Written By – DemonKiller
Edited By – CurlyAdi
Proofread By – SmatyMouth
Chapter 0004 – Heaven and Earth Flipped
Currently I was a bit stumped with what was happening around me, it seems that I was being confused with some kind of important person. The old woman in front of me kept asking for forgiveness, but it seems that she was a pretty important person in the village herself. But then I came to know that she was the wife of the Village Head who was called Hatter. And that this old couple were somewhat like foster parents to this kid Cleff.
But before I could even ask about a phone or anything else, I was immediately rushed inside and made to sit on a couch made of wood, and some cushions filled with what felt like hay. Then immediately the old woman went out and in just a few moments came back with a few younger women around 20-30 years in age, and immediately became busy in preparing some kind of meal.
As to that kid Cleff, he simply happily came inside and sat down in front of me on the floor, as he took out a toy, well it would be more accurate to say that it was kind of voodoo type of a doll made from straw, and started to play with it, completely ignoring what was going on around him.
The house that I was in, was quite spacious, although it was made from the same materials that the others houses were made of, i.e. clay bricks and thatched roofs, but it was considerably bigger than them. It had a living room, two bedrooms and a kitchen, there was a courtyard type of open space both in front of the house and the back of. The front part of the house opened towards the main street of the village, while the back part of the house faced the giant rocky fist. As to where the bathroom was, well I couldn’t see any from where I was sitting. The living room I was in was somewhat furnished in a nice way, it had two long couches, placed in a perpendicular manner with their backs facing the wall, and an extremely old portrait of a person hanging on one of the walls behind the couch that I was sitting on. The entire house was illuminated from the light coming through the windows along with a few burning torches.
The weird thing was, those lit torched were not giving off any smoke or even any heat, the only thing that they were giving off was light, if I had to make a comparison, then those torches were similar to LED lights but only thing was it was in the shape of ever changing flames. Simply put, although the house I was was simple in nature, I got the feeling as if this place was something that defied logic. Afterall, where on Earth would you find that kind of torch, that looked like a fire but wasn’t one.
I tried to ask a few questions to the woman bustling through the house, bringing in utensils and some food in their hands, but whenever I tried to talk to them, they would immediately become scared and would run away, once a woman not older than 21-21 years in age, fell down in terror when I tried to ask, and almost fainted. I immediately stopped myself from asking anything, thinking, am I that terrible looking? I know that I was a little fat but was I really ugly to the point that someone would almost faint at the sight of me? I really was depressed in my heart, and completely forgot about the matter that I initially came here for.
As to the kid Cleff, he had already got bored of playing inside, and had already left to play with his friends outside. Moreover for some reason, some of the younger kids, immediately crowded around the outside of the house trying to peer into the room to have a look at me. Giving me the impression that I was an animal trapped in a cage in a zoo, where the people would let their kids have a look at some interesting animal. Both fear and excitement was visible on their faces.
Fortunately, none of them tried to come in, as the women, who apparently were these kids’ mothers, had already warned them not to disturb us in any way. But well, whether they came in or not, I was already uncomfortable to point of going mad, fortunately I had Frank by my side, who would comfort me from time to time, by putting his paw gently on my feet, as if to say “It’s alright.” Otherwise I would have long since snapped at those kids.
But whatever the case, I was increasingly getting the feeling that the place I was in, was not in New York, or even anywhere near it. The people here although they looked like the people who you could find at any of the towns near a forest, but they were simply too few people, moreover they did not even have any electricity or even any kind of electrical appliances that would indicate the presence of electricity, heck there was not even a clock to be seen anywhere in the house. It was as if I had been transported to the medieval era or maybe even before this.
But I immediately rejected this idea, afterall time travel was simply science fiction, it was something impossible, at least with the current technology. Maybe they were a group of people who shunted modern gadgets and liked to live like the people in the past being free from the shackles of technology, somewhat like the more conservative branches of the Christianity. Afterall, let alone USA, there were even some remote villages in India, that haven’t seen electricity or electrical gadgets in forever.
I resigned myself to whatever was going on around me, it seems that other than the old woman who was the wife of the Village Head who was surnamed Hatter, no one else was willing to speak to me without being scared for some reason. I guess that at least I could wait till after the meal that these women were painstakingly preparing, and then ask the old woman about the things that he wanted to ask.
Besides who could resist the temptation of home cooked food? Moreover it has been a long while since I had a home cooked meal and the smells coming from the outdoor kitchen were already making my mouth water.
Before I somehow entered the forest, I used to rely on the food packets distributed at the community center as I barely would have any money to eat out or even buy some vegetables. Even the money that I had on me at the moment, was something leftover from the money given to me by the producer to make the trip to the supermarket and bring some pre cooked food packets for the actors and the other important helpers in that theater production I was working in.
I guess waiting for a while was not a bad idea, as I shut my eyes to take some rest from the chattering that was going on around me.
Soon I entered a deep sleep, just as I was entering a dream filled with delicious food, my entire dreamspace turned black. I panicked, although I was aware of myself, but I simply could not wake myself. But immediately, before I could think of anything else, I felt a powerful suction and immediately felt myself being pulled towards something in my dreamspace.
Soon the blackness of the dreamspace was replaced by a golden glow which was getting brighter and brighter till the point that I could not even keep my eyes open anymore. It was simply too bright. After a few more moments, I could feel the powerful suction force on me weaken. For some reason this time when I opened my eyes, although the golden glow was still too bright, but it no longer felt as if it was stabbing my eyes, it had a gentle kind of bright golden glow to it.
Once I opened my eyes, I was immediately stunned by what I saw in front of me. There were two things in front of me, well to be more precise there were two kinds of beings in front of me, one of them was a small puppy, this small puppy was exactly similar to how Frank was when I had got him, the same exact features, the same exact fur pattern, in short it was the same as Frank when he was a puppy.
As to the other being, I swear to god, it was a petite but beautiful woman, well at least she had the figure of a woman, with nice flowing curves and wearing a tight fitting golden dress and a slim waist, with sparks of lightning dancing around her. Even her hair was golden blonde in color, with streaks of lightning coming out from their ends. She had a lovely oval face, with big doe like eyes with a mischievous glint in them, a small cute nose, and petite lips that would make any man drool. As for the exposed parts of her body, not covered by clothes, it showed a flawlessly fair skin that would make any woman burn with envy and jealousy. Moreover her skin seem to be emitting a strange golden glow that was very hard to put into words.
In short she completely looked like a celestial lightning goddess. Only difference was that she was quite small, only a few inches in height, one could even say that she was only as big as new born baby.
But as soon as I came there, the small puppy version of Frank immediately bounded towards me in a very happy manner as if he was meeting me after a long time. And immediately began yipping at me cutely as he ran around my legs. It was simply too cute and immediately reminded me of Frank when he was young, as he also used to do this, heck he would even do this even now even after a full 25 plus years. I immediately sat down and placed my hand on that puppy Frank’s head, it immediately showed a contented expression the same as Frank. I immediately forgot what happened to me a moment ago, as I began playing with the puppy Frank reasoning out that this was simply a dream albeit a weird one and nothing more.
As I was playing with the puppy Frank to my hearts content, this celestial lightning goddess like mini woman was curiously staring at me with her big doe like eyes, it was as if she was hesitating to whether to approach me or not. But then even before she could make the decision, the puppy Frank immediately rushed away from me towards this petite goddess and grabbed the hem of her dress and tried to drag her towards me. It was as if he really wanted her to meet me.
She immediately grabbed at her clothes so that they would not slip away as the puppy Frank pulled her along, it seemed as if she really did not mind what the puppy Frank was doing, but when she approached me, her face immediately flushed as he immediately broke free from the jaws of the puppy Frank and immediately hid behind the puppy. Although she was slightly smaller than puppy Frank, but she still could not hide herself fully behind him. It was as if she really was shy in meeting me.
Frank immediately once again got behind her but this time nudged her towards me, but for some reason she really did not want to meet me, and instead turned to the puppy Frank and started speaking rapidly, but although she was speaking, it was not something I could understand. I could tell that she was speaking a different language that I knew, and judging from the tones and sounds I could hear, it sounded as if she was speaking Russian or a similar language. While the puppy Frank was also yipping back to her in a rapid fire way. The scene was af if these two were talking to each other in two completely different languages, simply put it was too weird for me.
But I did not put any thought to it, as I believed this scene that was going on in front of me to be a dream, albeit a weird one. But then suddenly I felt my body shake, and the next instant I was back in the room I was in, only difference was I was lying on the floor and Frank was beside me licking my face in a funny way. It was as if Frank knew what kind of dream I was having a moment before.
I gently pushed him aside as I sat up, and immediately saw the worried faces of the women who were cooking the banquet. It was as if they had experienced the end of the world.
The old woman seeing that I finally woke up, immediately came forwards and asked in a concerned manner, “My Lord, are you Ok? You suddenly fell down from the couch unconscious. I immediately called our village doctor to take a look at you, but your pet, I mean Lord Frank, did not allow anyone to get close to you. I, I, I really am sorry to have disappointed you.” She hung her head low as if she was prepared to receive some punishment.
But I simply got up, brushed the dust off my clothes, as I took out a somewhat dirty piece of handkerchief and wiped my face clean. I looked at them and once again decided to lie as I spoke in an apologetical manner, “It’s okay, I was simply too tired, I have been traveling non stop for the past few days, without sleeping or resting much, so I just ended up taking a nap due to exhaustion, I hope you can forgive my rude behaviour. Also please don’t call me ‘My Lord’ or anything like that, I am called John Doe and this here is my brother Frank. In the future you can just casually call us simply by our names or simply John and Frank.”
The old woman immediately spoke out, “How can we casually call out the name of our esteemed guest, I hope you don’t take offence to this, and let us call you Lord John and Lord Frank.”
I once again spoke out, “Madam, I am not an important person that you think I am, I have been trying to tell you this since the moment we met. I am just a traveller wanting to know where I am. I am simply a common person from the New York City” This time I decided to speak a bit of truth to avoid any complicated matters that I thought would surely develop in the future.
The old woman hesitated for a moment and then asked in a puzzling manner, “My Lo- I mean Mr. John, are you not for the Royal Family?”
I spoke in a daze as if I was mainly speaking to myself, “Royal Family? I wish if it was like that, I have been living on the streets for god knows how many years with barely enough money to get by, if I really was of the Royal Family, then would I—– Wait, Wait, did you say Royal Family? Since when did America have a Royal Family? Or are you speaking of a family with the surname Royal?” I immediately asked as I became aware that something was inherently not right. Royal Family? Lord? Esteemed Guest? Putting the pieces together, I then thought of the possibility that I really might not be in America at all.
Then I cautiously asked the old woman, “Madam, is this America? The country of United States of America?”
The old woman looked at me with a complicated look on her face as if she was trying hard to think of something, it was only after a good while that she finally spoke in an apologetic tone, “Mister John, I really do not know where this country you call as America is, but this country that we are in is called the Flowing Heaven Country, moreover there are 7 countries surrounding our Flowing Heaven Country and none of those countries are named America or United States of America that you speak of. Moreover there are 3 other countries that lie beyond them on this continent, but even among them, there are none that are named America.”
I immediately stood up in shock and yelled out, “WHAT!! Y…you must be joking!!” Although I was not good at studies, but I still remember that there were somewhere around 190-200 countries on Earth and I was pretty sure that none of them was named “Flowing Heaven”. Then I reasoned out with myself, that maybe they being village folk, they called their country in a different manner, just like we Indians sometimes refer their country as “Bharat”, or like the Japanese people who take pride in calling their country as “The Land of the Rising Sun”, maybe such was the case with these people too.
Thinking that, I immediately contained my surprise as I once again asked the old woman who at this moment looked completely frightened, “Madam, can you please list out the names of the 7 surrounding countries that you spoke of, the ones that surround this Flowing Heaven Country? And if possible about the other countries that you know of.”
The old woman and the other women were very scared at the moment, but the old woman being the leader of the village in the absence of her husband had to do something, so she quickly came forward and spoke in a stuttering voice, “Y..yes, Y…yes, M….My L…Lor-I m..mean M..Mr. J..John.”
Then she stopped immediately and took a deep breath to calm her nerves, and spoke after a good long while, “There are seven countries surrounding our Flowing Heaven Country, they are the Black River Country, the Seafare Archipelago and the Great Pangolin Country in the South, the Fire Desert and the Ice Flame Country in the West, the Myriad Illusion Empire in the East and the Absolute Frost Kingdom in the North. There are a few more countries beyond these. In total, along with our Flowing Heaven Country, there are a total of 11 countries on this continent which is called the Falling Star Continent. The other three countries are the Black Mist Country that is around the northern tip of the Falling Star Continent, the Eternal Flame Empire in the westernmost part and the Brison Empire that takes up the easternmost and the southernmost part of the Falling Star Continent.”
“Among these 11 countries, these three outer countries are the most powerful, and they somewhat keep each other in check. As to the seven counties surrounding us, they all pay some homage and are allied to one of these countries, but only our Flowing Heaven Country is not allied to anyone and remains neutral. As far as strength is concerned, our Flowing Heaven Country is said to be only inferior to the three outer most countries.”
“Moreover the Falling Star Continent is surrounded by four vast oceans, called simply as the Northern, Western, Southern and the Eastern Oceans. I heard that there are still some more continents other than the Falling Star Continent, but I have never read about them in any of the books we have, and only know about this from my husband who frequently visits Sunspot Town to take care of things. I really hope this information satisfies you, as I really do not know where this country you call as America is.” The old woman finished and looked at me with fear still written all over her face. Since she was sure that this country called “America” was not one of the countries that she knew about, then the only possible conclusion that she could come to was that this man in front of them was really not of the Falling Star Continent, either that, or something in his head was not right.
But then, if he really was from another continent, then how come he was travelling all alone? Moreover with only a pet, and nothing else, he also did not seem to have any change of clothes on him? Moreover judging by the fine clothes that he was wearing and the pet that he carried around, he should be someone with a high status from wherever he was from. But then again his speech and the way he held himself was not something that she had ever seen in a person with a high status.
The other women may not notice this, but how could she not notice it, as she herself was, at one point of time, a person with a high status. Thinking till here, she concluded that he really might have had a concussion sometime during his journey, and ended up with confused memories, after all although she was not a medical practitioner, she had seen people confusing up their memories time and time again, especially when they received some kind of head injury or accidentally took something poisonous.
If he was a person from another continent, who ended up getting lost here then, there was simply nothing she could do other than wait for her husband to come home as only her husband had a Sound Transmission Jade Slip with him, which he only used to communicate with a few people in the Sunspot Town, but if it was the latter, then at least she could ease up his suffering, so that this man could gradually recover his memories.
While the old woman was thinking something else, at this moment there was a complete storm raging in my mind, Flowing Heaven Country, Black River Country, Seafare Archipelago……. Just what the hell were these countries, no matter how much I raked my brain, I could not find a single reference to any of these countries. Moreover of the seven continents on the Earth, which continent contained only 11 countries. Although Australia was one, but it itself was both a country and a continent. As for Antarctica, it didn’t even have any countries!! What the hell was going on here!! Is this some kind of joke!! No it can’t be, the pain that I felt, the hunger, the fear……. Everything was definitely real, heck how could the lightning scar on his chest not be real, it was still itching as hell……..
With all these things going on in mind, my mind simply could not take such a blow, and immediately started to shut down as the body’s automatic shutdown mechanism kicked in. In short, I fainted once again, since the heaven and earth for me completely flipped.
Back in the room, when the old woman saw the pained expression on the face of the man in front of him, she immediately became worried. As the suspicion of him having muddled memories was slowly taking root in her mind. She even thought to herself, “It seems he really has muddled memories. Sigh……”
She then turned to the other women behind her and said, “It seems that our esteemed guest really is tired, why don’t we let him rest for a while, either way, the feast that we were preparing for him still would take a lot of time to prepare.”
One of the more intuitive women spoke up, “Should we let Healer Altier take a look at him, maybe he can tell what’s wrong with him?”
The old woman also nodded towards her and said, “Alright, we’ll let Healer Altier take a look at him. But first we need to put him to bed properly. I am already too old to lift him up, so one of you will have to call your men to lift him up. Afterall we cannot let him continue to sleep on the floor. Or if you want, you can also lift him up and put him to bed.”
In this village, men and women had almost similar strengths, with men being slightly stronger, as they are the one’s who usually go to hunt in the forest and seldom work in the fields, whereas the women usually worked in the fields and only seldom accompanied their men out hunting in the forest.
Two women immediately came forward, and lifted him up as easily as if he was a sack filled with cotton, and carried that man to the bed, this time the man’s pet who was named Frank did not stop them and followed behind them. Both of them later sweared that they saw a very human like concerned expression in this dog’s face.
Tucking him in, they immediately left the bedroom, leaving only the man’s pet Frank inside, and once more got busy in preparing the food. Whether they liked it or not, it seems the village would be having a banquet soon.