Chapter 28 – Stranded in a Strange Sea
After the last rebel’s seed thrown at him, Shira’s consciousness broke apart. Darkness began to surround him.
Flashes of long lost memories suddenly nudged his mind. He watched it all like in a third-person point of view. It was the memories of how he was disinterested to face the whole world, how he slowly felt comfortable in his own solitude, how a shameless spirit appeared one day and introduced himself as “Good-Natured Spirit”. How he failed to connect with relatives in Yashura Family emotionally, how he was bullied and mocked by his own peers, then years back, how he cried the whole day because he missed his own father, and because he couldn’t remember the beauty of his mother’s kind face. All of it flooded upon his numb soul.
After they all passed, Shira opened his eyes, and found himself stranded in a strange sea.
He looked around. He knew he was here as a consciousness. Like he was dreaming the scene of a calm sea. His body was just an image of his soul, yet, he felt it more real than when he stood in the front of the purple gate before.
The strange thing was, his body was floating on the sea surface. He lied on crystal blue water like he lied on a soft mattress. And he walked on the sea like he took a stride at the solid ground of his own garden. It felt weird. He didn’t feel wet at all.
“What a weird place,” Shira thought.
While the sea was very strange to him, somehow, he found it a little bit familiar.
Isn’t this the kung fu energy Good-Natured Spirit used to say? This sea was full of it. The youth felt he could easily practice the spirit’s ‘Water Flowing Style’ at insane speed here. Unfortunately, he knew this was only a lifelike dream and he couldn’t bring his body to this sea. Shira Yashura didn’t know what to do.
The sea was calm but empty at the same time. He waited. Then occasionally walked forward by relied only upon the sun that hung in the cloudless blue sky.
A dozen of hours passed, the youth realized that the sun still stuck in its original position. And he waited for a day worth of time, found that the night would never come.
Shira didn’t feel hunger and thirst from all the waiting. But still his mind was tired and bored.
He walked for days. But wasn’t sure how long he had been here because time didn’t exist. As the time went by, he slowly lost hope to return to his own home.
A year passed by. Or maybe it’s two years?
Shira didn’t bother counting the times. Even his body didn’t grow.
Maybe it was remarkably boring. And it was tiring live an eventless day. But there was nothing he could do except doing nothing. Thus, on the surface of the strange sea, Shira learned to embrace the endless solitude.
It was a torturing dream.
Too much time was passed. Shira thought he was trapped here for more than a dozen years already. He started to forget his past; his family, the shameless Good-Natured Spirit, his always absent father and mother, the upcoming duel with some young master of a rich family, and even he didn’t remember what village he was coming from.
He thought he was mute after no interaction with other human beings. And he slowly accepted that he became an empty shell of human consciousness. The youth even started to suspect he wasn’t a human to begin with.
There was no sadness and lonely again arose from his heart. While his mind gradually corroded by the strange sea, all he could do was accepting everything as it was.
However, it seemed that the sea didn’t want the youth to suffer.
When Shira has completely abandoned the hope to return home, the sea tides moved to urge the youth continued to walk again.
Shira knew the sea was alive, as she had her own consciousness. But he shook his head as a response. He was too tired from walking. He wanted a rest, a very long one at that. But the sea urged him even more.
He ignored the sea for months. After that, suddenly a rain in the cloudless blue sky fell for the first time in dozen years.
The rain fell gently upon the youth’s body. Yet, Shira couldn’t help but felt guilty inside his heart. Because he realized that the rain actually was drop of tears. He sensed the sadness of the sea.
So Shira started to walk again even the sea wasn’t urging him for days. He walked toward the stuck sun in the sky. The rain began to stop. He smiled at the empty sea.
Shira stopped walking.
Not because he was tired or became lazy again. But now, in front of him, sat a white dressed young woman with an exotic purple hair.
Turned out that the young woman was waiting for him here for a long time. Shira wasn’t sure how to feel about this strange encounter. He should be happy to see another human being, yet unfortunately, he was living in solitude too long to be able to greet people.
The young woman too didn’t stand up to greet him. She kept sitting in her current position, gazed the arriving youth with a pair of big eyes of hers. She seemed to invite Shira to sat in front of her, so that was Shira did.
“Hi…” Who are you? What is this place? Could you tell me some clue for me to return back home?
He wanted to ask a lot.
But the only word that could slip through Shira’s lips was a “hi”.
The young woman didn’t reply him. And Shira found out later she couldn’t speak. All the young woman had was a plain but beautiful ribbon on her hand. She gave the ribbon to him as a gift.
“This… for me?”
The young woman nodded.
Shira took the ribbon, accidentally touch the young woman’s skinny milky-white fingers. She immediately glanced away.
The youth could only let out a wry smile, unsure what to think of.
“Are you the sea’s consciousness?” Shira blurted the question all of the sudden.
The young woman replied with a nod.
“This may sound strange but I think we had met before, somewhere. But I can’t recall someone with a purple hair,” Shira said.
The young woman, Sea’s Consciousness, blinked a few times, then glanced away again.
Shira didn’t ask further after that. Both of them sat facing each other, fell silent.
Later, Shira caught that the young woman eyes were longing for the white ribbon she gave him before. It was the only thing she had, but she used it as a gift anyway. Because of that, Shira felt it would be the best to return the ribbon somehow. He gazed at the young woman’s exotic purple hair, then carefully put the ribbon on her smooth purple hair.
The ribbon was beautiful. The purple hair was beautiful. And she was even more beautiful. Shira found his heart was melted away by the young woman’s shy smile.
This young woman didn’t want to show the youth her blushing all day. So she abruptly stood up and glanced at a certain direction.
“You want me to walk again?” Shira tried to understand her thought, and the young woman in white dress nodded.
So Shira walked once again. However, this time, a beautiful young woman walked beside him.
And suddenly, Shira didn’t feel lonely anymore. He didn’t even realize that few days after their first encounter, they were holding hands the entire time. He was happy walked beside the young woman. Even if he had to walk for a hundred years, or for eternity, he would gladly do it as long as the young woman would be here to accompany him throughout the strange sea.