Crystal Down

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Prologue

published on 2020-01-12, last updated on 2020-08-02 written by Thai “0xReki” Chung, edited by jayfeather

It’s a dark rainy night. The storm is becoming stronger and stronger. Despite the storm, two people are hurrying through the valley: a young man and a young woman. Judging from how they hold their hands one can deduce they must be a pair. Are they eloping?

The heavy wind slows them down. Nonetheless, they keep moving. Slowly, but steady. Slowly, but steady. They come across multiple caves. But they ignore them and keep pressing on. A loud noise roars through the valley. Turning towards the noise, they see the path behind them has collapsed. They sigh in relief and continue moving on.

Suddenly, the woman screams in pain. Panicking, she points to a nearby cave. The man quickly leads her there. They’re in luck, it’s empty. She slowly lies down while the man prepares a pit fire with the few wood and tools he has with him.

Finally managing to finish lighting the fire, the man turns towards the woman. He holds her hand. Liquid flows out the woman — she’s giving birth. The man keeps holding the woman’s hand. The labour is draining the woman. She screams in pain. Finally, the child is out. It’s crying. The man picks up the child to give her the child.

But the woman is still in labour — a second child is coming. Again, she screams in pain. The man quickly holds her hand again. Upon touching her his face distorts for a moment but he puts up a brave face. He forces a smile. Finally, the second child is born. It’s crying.

The man picks up the child and hands the two children to their mother. The woman sees the children and smiles happily. The light in her eyes is fading. She slowly closes her eyes. Slowly she stops breathing. Upon taking her last breath, the babies start crying again. The man breaks into tears, screaming. He punches the ground in despair.

After an hour of mourning, he mixes up juice and gives the babies to drink. He takes the necklace of the woman and breaks the pendant in two. Each part, he ties the parts to a necklace each and gives one to each of the children. He then uses magic to dig a hole in the cave and buries the woman. Upon offering a prayer he picks up the children and leaves the cave. The rain has stopped and the sun is rising.

The man reaches a village and goes the see a middle-aged man. The middle-aged man invites him inside. They discuss something. They don’t agree. The young man starts pleading to the other man. The middle-aged man frowns, but he relents and agrees. He sighs heavily.

The young man leaves the house alone. The children are with the middle-aged man. The young man starts shedding tears again. As he leaves the village he mutters: “Live happy and peaceful lives, my sons. You are in good hands here in Islesbury. Please don’t look for your past, Aiden, Ethan. It will bring you only pain and suffering…”

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