapphire noontime heavens and was topped with a canopy that had the appearance of floating green lake. All Axel could do was just stare and slowly walk to this King of Trees. The wind blew slightly and caressed not just the face of Axel, but animated the leaves and the braches. Moving them lazily as they swayed side to side. Axel found himself under the shade of the colossus, walked up to one of the nearest roots and sat down. A sound whispered in the ears of Axel, it was the sound of water trickling threw the roots of the tree. Axel got up from where he was sitting and walked over to where the water was. He got down on his knees, cupped his gloved hands and scooped up the cool liquid. The water slipped down his throat and dripped threw his cupped hands. Axel closed his eyes and savored the taste of the water. A cool breeze kissed his face bringing more relief to the weary traveler. When Axel had his fill of the water he sat down on one of the roots looking up at the emerald canopy. It was all-beautiful and peaceful unlike the world he left behind.
Memories flashed through Axel mind again when he thought of Revere and what had happened at school. Melody's face also appeared in his head bringing with it a feeling of loneliness. He was never alone in school or in his life in Massachusetts. Axel's head lowered from the organic ceiling to his sneakers. Why was he chosen? He knew he wasn't hero material, but for some reason this world chose him. Axel sighed deeply trying to focus on the positives of his situation. He got up from his wooden seat and walked out from under the monstrous tree's shade. Axel looked up to the sky and saw that the sun was starting to set. "Better get walking." Axel thought to himself as he sighed heavily not wanting to think about the dangers of traveling at night especially in a foreign world. He walked around the monstrous tree, stepping and sometimes climbing over the roots that covered the path. This was a problem for Axel because even though he had great strength and power he was still short. The largest of these wooden pythons were about the same height and width of boulders. Axel used his limited knowledge of rock climbing, that his father taught him, to scale the roots. It took Axel almost an hour and a half to finally get around the mighty tree and its roots so that he get to the path beyond. Axel looked to the sky, which an hour and a half ago was fading from bright blue, to it turning into a multitude of colors as the sun journeyed to its final destination. Axel, sweaty and tiered, just stared in awe. He never saw a sunset like this, not even when he went to Maine with his dad in the summer. To say that the sky before Axel's eyes was beautiful would be an understatement or even sacrilegious. Axel broke his gaze from the stain glass sky to the path that lay before him. He jumped down from the monstrous root and onto the path before him.
Night fell quickly in the world of Engala. Stars just seemed to pop out along with two bright and shining moons. These celestial bodies were the only lights in the darkness that covered the land. Axel could surprisingly see by their cold light or was it the fact that the wizard magiced his glasses? Whatever the reason Axel couldn't care less. As he walked the path Axel occasionally glanced upward at the nighttime sky to see the masses of stars and the twin moons that glowed with cold fire. Axel's attention should have been focused else where though. In the darkness crept two people, thieves to be exact and armed to kill. Stealthy as shadows and careful to hide in darkness they crept towards Axel. As they neared the young traveler they drew out their knives waiting to pounce like a lionesses on the hunt. Axel unaware of this stopped and sat down on the path to take a short breather. As sat down a series of events followed. First, the thieves that were following him crept from behind and attacked taking Axel by surprise. Second, as Axel was being mugged he saw a great light amongst the blackness. Third, the thieves that were beating on him were gone. Axel now sore and bleeding from his lip and nose looked all around for his savior or at least where the light came from. But failed to find its origin. He moaned as he forced his aching body to get up and walk. He could feel his feet dragging against the dirt path as he forced his limp body to move onward. Axel's body though screamed in protest and to show it he fell on the path and into a deep sleep.



Blackness, thick like London fog invaded Axel's mind as he fell deeper into the black. It swirled and constricted all thought, not allowing light or consciousness to take over. Then he heard a voice in the darkness. "Hey! Are you alright?" The voice belonged to Melody or…at least Axel thought so. An image of Melody appeared in Axel's void. She called out to Axel again, "Hey! Can you hear me!" Axel thought that this was a strange question. Sure he could hear her Axel wasn't deaf, but when he tried to call out to her his voice remained silent. Melody then raised her hand as though she was about to slap him. "Why would she do that?" He thought to himself another thought came into his head "Even if she hit me it wouldn't hurt." He was proved wrong as the Melody look a like's hand hit his scruffy, pale face and pain emanated from the slap. Blackness then immediately turned to light and soon was fractured with color and sound. The first thing he noticed was that his vision was blurry. He reasoned that his glasses must have fallen off when he passed out. The second thing was that a girl about his age was kneeling over him, checking the plus in his neck to see if he was alive. He let out a small groan and the girl from Axel's limited vision, smiled.
"Glad you're okay." She said. Axel groaned again as he tried to get in a sitting position. Axel could see a gleam of light next to his left leg. He picked up the shining object and saw that the object was his glasses. He placed them onto his face and saw the clarity of the world before him. The girl that Axel saw checking his plus was put into clear perspective. Axel could see that she had brilliantly blue eyes and shoulder length black hair. Her skin was a pale peach color; this was made even more evident by the dark blue, sleeveless turtleneck sweater that clothed her torso. Black shorts connected to crème colored pants covered her legs along with thick leather, brown boots covering her feet. She looked like she was from Final Fantasy 7, a game that Axel played with Melody, but there was something vaguely familiar about her.
"Thank you," Axel mumbled as he tried to get up, his eyes never leaving the girl's face. The girl that had found him stood up and grabbed his hand. She then pulled him up with no effort. Axel felt his body being jerked upward by this girl's amazing strength. He landed on his feet adventure clothes and all.
The girl smiled at his expression, "You're welcome." Axel just stared in awe at what he'd just seen. Here was a girl who was no older than him, who looked strangely like his best friend Melody and who had freakish amounts of strength. Axel finally shook himself mentally, "She's not Melody, she's justa girl that looks like her." He thought to himself.
"What's your name?" Said the girl.
"What?" Axel said as the question brought him back to reality.
The girl gave a joking sigh and repeated the question. "What's your name?"
"Oh," said Axel, "my name is Axel Volte."
"Axel," She repeated, "strange name, but they have to come from somewhere. My name is Snow, Snow Howllen." She smiled again and looked Axel up and down. She noticed the sword sheathed on his back. "Are you an adventurer? Or do you come from a distant land? I've never seen a blade like that on your back." She said analyzing him, as she walked around him trying to get a gauge or guess where this stranger was from. Her eyes flitting occasionally to Axel's gun-esque blade.
"Actually I'm a traveler." He said answering the questions that Snow had asked.
Her eyes lit up when Axel said this bit of information to her. "Really!?" Are you from the Graken Lands or the lands beyond the Wishing Woods?"
"No," said Axel a bit confused and wondering what the Graken Lands and Wishing Woods were. "I am from a city called Revere, which is part of a state called Massachusetts."
Now it was Snow's turn to be confused. "Revere? Massachusetts? State? You're probably from farther away than the Wishing Woods, but seeing that the Wishing Woods are not the only place farthest from my city I'm not really that surprised." She did another walk around the boy's perimeter examining him from head to toe. The girl named Snow was taller than him by maybe two inches or more from Axel could tell. "Are people from Massachusetts short and scruffy like you?" She asked. It sounded like a legitimate question as though people from different places all had the same character traits, in Axel's case height lackage and being hairy.
Axel could tell that he did look outlandish even though he was the one who was the stranger to this land. "No," he said, "there're people of different races and cultures in my world."
Snow's eyes widen like a child's on Christmas, "So Massachusetts is a port town?" She asked as her face leaned in close to Axel who took a small step back.
"When it was first colonized, yes, but its a lot bigger now." He said replying to Snow's question. "Can you tell me where I am now?"
"You're at the outskirts Shailo near the Wondering Path." She said to a confused looking Axel. Snow noticed this and mirrored Axel's expression, "Did you take a wrong turn?" She asked.
"No," Axel replied, "I just don't remember walking the rest of the way here unless…" He trailed off trying to remember the events of last night. He was being mugged then he saw a bright flash of light and that was it.
"Unless what?" Snow inquired curiously.
"Nothing," Axel said dismissing the topic. Our hero's stomach rumbled before he could ask where to go.
Snow giggled, "Come on, I'll take you back to my place. It's about lunch time anyways."
Axel's stomach seemed to agree with Snow's proposal for it gave another mighty rumble. "Sounds like a plan." He said as he followed Snow forward towards the town of Shailo, which he could slightly see in the distance. He didn't notice that Snow was far ahead of him as he was looking at the trees and scenery around him. The trees were different than the ones he saw on the path that he took to get wherever he was. Their leaves were the color of summer and different hues of green as were the trunks of the trees. It seemed like a beautiful world to be in, this world of Engala, a place to escape from the worries of where Axel came from.
"Hey! Come on Axel!" Snow said calling to our hero bringing his thoughts back to earth. He caught up with Snow and followed her to Shailo where this would only be the base of the journey that he will soon start.





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