He stepped forward. The rain was hitting. The silver eyes glinted once more before fading into a shade of deep brown. "Jeya," he managed to utter from very deep in his throat. The fog was drifting in and he looked around. This life of his, he thought, so complicated yet so simple. How is it possible to simply find yourself and your place in the world? How does one just understand themself? "Jeya," he spoke again, this time, a bit louder for the blades of grass to hear.
"Your tea is ready. Jasmine, as you have requested," said Riti Sey.
Erre Sey's eyes crept into the light after having been in the darkness for hours. His brother's voice aroused him from his slumber. In a way, he was glad to be awake.
"Oh really?" he mumbled, sitting up in his bed. He wiped his eyes, which he then observed through the mirror across his bedroom. They were brown, like usual. "Did I really request--? Oh, my memory."
"Eh, I do not remember your request either. At least it is tea. Come on and drink, we best get going."
"Wait, we are going--? Oh... I really am losing my memory."
A long pause brushed by the two brothers, almost as if it were a draft of wind, coursing its way along the coasts of Laylom bay. Riti stared at Erre, disturbed.
"Erre?" he said again, this time a bit quieter, toned down enough that the grass blades could not hear him. He waited again, thinking of what to say. Instead, he brightened the conversation rather than leaving it to veer into intensity.
"You are going insane again," he said with a slight smile. He placed down the tea.
"That may be the case," Erre sighed, sinking lower into his bed. He took his cup of jasmine tea and remained stoic for a while, lost in his own thoughts. In the meantime, Riti could not help but sense something a bit off about his brother. He sat down on the bed beside him.
"Erre," he said. "Is it the fire again?"
"The wind this time," Erre said, snapping out of his moment of sticky thoughts. He was not lying. Jeya, he thought, and the name almost came out as a whisper. How could he tell Riti about her? Surely he would kill him.
"What about the wind?" Riti dared to ask.
"You know already," Erre groaned, his usual bad temper finally kicking in as he gulped his tea and let it awaken him more.
"Come on," Riti said.
"I said you know already."
"I do? You have never told me about wind before. You have always told me about fire, or wood, or mountains, but what did this wind do to you?"
Erre was finally remembering that he and his brother had a long first day of travel ahead of them to endure, and therefore he changed the subject as quickly as he could. "Silence. I would prefer to finish my tea so that we can head out sooner." Riti scowled but he still silenced himself.
Erre felt a surge of relief when his brother ceased to ask about the wind, yet he felt guilty that he was leaving him to wonder. There might be dire consequences in the future. Lying never ended up well for Erre.
Later in the morning, the brothers packed all of their money and food onto Eo, a rather fattened eagle with a wingspan of about twenty or more meters and a span from head to tail of about the same, perhaps less. Eo was brown, the plainest the unusually-large-and-bulky eagles could come. Some eagles were gold, some were silver, some were beautifully iridescent. Those were the strongest and most valued, but they were rare. Brown eagles were the most common and the least valued of its kind.
"Eo is about ready to retire, is he not?" Riti teased, slapping the eagle in a friendly manner.
"He never was anything special," Erre murmured. "But why would you want to retire him?"
"What? I was only joking!" Riti said surprised.
Erre shook his head and resumed his packing. "I do not doubt you Eo," he whispered into the eagle's ear. "There had to be a reason we came together at the Soul Convention. Perhaps Riti was joking." Eo purred like a cat and nudged his master.
After a half an hour of packing, the two brothers and Eo headed off. One swoop, and all of them were free from the confines of the earth. The young Erre peered from behind the wings of Eo, looking like a curious child at the sight below. It had been a while since he had flown with his eagle. He always felt like he was five years old again when he touched the sky like this. It reminded him of when his mother first took him on a ride with Leon, the silver eagle. That had been so long ago, but he still remembered when he was being held by his mother, and being caressed by the wind. What an experience that had been! But these times were different. He did not feel as childish on the eagle now, simply riding him for pleasure. He knew he was actually going somewhere on this eagle, as if he had a destiny. He looked away from the earth and his childish thoughts, over towards Riti who was staring at the map.
"Riti," Erre spoke. "Have you brought your knives?"
"Are you kidding me?" Riti smiled crookedly. "My knives are like a piece of my soul. How could I forget them? Besides, did you bring your sword?"
Erre looked a tad guilty. "I did not bring my sword, but you know I have senurgy. I can 'serge' things at my will."
"Well you have always been the lucky child, that is for certain," Riti said, suddenly becoming cross.
Erre was confused. He watched his brother turn away and take out his knives to fidget with. What was with his brother and his hatred for senurgy? Erre had seen him become angry before when he had demonstrated senurgy for their father. Riti had stormed out of the room and gone out to the forest to throw his knives for the rest of the afternoon, and he did not come back home until everyone was asleep. Erre was confused.
He turned away from his brother as well.
"Why do you hate senurgy so much?" he asked quietly, barely audible above the listening wind.
"How about you tell me first what the wind did to you in your dream?" Riti snapped, gripping one of his knives so tightly that his hand turned white.
Erre sighed. He would most certainly be killed by his own brother today, if not tomorrow. He knew that if he told him about Jeya...
Quickly, Erre took himself out of his thoughts.
"You will hate me for this, Riti," he said, bowing his head very low.
Riti squinted his eyes, anticipating. "Yes?" he said, urging Erre to speak on.
"Jeya... She took the form of wind in my dream. I loved her in the past when I was fourteen. She simply breezed by me in my dream, nothing more. I used to see her in the past. That is why I used to go out to the river often," Erre said.
Riti stared at his brother. He was either amazed or furious, Erre could not tell.
Another long and dead silence brushed past the two brothers, much like the one that occurred in Erre's bedroom. It was a long, anticipating pause.
But this pause was soon ended when a draft of wind suddenly uplifted Eo in such a harsh manner. Eo jolted and squawked, trying to regain his balance. The two brothers broke from their state of anticipation and glanced around. "What was that?" Riti said, his voice quavering slightly. Erre peered again from behind the eagle's wing to see where that unusual draft of wind had come from. A little light was flickering on the river that they were flying above. The flicker came closer. It was not a just a flicker.
To be continued...