“The world of Eterna is large Zafar. Nezkaria is just one of the many lands in Eterna.”
Looking at the awestruck face of Zafar, Ori could not help but feel a sense of accomplishment.
It had been some while since they woke up from yesterday, and straight after waking up he had noticed Zafar waiting eagerly for him.
The thought of learning more of the world had made Zafar feel impatient but since his friend was sleeping peacefully he was caught in a dilemma between wanting to wake his friend up and waiting patiently as to not disturb his sleep. Since he wasn’t able to physically touch his friend he had given up on the first idea.
Shortly after waking up, Ori began his day with a little breakfast to keep his energy running. After doing all the basic necessity he began to teach Zafar anything that came to his mind.
Though there were plenty of materials to teach with all the new foreign words that his friend had never heard before. Zafar was able to soak it all up easily. So though ignorant of the world, Ori realized that Zafar was quite smart.
As time passed and noon came the two friends were still busy discussing on one of Ori’s favorite topic.
“From the records of the three grand informants of Eterna, it was said that Eterna of now was formed from seven ancient lands.”
Listening to the overly excited Ori, Zafar realized how passionate Ori was to historical information.
“Grand informants? What are those?” the question wasn’t at all surprising to Ori as he had been frequently asked to explain any new terms that came across the overly curious Zafar.
Though it was tiring to explain every little thing to his friend, it was also rewarding for Ori knowing that his friend was able to experience the large world with his very words. The thought of it made him feel a sense of pride.
“Informants are like a group that explains things to other people who does not know things.” Ori embarrassingly explained with his limited idea.
“Hmmm, understood, understood!”
“Ori right now is an informant!” satisfied that he could use the word Zafar looked towards Ori for approval.
“Kind of but I’m more like a teacher to you right now.” With wryly smile Ori answered back.
Pouting at his mistake Zafar mumbled the new word “teacher” in a small voice.
“Well you were close, maybe if I explained some example it would be clearer.” Trying to cheer Zafar up Ori began to continue his explanation.
“First off we should know that there are three major informants. Major meaning big.”
“Understood, understood.” Zafar was about to ask but was given an explanation before he could even question Ori.
Not wasting any time Ori moved on at a quicker pace for Zafar.
“You should know these three briefly if you ever want to explore the world.”
“First is the Ivaskans they are the largest informants in all of Eterna. A huge organization, oh organization is like a group of people band together for a purpose.”
“An aim, a goal, a dream…”
“Dream,” Zafar remembered this word and it was one that had given him a huge impact.
Ori had taught him recently on what goals and dreams were. Everyone in life had one, it was something essential for people to carry so that they had a meaning to continue on to their future.
This struck Zafar real hard because he never did have a dream or anything, in fact when he looked back towards his lonely days wasting away his time he felt that his existence was insignificant.
“Yeah, they wish to maintain peace in Eterna by giving free information to the public,” Ori explained the goal of the Ivaskans.
“Ah! Peace is like having everyone as friends, no fighting ever.” Ori hurriedly explained the new term.
“Even with the seaweed monster?” Zafar frowned remembering the monster he had met.
“Haha… yeah even him…” With guilt in his voice, Ori looked towards his easily gullible friend.
“Well Ivaskans are like that, they wish to help everyone.”
“Heroes! Heroes!” with a bright smile Zafar loudly shout out one of his favorite words.
“Not necessarily Zafar. Heroes can be villains to others.”
“Hmmm…. Confused, confused!” pouting Zafar looked towards Ori waiting for him to be clearer.
“I can’t really explain it but just keep it in mind,” Ori suggested after trying to describe to Zafar what he meant.
“Fine…” Zafar frowned.
“Well, the next informants are the Bookkeepers. They are shadow-like beings…”
“Shadow! Like that!” Zafar quickly pointed towards Ori shadow which he had earlier taught him.
“Yeah, they are very mysterious but has a well-known goal.”
“Goal… again…” Zafar thought deeply of the word.
Not minding Zafar who became absent-minded Ori continued on as his voice grew more and more excited.
“Yeah, they wish to learn the true language of Eterna.” With a voice filled with enthusiasm he started to explain what he meant. “It’s interesting the true language came from the idea… hmm?”
Noticing that Zafar was not listening, Ori shifted his attention towards him.
“I’m scared Ori…” Zafar nervously spoke out his thought.
Ori was momentarily surprised as he looked towards his timid friend in confusion. “Scared of what?”
“You said that everyone should have a goal or else they won’t have a future… without a future people are useless, right?”
What the heck! Who taught him that! Screamed Ori inside his head
Although Ori wanted to blame someone he knew that he was the one who taught him about goals and future. The only thing he wasn’t aware of was that some of his teachings were taught poorly.
“Well there’s nothing to be afraid of Zafar, small goals are goals nonetheless. Wanting to see tomorrow is a goal as well.”
“But compared to other goals… I feel so small…” Zafar spoke quietly.
It was a surprise for Ori since he had felt that Zafar was a very positive spirit. He admired how Zafar had been able to survive in this area all alone for so long.
“Don’t say that Zafar, you’re my friend I’ll be happy to share my goals and dreams with you.”
“Share?” Curious of the new word Zafar looked towards his friend.
“It means that what I have will be yours as well.” Ori smiled as he replied.
Liking the idea of the word Zafar asked curiously, “What’s your dream Ori?”
The words he remembered last night came out to him, however this time he did not feel any sense of embarrassment, instead he sincerely hoped that he could share this long-cherished dream of his to this little spirit. “Let’s be adventurers Zafar!”
“Adventurer with Ori?” astonished by the idea Zafar looked towards his friend who was already staring at him with excitement in his eyes.
“Didn’t you want to see the world? We could get out of here and see everything there is to offer! Just you and I, looking towards the unknown and experiencing it all like an epic from the story of the old. Our names will go down in history!”
“It will be the greatest fun, we will ever experience!”
The charismatic appearance of Ori enthralled Zafar.
“I-I want to come with you Ori… I don’t want you to leave me.” Zafar spoke out his bare thoughts.
Smiling at the shy and timid answer of his friend Ori was truly glad to have been able to share the bottled up feelings he had. “Let’s do it then! Adventurers we will be!”
Caught up with the excitement, he straightaway started dancing as he joyfully sang a song which Zafar couldn’t understand. It was a song from a different language.
Zafar wanted to ask about the weird language that he often hear Ori spoke but decided not to as he instead joined in on the celebratory dance with his friend.
“To our dreams my friend!” Ori cheered loudly and Zafar followed him as they merrily danced away.
A week had flown past after the two friends decided on their goals.
With the decision to become an adventurer, Ori started to thoroughly teach his ignorant friend about the world.
Though Ori was not a qualified teacher he was more or less sufficient in filling his friend in with the common knowledge of the world.
However, after several days, the eagerness to absorb everything waned on Zafar, as he began to form an opinion on various subjects.
For one he adored stories that spoke of an adventurer’s experience; he loved the thrill, the excitement and the bundle of surprises in the stories. For subjects like arithmetic and trade, he felt like those were useless subjects to listen to, although his friend would argue otherwise.
There was one particular subject he was very interested in. It was just a shame that Ori had little to no knowledge of it. The topic was difficult to grasp for Ori since the only time he had encountered it was with Zafar. It was the subject of the spiritual world.
“The Forest of Aedelon…” Ori spoke the words heavily.
Zafar had noticed that whenever they spoke of the geography of Eterna, Ori was always hesitant about the north. However, to Zafar the north had everything thing he ever wanted to experience.
North of the Nezkarian desert past the savanna land called Nekina, there lies a grand forest where nature spirits like him gather. It was the greatest spiritual kingdom for his type of existence and it was located in the forest of Aedelon
“I guess it’s a good start for our journey...” Ori confirmed the plan in which he and Zafar had thoroughly discussed throughout the week.
Laying down on the sands looking at the night sky the two of them felt content with their lives.
“I’m so excited! Planning all this and preparing for it was a blast! Time really flew by right Zafar?”
“Yup! It was also fun for me.” Zafar smiled brightly back at his friend.
After getting to know more of Ori he realized that the first impression of him was very different compared to what he knows now.
He used to think that Ori was a very wise and knowledgeable person. A powerful and kind existence that came towards him in his time of need. Being the first person that gave him many new ideas it was no wonder that Zafar had regarded Ori very highly.
However looking at him right now with his belly out in the open and his resting posture like that of a spoilt child, he could not help but feel that Ori was considerable more normal he imagined.
Ori wasn’t mature but he tries to be the dependable person for Zafar. He wasn’t powerful physically, but he was strong mentally. He was kind yet he was very mischievous as he loved to tease Zafar quite frequently.
Before he knew it Ori had become an existence that was so important to Zafar.
Not only was he his first friend, he was also someone who had shared his dream. If there was a word he could describe the relation between him and Ori then it would be…
“Family.” Ori spoke out breaking the silence of the night.
Glancing at his friend who was deep in thoughts Zafar could not help but interrupt him as he was curious to the new word, “What’s family?”
“Family is sort of like friends but… closer…”
“Family…” Zafar pondered on the word.
Feeling he hadn’t explained it well Ori continued, “Well family is supposed to be blood-related. That means, ugh, the mother and father should be the same... and uh, well hmmm…”
“Umm… not understand…” Zafar spoke out with an expression of extreme confusion.
Scratching his head Ori couldn’t believe how tough it was to explain it. “Well, it’s a difficult thing…”
Brushing the topic away Ori could not help but feel embarrassed at his explanation.
“Does Ori have a family?”
The words fell heavy on Ori and for a while as he was unable to find the answer to the question. “…”
“Yeah… I do…” he quietly answered.
Somehow the thought of Ori having a close connection with another made Zafar felt scared. He was scared that maybe he would leave him for them.
“Don’t worry, I consider you part of my family and you should consider me a part of yours.”
Hearing that made Zafar felt glad. Although he was still unsure of what family was but if his friend considers him closer than friends he thought it must be something good.
Another week passed by and frustration could be seen from the two friends.
“It’s impossible Ori, I can’t travel any further…” Zafar shouted at Ori who was waiting for him a few meters away.
With a confused look, Ori could only reply with a slightly frustrated voice “Alright… let’s return.”
“… Are you mad Ori?” Zafar can see how irritated his friend had been over several days.
Sighing to himself Ori was unable to find any way to describe his emotion, as he shifted his gaze towards the pale looking cactus spirit who had pushed itself to the limits to travel far from his cactus body, Ori could not help but feel stupid at his own frustration.
“Trust me Zafar, I’m not mad… I’m just troubled by the problem.”
Although Ori could be considered intelligent, he was after all still young and inexperienced with the world, especially anything to do with spirits. As much as he wants to act mature he knew deep down he was still just an 18-year-old kid.
Having stayed with Zafar for quite some time Ori knew he had become a bit conceited. He felt that he could solve every problem his friend had by himself. However after realizing he knew little about spirits he could not help but feel ashamed at his thoughts.
As they returned back to the spot where the bundle of cacti was, Ori began to rummage his bag for any form of help.
After looking through his inventory and spotting the little ration he had left and glanced through the cacti around him that were noticeably disappearing little by little, he finally knew it was time.
How should I tell him? Ori began to contemplate on how to approach his predicament.
Zafar who was busy trying to regain his energy realized how silent Ori was. Curious he went up to Ori to ask what was bothering him.
“What’s wrong Ori?”
Hearing Zafar’s concerned voice, Ori could not help but feel lost. It was the first time he wished he could not answer the question from his friend.
Trying his best to answer he reluctantly gave out his thoughts. “Zafar… I think I need to leave.”
“L-leave…?” Zafar had a hard time processing the response, he then looked towards his friend and assumed that he had done something bad.
“Is it because I can’t travel far? Is it because of my body? I’ll try harder Ori! I’ll go farther tomorrow!” Zafar tried everything he could to dissuade his friend from leaving.
However, no words came back from his friend.
“Ori please don’t leave me! I-I don’t want to be alone…” Zafar began to cry out.
He remembered the time when he was all alone. He had thought it was fine to have passed the days with a simple mind. However, after learning about the large world with Ori, he could not imagine himself return back to those lonely days.
After 4 years of being alone, he finally realized how scary it was to be all alone. The feeling of loneliness only came to him once he knew how it was like to have another person by his side.
“Ori don’t leave! Please!” Zafar desperately cried.
“W-we don’t need to see the world! Ori, I’m fine here!”
“You can keep teaching me those numbers, remember? I still don’t know about them.”
“Don’t leave me here alone! Please, Ori!”
Looking at the heartbroken friend of his Ori could not help but hate himself.
If it wasn’t for him Zafar wouldn’t have known about the world and he wouldn’t have been scared with being alone. It was because of his teaching that Zafar had turned out like this.
He started having thoughts that maybe what he had done was all just to fill his ego, to make him feel confident of himself as he showed off his average knowledge to the naïve little spirit. Only now did he realized the damage of his action.
“Zafar listen to me… I’ll be back I swear. Look I’ll search for a way for you to get out of here. After that we will be going everywhere together. Always together I promise.”
Ori tried his best to calm his friend down. He joked, he reminisces, he teased and he waited patiently. He did everything to pacify his friend
Slowly Zafar calmed down as he knew full well that nothing could be solved if they don’t communicate thoroughly.
“I-I don’t want you to go Ori…” Zafar could only hope his friend would listen to him one last time.
“I can’t stay here forever Zafar… you know my body needs food as well right? I need to find more and it’s starting to get hard to find anything here.”
“Not only that we still need to solve the issue on how you would be able to leave right?” Ori looked at his sad friend giving him a smile to cheer him up.
“It won’t take long I promised. I’ll try my best to learn anything about you as quickly as I can.”
Seeing the still unhappy face of his friend Ori could not help but laugh. “Zafar why is your name so different to how you are?”
Ori kneeled down to see the crying face of Zafar which was looking down at the ground trying to hide his tears. “You should be strong like a king!”
Pouting at his friend’s teasing, Zafar angrily shouted, “I don’t want to be a king I just want to be with you!”
Surprised by his sudden outburst, Ori could not help but to grin at the confession from his friend. “It seems like I have yet to teach the prince about women!”
“Remember this Zafar, one day you will meet a woman of your dreams that you would want by your side more than anyone in the world. So those words you told me, it should only be for her.”
“W-what? What are you talking about?” Looking puzzled by the sudden change of topic the sorrow from Zafar began to disappear.
“Women are very sly creatures and some are even crazy. Crazier than the seaweed monster! But you will one day like them Zafar.”
“I-I don’t like them!” pale Zafar retorted back as he could not imagine himself liking any of them.
“Well not all women are like that, some are nice and most importantly…” with a wide smile Ori began to escape to his imagination. “Some are very, very beautiful.”
“Umpfh, truly beautiful.” He laughed hysterically as he looked towards the confused spirit.
Glancing at the innocent eyes of Zafar, Ori stopped his laughter and awkwardly looked away trying to find a topic to shift to.
Remembering the first-night sky they saw, Ori pointed towards the sky, “Just like the stars we see in the night, some of them dazzle so brightly!”
Zafar remembered the night sky that he had cherished in his memories, having told that women can be like that Zafar could not help but become more curious on the topic.
“Does Ori have a woman?” Zafar asked innocently.
“Ugh… well of course not! Fate has not yet given me a chance to meet my soulmate.” With a red face, Ori began to give excuses.
“Soulmate? Fate?” Zafar looked towards Ori who was frantically trying to change the subject.
“Soulmate the one truly for us, bounded by fate for all of your life.” Ori tried to explain. “They will never leave you.”
“As for fate well…” Ori pondered for a while before giving an answer, “Fate is our future, it writes it and is given for each of us.”
“This time Zafar our fate calls for a farewell, but in the future, we will meet again. That is fate.”
Remembering that Ori wanted to leave, Zafar could not help but switch to a sour expression. However this time Ori did not respond nor comfort him and instead he started to pack up his things.
Realizing that Ori was serious, Zafar could not help but feel despondent. He knew he was being stubborn but he was insecure with the idea that maybe out there in the world there was something much better for Ori than this little spirit called Zafar.
Ori was after all the greatest person he had ever met. For such a great person he believed that they would be attracted to bigger things, not someone small and insignificant like him.
“Promise me you would come back…” Zafar nervously asked trying to think positively.
“Huh?” Ori was surprised as he looked towards his friend who was finally agreeing to his decision.
“Haha. Ok, Ok! I promise. I’ll return don’t worry.” Ori waved his hand as he continued to pack, “I can’t believe you would use that word in this situation, quite a smart kid you are.”
“Really, really? Promise?” Zafar spoke trying to reassure himself.
The childish tone Zafar gave was very surprising to Ori, but remembering their first meeting he realized that Zafar, although matured quite fast after being taught various things, was still a very young child inside.
I guess his habit in repeating words is still there. Ori thought.
Giving a big smile Ori gave his words. “Yes, yes. Really, really.”
After packing all the things he needed, Ori was finally ready to depart and with the promise, he held he began his journey back home.
Seeing that his friend had already packed up. Zafar knew it was finally the time for their farewell.
“Goodbye Ori…” with every emotion and thoughts circulating in Zafar’s mind, in the end, he could only muster up those few words.
Dazed by his friend’s words Ori could not help but hesitate as he said his own goodbye. He finally realized how hard it was to even say those few words.
With a farewell Ori starts off his journey back home, afraid to look back and see what type of expression his little friend had made.
I should hurry and finish my business in town fast so I can return faster. With tears slowly coming out he thought about the future to come.
Can I return after a week? No, it’s difficult to find anything about spirits. Maybe a month? I hope it won’t take more than that… With uncertainty in his head, he started to contemplate more on what’s to come.
At first his thoughts were all pre-occupied with wanting to meet his friend again, however, after he realized he was on his way back home he began to think of another matter.
“I wonder how my family is doing…” he mumbled to himself.
As Ori quickened his pace the distance between him and Zafar began to grow.
Behind him Zafar could be seen looking at the back of his friend, waiting patiently for his return.
And just like that once again time passed by.
It passed by ever so viciously with no mercy to anyone or anything.