My heart raced as I glanced down at my arm, my breath catching in my throat.
A robotic voice filled the air, further alarming me.
[WARNING! THE MIASMA CORROSION RATE IS INCREASING]
the voice announced urgently.
“C-Corrosion?!” I stammered, my voice trembling with fear.
Seer, a calmly approached me, his voice soothing. “I know what happened to your arm, but first, you need to calm down,” he suggested.
“How can I calm down?!” I exclaimed, panic seeping into my words.
[WARNING! MIASMA CORROSION RATE IS INCREASING EVEN FURTHER!]
The air around me grew dense and murky, suffocating me.
I coughed violently, splatters of blood staining my surroundings, a grim testament to the severity of the situation.
As the corrosive miasma engulfed me, everything became blurred, my senses dulled.
“Hey, BOY!” Seer shouted, his voice urgent as he approached me.
Realizing I couldn’t endure this torment much longer, I mustered all my strength and called out, desperation lacing my voice. “S…ee…r.”
In the final moments of my suffering, I succumbed to darkness, blacking out.
Silence enveloped me, and when I awoke, I found myself in an unfamiliar room, staring up at an ornately carved wooden ceiling. Sunlight streamed through the small, dusty windows, casting a warm glow over the room’s rustic furnishings.
I slowly sat up, the ache in my body a constant reminder of the trial I had endured. As I glanced down, I saw my right arm encased in tightly wrapped bandages, a vivid symbol of the pain and sacrifice I had endured.
The room seemed frozen in time, filled with antique furniture that exuded a sense of history and melancholy. Shadows danced on the faded wallpaper, adding an air of mystery to my surroundings.
I reached out tentatively, my fingers tracing the coarse texture of the bandages. It was a tangible reminder of the transformation that had occurred, leaving me with a fragmented perception of the world around me.
“First the arm, and now my eye…” I sighed, a mixture of frustration and resignation coloring my voice.
Reflecting on my predicament, a gnawing sense of unease settled within me. It felt as though someone or something had orchestrated my suffering, leading me to this moment of profound uncertainty.
A heavy sigh escaped my lips as I tapped the bracelet on my wrist, seeking solace or answers. However, the device remained unresponsive, its functions temporarily unavailable.
“Unavailable, huh?” I muttered, a hollow tone echoing my disappointment.
With a heavy heart, I mustered the strength to rise from the bed. My movements were unsteady, but determination fueled my steps, refusing to succumb to the overwhelming weight of my circumstances.
Leaning on the support of nearby furniture, I navigated my weakened legs towards the wash basin. As I caught a glimpse of myself in the mirror, a chill ran down my spine.
My reflection revealed a nightmarish transformation. The darkness that shrouded my eye was foreboding, a sinister veil obscuring a once vibrant and expressive feature.
Confusion, shock, and curiosity waged war within me, as I grappled with the unknown nature of this grotesque alteration. Deep down, I knew instinctively that it held no promise of a favorable outcome.
Temptation compelled me to reach out and touch the darkened expanse that once held my eye. As my fingertips made contact, a chill ran down my spine. Its texture was foreign and unsettling, urging me to refrain from further exploration.
Realizing the dangers of meddling with forces beyond my comprehension, I turned away from the mirror, seeking distraction from the haunting reflection.
My gaze fell upon a scattering of discarded bandages near the bed, remnants of the care I had received while unconscious. An idea sparked within me, a feeble attempt to conceal the monstrous sight that had befallen me. I gathered the bandages, each one a thread of hope, and carefully wrapped them around the lower half of my face.
Although it provided little solace, the makeshift mask shielded others from the full extent of my disfigurement.
In this new guise, I resolved to confront the enigma that had befallen me, to seek answers and, perhaps, a chance at redemption.
As I thought about my next steps, contemplating the unknown path ahead, I made my way down the stairs, each step echoing softly in the dimly lit corridor. It was there, in the lower part of the building, that I heard voices—a conversation unfolding in hushed tones.
“How is Grey here, Uncle?” An unknown female voice resounded through the room.
“D-Don’t get me wrong, Angelica. The boy came here on his own,” Seer, the familiar voice of my savior, replied, his tone filled with a mixture of concern and hesitation.
The mention of my name and the mention of Seer being referred to as “Uncle” piqued my curiosity. And how did Miss Angelica come here?
Driven by a need for answers, I cautiously approached the room from where the conversation emanated, careful not to disturb their discussion. As I neared the slightly ajar door, their voices became clearer, though their words still held an air of secrecy.
As I came near the door,
Angelica’s voice sweetly resonated through the room.
“Grey, how about coming in? No need to stand outside.”
Caught off guard, I hesitated for a moment before mustering the courage to step into the room. The atmosphere seemed to shift as Seer and Angelica turned their attention towards me, their expressions a mix of surprise and concern.
Taking a deep breath, I crossed the threshold, feeling the weight of their gaze upon me. The room was adorned with bookshelves filled to the brim with ancient tomes, their weathered spines hinting at the wisdom they held. Soft candlelight cast flickering shadows, creating an ambiance of both mystery and warmth.
Seer’s eyes, usually filled with an enigmatic calmness, now held a hint of worry. “Grey, my boy, we didn’t expect you to arrive here so soon.”
Confusion tugged at my mind as I glanced between Seer and Angelica. “I… I didn’t know how I got here. It’s all a blur.”
A moment of silence hung in the air before I gathered the courage to pose the question that had been nagging at me. “But… How did Angelica get here? And… how is she related to you, Seer?”
Seer’s gaze softened as he exchanged a knowing look with Angelica. It was Angelica who spoke first, her voice carrying a sense of warmth and familiarity.
“Grey, I am Seer’s niece.” Angelica said
Understanding began to dawn upon me.
Seer chuckled, a hint of pride evident in his voice. “Indeed, Angelica has displayed remarkable skill and dedication as my student. Just as I have been guiding you, Grey, I have also been guiding her on this path, fostering her growth and knowledge.”
The room fell into a momentary silence as Angelica crossed her arms, her expression a mix of amusement and exasperation. “Uncle, what a perfectly timed joke, considering the seriousness of our current situation.”
Seer’s chuckle subsided as he realized the gravity of the moment. He cleared his throat and turned his attention back to me. “Apologies, Grey. This is no time for humor. We must focus on finding a solution to your curse.”
Angelica stepped forward, her voice filled with gentle concern. “Grey, we were discussing your presence here and how it relates to the curse that afflicts you. Seer informed me of your curse. But we need to understand how you ended up in this specific place.”
Feeling a mix of relief and vulnerability, I took a deep breath and began to relay everything that had transpired—the pain, darkness, and the sudden awakening in the unfamiliar room upstairs. I shared the details as best I could, ensuring that no aspect was left unspoken.
As I spoke, Angelica listened attentively, her expression reflecting a blend of empathy and determination. It was evident that she was truly invested in understanding my plight.
Once I finished recounting my experiences, there was a brief pause, the weight of the revelation settling between us. Then, breaking the silence, Angelica gently nodded.
“I see, Grey,” she said softly, her voice tinged with a mix of sympathy and urgency. “But there is something you should know. Your physical body has been in a state of coma for the past six months.”
My heart skipped a beat, and a surge of disbelief coursed through me. “W-What?” I stammered, struggling to comprehend the weight of her words.