Seer looked at me with a frown, clearly disapproving of my reaction. I couldn’t help but express my frustration.
“Well, is he expecting me to greet him after everything that has happened?” I muttered with a sigh.
Seer chuckled in response to my remark. “A coincidence, you say? I was thinking the same about you, boy,” he said with a hint of amusement in his voice.
“Coincidence? I’ve been dealing with this nonsense for days!” I shouted, pointing my finger accusingly at him.
“Hey! Hey! It’s not my fault that you’re here!” Seer retorted, his frustration evident.
“Not your fault, huh? I find that hard to believe,” I snapped, crossing my arms and turning away.
“It’s true! Even I’m puzzled by your presence in this place. It’s as if someone guided you here, and why me of all people?” Seer mused, lost in thought.
“Well… what were you doing before you came here?” he asked after a pause.
“Huh? Well…” I pressed my forehead with my fingers, trying to remember. “What was I doing again? I killed that hound a few minutes ago… before that… hmm, I was sleeping? But it doesn’t make sense if I’m here. What the hell?”
“Oh, I see, haha!” Seer chuckled, and I turned around to face him, my curiosity piqued.
“Why are you laughing?” I questioned, still bewildered by the situation.
“Well, it seems you don’t know why you’re here, right?” he replied.
“How do you know?” I asked, puzzled.
“Well… it’s clearly written on your face,” he pointed his index finger at me.
“Was it that obvious?” I inquired, feeling a mixture of embarrassment and surprise.
“Yup,” he nodded.
“So, you know what this place is?” I asked eagerly.
“Yup, you’re in my backyard,” he said, pointing his thumb over his shoulder.
I turned my gaze towards his backyard, taking in the mesmerizing sight. It was a place filled with shiny white flowers, some unfamiliar plants, and perhaps even vegetables. The warm sunlight bathed the area, giving it a countryside vibe. I could see farms and other elements that added to its charm. It was astonishing that such a place existed in proximity to the Labyrinth, contrary to what I had heard.
Taking my eyes off the enchanting scenery, I asked again, needing confirmation. “What? Say that again… I think I misheard something.”
Seer let out a sigh. “Boy, this is my backyard.”
“This… this place is your backyard? Then aren’t you responsible for the mess I’m in?” I shouted, feeling a surge of anger.
“Nope, my backyard starts from where I’m standing, not where you stand,” he clarified.
“Then where do I stand?” I demanded to know.
“In the Labyrinth,” he responded matter-of-factly.
“What?” My voice faltered as I struggled to comprehend.
“Turn around,” Seer instructed.
Confused, I followed his instruction and turned around. And there it was—a colossal gate that stood tall like a foreboding tower. Its construction exuded an air of mystery and ominous vibes. The gate was flanked by towering walls on either side, forming an imposing structure. It was a sight that left me stupefied, unable to process its existence.
As I stared at the gate in disbelief, I glanced back and forth between the Labyrinth and Seer, my mouth agape. I turned to Seer, my eyes filled with questions.
“How?” I managed to utter, my voice barely a whisper.
Seer chuckled in response. “Illusion.”
Still trying to make sense of it all, I muttered, “I’ve had enough,” and turned back to face Seer.
Suddenly, I heard the sound of sipping coming from behind me. Intrigued, I couldn’t help but ask, “What are you drinking?”
“Tea… would you like one?” Seer offered, taking another sip from his cup.
I nodded eagerly. “Yes, please.”
After a minute of silence, Seer asked, “Now that you’ve calmed down, care to tell me what you were doing inside the Labyrinth and before that?”
I let out a sigh and proceeded to recount my story to him. I explained everything I knew, leaving no detail behind.
After I finished, I let out another sigh. “I’m tired.”
“But I have some questions regarding that Labyrinth,” I said, my curiosity reignited.
“Sure,” Seer replied, taking another sip of his tea.
Ignoring his slight annoyance, I pressed on. “How did I end up in that particular place?”
“No idea,” he answered honestly.
“Why was it only me?”
He took another sip of his tea, seemingly unperturbed by my questions.
I continued, “Why was my memory altered?”
“Memory alteration?” Seer asked, genuinely surprised by my revelation.
“Yes, every time I woke up in my bed and somehow found myself in the hallway, where I would encounter a hound and kill it. This process seemed to repeat over and over again.”
Nodding thoughtfully, Seer provided his insights. “Well, it could be that the Labyrinth is playing tricks on you personally, or perhaps someone has trapped you in a hallucination spell. It’s also possible that everything you experienced was an illusion.”
“Hallucination and illusion… I see,” I muttered, trying to absorb his words. I grabbed my head, overwhelmed by the realization that someone or something was deliberately toying with me.
Lost in my thoughts, I didn’t notice Seer’s actions until he flicked his fingers in front of my face.
In an instant, the entire world around me turned upside down. The once beautiful scenery now appeared bathed in a deep crimson red. The shiny white flowers were tainted, their petals seemingly soaked in blood.
The unfamiliar plants and vegetables now sprouted menacing thorns. The warm sunlight had vanished, replaced by a chilling coldness that gripped the air. The sky, once familiar, was now an endless expanse of blood-red, devoid of both sun and moon.
Horror-stricken by this surreal sight, I turned to Seer. To my surprise, he remained unaffected, casually leaning against the farm’s fence, sipping his tea as if nothing had changed.
Observing my reaction, Seer chuckled. “Heh, haha! The boy has finally gone mad,” he remarked, taking another sip of his tea.
As the world around me had transformed into a twisted nightmare, I couldn’t help but laugh along with Seer, despite my mounting fear. The situation had become so absurd, so incomprehensible, that laughter was my only coping mechanism.
“The boy finally got crazy, huh?” Seer mused, amusement dancing in his eyes as he continued to sip his tea.
Despite the unsettling atmosphere, I found myself compelled to ask, “Seer, what… What is happening to me?”
Seer let out a sigh, his expression turning serious for a moment. “What you see now, this distorted reality, it’s a glimpse into the true nature of the Labyrinth. It is a place of illusions and deception, capable of manipulating one’s perception.”
His words sent shivers down my spine, as the crimson surroundings seemed to press closer, suffocating me with their eerie presence.
“Illusions… so everything I’ve experienced so far… it wasn’t real?” I stammered, struggling to make sense of the revelation.
Seer nodded solemnly. “That’s correct. The Labyrinth has a way of distorting your memories, trapping you within its intricate web of deceit. It preys on your fears, your doubts, and bends them to its will.”
I tried to process the information, my mind racing with questions. “But why? Why would the Labyrinth do this to me?”
Seer leaned closer, his voice lowering to a hushed tone. “The Labyrinth is a mysterious entity, a realm unto itself. It craves souls, energy, and power. It lures unsuspecting victims, like yourself, into its clutches, to serve its insidious purpose.”
Fear crept into my heart as I pondered the true nature of the Labyrinth and the purpose it had for me. “So… what am I supposed to do? How can I escape this nightmare?”
“Well… No idea”
After a moment of silence, Seer’s gaze fixated on my right hand, causing me to feel puzzled and uneasy.
“Why are you staring at my right hand?” I asked, my confusion evident in my voice.
Seer let out a sigh, frustration creeping into his expression. “Another mind magic… How many of them were planted on you?” he muttered under his breath.
Trying to calm myself, I replied, “Please, tell me what’s going on.”
“Close your eyes,” Seer instructed, stepping closer to me. With a flick of his fingers
A surge of energy coursed through me, somehow easing my anxieties and allowing me to regain control of my emotions.
“Now, open your eyes and look at your right hand,” Seer’s voice resonated in my ears, urging me to obey.
With a mix of anticipation and trepidation, I opened my eyes and directed my gaze towards my hand.
To my astonishment, my hand had turned entirely black, as if darkness had consumed it.
The transformation sent shivers down my spine, and I instinctively flexed my fingers, observing the ebony appendage with a mix of curiosity and unease.