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Wanderer

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The first thing he feels is a gentle presence against his mind. It’s soft, like feathers brushing against him. It’s strange, his mind feels fuzzy and his body feels heavy.

It’s almost time. A voice pierces through the clutter of his mind.

Time for what? He asks but doesn’t get a response.

--

A cool breeze causes green eyes to slowly open, blinking to adjust the light that floods his sight. The man looks around his surroundings carefully before raising a hand to block another gust of wind. He takes a small step forward but his legs shake with the movement. Strange. It’s as if he isn’t used to such motions. Puzzled, he allows himself to sink to the ground as he inspects his legs, wondering why they did not move the way he wants them to move.

He brings forward his hands to peer down on them afterwards and that’s when he notices it. On his left, a white glove with feathers and a strange symbol greets him. He analyzes it curiously, awe visible on his face as he gently runs his fingers against the glove.

The wind dances against him again, running through the long length of his hair playfully while ruffling the same feathers that were attached to his ears and clothes.

--

He’s not sure how long he spends – days, weeks, months? -slowly exploring the area he finds himself in, rediscovering basic motion he is sure he used to know. Figuring out how to distribute his weight while he walks was a little tricky but he eventually gets it. Walking leads to running and running leads to jumping. Before he realizes, he finds himself out of breath from climbing the steep cliffs around the ravine. The view beyond was exhilarating and only encourages him to explore more. However, no matter how far he travels, he always walks back to the same place he first regain consciousness. He is never gone for long either. He’s not sure why but it feels like he needs to be here, that there is a reason why he is here in the first place.

Though he doesn’t remember, he knows it is important.

And so he stays.

--

Exploring done for the day, he flops onto his back, allowing the grass to tickle his face as he looks up. Specks of white clouds litter throughout the blue sky, occasionally covering the sun. Instead of being annoyed, he thinks the colour combination is beautiful. Blue and white. Soft white on brilliant blue.

They aren’t warm colours at all, but they feel like home all the same.

Turning his head to the side, he stares at the flowers growing beside him. Mesmerized, his hand reaches out towards one of the flowers, fingers shyly tracing the edges of the vibrant purple petals before gently holding it against his palm.

He smiles tenderly, relaxing. He doesn’t know what the name of the flower is but it’s his favourite. Ever since he found it growing, he spends more and more time next to this particular flower. Or maybe it wasn’t the flower itself but more of the colour he enjoys. It was the only flower with such an alluring shade. His thumb runs over a petal and he admires how the purple gets lighter the closer it gets to the center of it. It’s a soft purple, almost like lavender. It was the same shade as-

An image flashes before his eyes but disappears just as quickly. It’s not the first time it happens but he never gets enough time to figure out what he sees. Each time it happens though, his heart feels heavy.

He presses a hand against his right eye and holds the other one to his chest.

 

--

 

He accepts the fact that there are more things he doesn’t remember. It’s like building a puzzle only to realize you’re missing a lot pieces so you can’t see the whole picture. However, he learns to shrug it off. He doesn’t need the full picture. All he needs to know is that he has a duty to fulfill first and that his duty requires him to be here. He ignores the fact that he’s not even sure if he’s conducting his duty properly. He ignores the strange flashes he occasionally gets. Everything is fine.

Far in the distance, he can see some interesting old stone structures. No matter how often he sees them even from afar, his curiosity spikes, he feels alive, he wonders.

He wonders what will be in there. He wonders what the architecture will tell him. He wonders what will be waiting for him there.

He wonders why his left hand always grasps the air whenever he gets into these moods. He also wonders why he keeps looking at his hand and at the empty space in surprise, as if he’s expecting something to be there, with him, when there’s never anything there in the first place.

Shaking his head, he looks up into the sky but is sad to see that instead of white and blue, grey greets him instead.

Oh, maybe it’ll rain. Does he remember how rain feels like anymore?

Another thing to add to his ever growing list.

As he climbs down the cliff carefully, he feels something wet land on his cheek. The sudden cold sensation startles him and he loses his grip. Yelping, he slides the rest of the way down the cliff and lands hard. With a groan, he unsteadily gets back onto his feet and brushes the dirt off his pants.

He hears a familiar snicker and, without thinking or turning around, grumbles back a retort.

“Not funny Mik-“ he ends up croaking instead, his voice hoarse from disuse. He blinks and tries to clear his voice before the gravity of the situation hits him. He whips his head around frantically, eyes wide and heart beating wildly in his chest.

No one is there.

The rain falls harder and his heart falls with it.

 

--

 

He spends his days speaking, testing out different sounds and words.  Though, without someone to practice with, he finds himself talking to the purple flower.

He remembers some words and with practice, he is able to speak clearly. Sentences slowly build themselves and before he knows it, he’s having deep conversations with a flower.

Or as deep as one can with an unresponsive participant.

But no matter how much he practices, no matter how hard he tries to remember, the name he almost uttered that one time never comes back to his mind.

It’s the first time he feels frustrated.

This is important. This name is important. He knows it’s important.

More important than the duty you set out to do?

“Yes” he breathes out to no one in particular.

 

--

 

There’s something soothing at night despite not being able to see as far as one normally can during the day. While the stars are shining down on him, he never stays still. Can’t stay still. Doesn’t want to stay still. And so he walks and walks, letting his feet take him wherever until he gets tired.

Tonight the stars shine more brightly and so he continues his trek. There was just something about walking under the night sky. Gazing out at the stars puts a small smile on his face and he determinedly steps  forward.

This night, instead of walking back to the ravine and curling next to the purple flower, he finds himself sitting high on a cliff, staring at the far distance, pondering.

Lately he spends more time thinking. About everything. About nothing.

Time passes much faster than it usually does and he is startled out of his thoughts, lifting his head slightly to look at the far distance.

Oh, the sun is rising. Does he remember what it’s like to see the sun ris-

His eyes widen and his mouth opens in wordless surprise as the fog clears up. He scrambles onto his feet and stares in awe at the ever changing colours. The dark skies change to pink as the morning sun lights up the area, bathing it in brilliant warm shades. From this high, he can see so much: the varying heights of the slopes and hills, the forests that surround them, the waterfall that ceaselessly moves, flowing ever so soothingly in rivers before settling into the lake.

The view is breathtaking. He watches, mesmerized, as the sun paints the scenery in more pinks, purples, and reds. It’s. It’s…

Incredible.

He’s getting a weird sense of déjà vu. He has seen this very scene before. Heard that soft voice before.

He refuses to tear his eyes away from the view and swallows down the urge to look at the space to his left. There’s no point in checking.

He knows there’s no one there. There’s never anyone there.

Something wet rolls down his face and he is surprised to see that he’s crying. The frustration within him grows as a sudden sense of loneliness envelops his entire being. He collapses to his knees and hunches forward; his hands gripping at his chest desperately as his heart lurches. He squeezes his eyes shut while his mind continuously chants, while his heart continuously cries out.

Who are you? Who are you? Who are you?

He weeps quietly, the rising sun his only companion.

He wonders if it’s too late find those missing puzzle pieces now.

 

--

 

He usually does not sleep but tears make one’s eyes heavy. While the sun begins to glow yellow, he sluggishly makes his way back to his purple flower. Lying down beside it, he closes his eyes and rests.

He dreams of blues and whites and of purple – no, lavender – eyes. He dreams of exploring ruins and reading books. He dreams of running on the grass and swinging by stone walls. He dreams of water and strangely enough, getting hit by a blunt object. But what makes the dreams so bittersweet is the fact that there’s always someone there, the same person. He can feel someone there.

He can’t make out their face. He can’t make out their voice. He wants hear it though. He wants to hold his hand.

His?

Then go.

‘What?’

Go. It’s time.

‘But I…’

You’ve done more than enough my selfless child.

He’s not even sure what he has done but even if he wants to go – and he really does - he doesn’t know where to start. Doesn’t even have a name to help him.

‘Do you know his name?’ He hesitantly asks.

Instead of a reply, a strong gust of wind blows at him, forcing him awake. He raises his hands to cover his face, eyes squinting before widening in horror as he watches his flower fly away.

He stumbles onto his feet and chases after the flower without a glance back.

Maotelus materializes onto a nearby rock, placing a hand under his chin as he smiles.

“He didn’t even bother to ask for his own name or why he was here in the first place.”

With a fond chuckle, he waves a hand to ensure that the seal doesn’t stutter as both the flower and the boy run pass it unaware. No point in alarming his fellow Seraph just yet. With a playful smile, he disappears from sight once more.

It’s time to fulfill your dream, Sorey. I’m sorry that you’ll have to wait just a bit longer.”

--

Holding the flower close to his chest, he walks endlessly. He’s not sure where he’s going but it doesn’t stop his movement. He’s finally up close to the old buildings that he used to look from afar. He places his hand against the stones, tracing the intricate engravings softy to avoid any damage.

The ruins are quiet, empty. The only sounds he hears are his steps as he walks across the stone floor. The whole area was beautiful and he wants to take the time to look at every corner, to study every marking but his heart refuses. Occasionally, the flower in his hand pulls him forward whenever he stops to reflect for too long. But he understands that there is something else he prioritizes so he quickly walks and admires what he sees along the way.

Climbing up a set of stairs, he stops when he sees a door. His hands hesitate momentarily before he determinedly pushes through. The evening sun greets him and the cool crisp air is refreshing. With one short glance behind him, he steps out into the unknown.

--


He’s not sure how long he spends – days, weeks, months? -slowly exploring the area he finds himself in. Everything is new and beautiful. However, he doesn’t stop to appreciate the sheer beauty nature offers him. He learns to take everything in as he walks, giving himself reminders to come back here to check certain things in more detail. Now is not the time.

It’s only after walking through a few caverns and forests that he puts two and two together and realizes he’s looking for someone. That he’s looking for this nameless person with eyes the colour of this flower.

No, he clutches the flower closer but ever so tenderly. No, not nameless. He just can’t seem to remember his name.

He’s not sure where to find him or how to find him. However, he knows that he’ll find his answer as he continues his journey. He just needs to keep moving.

He rests when the sun sets, the red shades giving him comfort as the wind blows softly on his face. He leans his head against a large rock next to a bush of red flowers, closes his eyes and slumbers until the stars come out; feeling oddly at peace with himself as he holds the purple flower to his chest.

 

--

 

He knows someone is watching over him. The few times he encounters any strange creatures, he notices his footsteps disappearing and the creature immediately dismissing his presence, as if he was no longer there. It’s been extremely helpful and he continues to walk without fear. Continues to search with all his heart.

The flower in his hand ruffles in the wind, as if impatiently waiting for something. Whoever is watching him is also watching over this flower as it hasn’t wilted since the first day the wind blew it away.

Leaving the forest, he walks in a large open field and sees an impressive cluster of buildings in the far distance. He makes his way there slowly as he smiles at the blue sky and white clouds above him.

As always, the ruins are remarkable, ivy covers the area outside. It looks like no one has been in for a very long time. The stairs are all lovely decorated with beautiful engravings. Time did not destroy much of the intricate detail. Excitement bubbles inside and he quickly climbs up the steps breathlessly to find the entrance.  

Only to find that the door is already opened.  That’s a first.

He steps through the stone doors and makes up way up the stairs, admiring the details of the wall and the floor. Red stones and gems decorate the walls. The flower in his hand ruffles despite there being no wind in the ruins and he can’t help but chuckle at the obvious impatience of whoever was watching him.

He continues to make his way up and can feel the temperature steadily rising. Perhaps this temple was built close to an active volcano? If so, he shouldn’t stay too long.

He makes his way around carefully, doing his best to avoid cracks on the floor. Soon the area becomes sweltering hot but it isn’t uncomfortable. Lava flows all around him and he takes care with his steps, moving slowly and quietly.

Until he sees an unnatural white and blue against all the red, orange, and black.

He stumbles in shock but can’t help openly gaping at what he sees.

It’s. It’s another person.

He can’t see much from this distance but his heart is throbbing and telling him to go closer.

But he can’t. Not yet. He’s not ready. It’s been awhile since he had felt the surge of emotion through him. Not since the time he was watching the sun rise. Can his heart handle it if this wasn’t the person he was looking for? Does he even remember how to interact with other people anymore?

Somehow he alerts the person of his presence as they turn around, their long hair swishing behind them. He feels his stomach fluttering around. From this distance, he can’t make out any details of their face but he knows that they can’t see him, can’t see the protective aura that suddenly surrounds him.

Perhaps it’s better that way. He’s not ready yet.

He feels the presence in his mind nod in understanding.

And with the aura still on, he quietly follows the other at a far distance as they move further into the temple.

 

--

 

This time, he knows he spends exactly 17 days following this person. However, not once in these 17 days does he get close enough to look at their face or to hear their voice. The person is quiet, often reflecting to themselves as they study the statues and carvings in the ruins they explore.

All he learns from following this person is that their presence soothes him. In this temple of blue and white, watching this person slowly make his way to the altar, he can feel his heart fill with such warmth and affection.

Go on. He’s been waiting for you this entire time.

‘Who is he?’

Why don’t you go and find out?

He takes careful steps, following the person to the altar. When they stop, he stops too; nervous and unsure what he should do next. Should he tap them on their shoulder? Or he say something first? The protective aura keeps him from noticing his presence. What’s the correct way to handle this situation?

Perhaps whoever is watching him finally runs out of patience for the next thing he knows, the ground crumbles in front of him and he hears the person cry out in shock.

He’s already on his knees, dropping the flower and reaching out to grab the other person’s hand. Adrenaline runs through his veins and he can hear his heartbeat in his ears. When he steadies both of them and ensures he has a good grip, he starts to breathe normally again but then his mind starts chanting that this has happened before.

It only clicks when he looks down and sees wide lavender eyes staring back at him.

He pulls the man up and they both shuffle away from the hole to prevent another fall in. He breathes hard from the exertion and receding adrenaline, leaning his hands behind him as he watches the other man steady his own breathing. His bangs cover his eyes as he leans forward slightly but he can see the man’s hands trembling as he holds them to his chest.

But it’s only when the other man shyly looks up to him; warm lavender eyes filled with love and fear, a brilliant yet hesitant smile on his face; and breathes out a name- his name- does the missing pieces start to put themselves in and finally, he finally sees the whole picture.

“I’m back, Mikleo,” he laughs for the first time in what seems like forever. It’s exhilarating to finally understand why his heart yearns for the person in front of him. He knows he probably has a stupid grin on his face but he doesn’t care. Because…

“I’m finally home.”