Chapter III : The Desert Beyond I

Chapter III : The Desert Beyond

“ Bright Night Sky “

The forest had just begun to wake up behind them, and now, in front of their eyes lay the Desert Beyond which was eerily quiet. The sand was a pale yellow but it glimmered a little under the bright night sky. Steel’s first step into the desert was a moment filled with both joy and fear. The farmer had traveled to many places before, but never into Beyond.

“ I had a friend whose dream was to go into the desert, “ said the tall, muscular, greyish-haired man.

A petite figure ran over to Steel’s side. Her emerald eyes wide and curious, Rina looked up to the farmer as she waited for him to continue his story. Her neatly-trimmed hair almost fell over her eyes, but those strands could not hide the historian’s desire to hear more stories from her fellow travelers.

“ I’m sure that you’ve heard about the towns in the desert. There are gardeners and farmers who try to find arable land here, “ Steel walked at a steady pace as he continued his story, “ There are also tamers in those towns, and of course, curious historians. “

“ What happened to your friend? “ Thyme ran up to the farmer’s other side. His short, spiky red hair was completely visible now that he removed his makeshift headgear. The guard was also noticeably tall, but was still shorter than the farmer.

“ I never heard from him again, “ came the reply, however, there was no tinge of sadness or worry, “ But there are times when travelers come by my stall at the vegetable market and they give me bottles of sand. “

Rina and her fiancé looked at the farmer as he suddenly laughed.

“ Over time, I noticed that the sand changed in color. It was slowly becoming brown, and less … well, sandy, “ Steel had a momentary sparkle in his eyes as he said that.

“ Change is the only permanent thing, “ the golden-haired historian said matter-of-factly, “ That was one of the Absolute Truths in the Age of the Sun. It still is. “

Thyme looked up at the night sky. He remembered about one of the many seemingly useless things that Rina said to him before. The historian said that back then, in the Age of Ancient Earth, a large white orb shone in the sky. It was called the moon. She said that back then, a moonless night would be dark unless the sky was clear and the stars were out. Stars – those were the white specks in the night sky; they were still there though the moon vanished due to Apocalypse.

“ Aurora, right? “ the guard looked down at Rina.

“ Oh, you remembered! “ the young lady seemed to be very pleased. She also looked up at the sky, “ In the Age of Earth, this was a rare occurrence but now, it lights our way during a moment without sunlight. “

Steel also looked up at the sky. The sand beneath his feet felt warm and it wasn’t as heavy as he thought it would be. There were no rocks or tree roots that could make him trip. He took that moment to marvel at the ever-changing colors of the night sky, the colors that lit their way in place of sunlight.

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