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Phantom Wars Chapter 19

New years comes and the festivities are extravagant.

Chapter Nineteen: New years

On new years day Ethan stepped outside his room and walked to the lobby to find out the mansion had transformed again. But this time it was much more different than on Christmas. The lobby had grown 20 times in size, maybe more, and no longer had a pool or hot tubs; it was now like an open street in a massive city. Things were a little dark like it was night time but there were paper lanterns floating all around that lit things up.

Phantoms of every culture and race were walking the lobby street as fireworks exploded in the air, and some people played with fire of many different colors. Everyone wore a different outfit and style based on their country of origin; it was like a culture fair he had seen once when he was younger but on a much grander scale.

While admiring everything Ethan accidentally bumped into a Chinese man, who instead of being angry offered him a dumpling. Ethan took the dumpling and said, “Thanks.”

“You are welcome.” The Chinese man said. “This appears to be your first new years at the mansion here?”

“How did you know?” Ethan asked.

“Just the look in your eyes; I think I had the same look too.”

Ethan offered his hand out and said, “My name is Ethan.”

The Chinese man took it and said, “Mine is Jiang. Are you from America ?”

“Yes, why?”

“Ohh, I have always wanted to go there, see how those movies are made in person, they are so spectacular. Maybe one day though when I learn to speak English.”

Ethan gave Jiang a puzzled look and said, “But you’re speaking English right now.”

Jiang smiled and said, “No my friend, on new years when the mansions come together as one, everyone speaks and hears their own native language. So to me everyone sounds like they are speaking Chinese fluently and to you I am speaking English. Do you understand?”

“I think so.”

“Now then I am going to go enjoy the festivities, and to you I suggest doing the same. And by the way each lobby is transformed this time of year, and if you go to other floors you can see some wondrous sights.” Then Jiang left Ethan to explore the new wonders.

Ethan spent some time on the floor 90 lobby until he teleported to floor 91. In that lobby Ethan saw a meadow of beautiful flowers. Children ran around in the flowers playing and laughing. In the sky he saw others floating around in massive bubbles just enjoying the scenery from up high.

After floor 91 Ethan teleported to floor 99 to get Marry. On floor 99 Ethan found the lobby was entirely pitch black. Small glowing lights like fireflies of blue, green, and purple glowed and danced far off in the distance but other than that he couldn’t see anything ahead of him.

Soon a white small glowing light appeared in front of Ethan and spelled out “Where is your destination?”

Ethan looked around then said, “The corridor to rooms ten through twenty.”

Next thing Ethan knew a path of green tinted light began glowing in front of him. The white letters then said, “Follow the tiger, chase it, and don’t be afraid to stop and look around.” Then they disappeared.

For a moment Ethan stared at the path wondering what the letters meant when a green light from the distance came up to Ethan and transformed into a glowing green outline of a tiger that ran down the path before him. Without a moments hesitation Ethan followed the tiger and noticed wherever he stepped the path would come to life with a small array of new colors and die down in seconds.

The tiger kept going and Ethan followed its path enjoying the beautiful walkway it left behind. Soon enough Ethan found the tiger just sitting down waiting for him. Ethan approached the tiger slowly then it got up and stood on its back legs, and as its front paws touched a surface, it glowed, coming to life in a hue of blue color. Ethan followed the Tigers example and wiped his hand left and right across the mysterious surface.

It felt rough like stone and when the colors lit up Ethan saw that it was in fact stone. The blue light on the wall turned into a shape of a butterfly and soon it came to life and stared flying around in front of Ethan leading him forth.

Ethan followed the butterfly’s glow for several minutes until he tripped and fell; caught on what felt like a tree root. He got up and reached out into the dark and felt a smooth wood. The surface he touched came to life in deep green colors and Ethan saw it was a tree. This time the light from the surface Ethan touched didn’t disappear it instead grew and spread throughout other trees.

Soon enough a path of neon green trees was laid out in front of Ethan and the grass beneath his feet came to life in several shades of blue and purple. Ethan followed the path all the way to the hall with the rooms where everything beyond that was normal once more. Ethan went straight to room 12 and started knocking on the door. There was no answer, so he knocked again. Minutes went by and still no one answered.

Ethan decided that Marry was busy elsewhere and decided he should move on. He pulled out his amber crystal and thought about where he should go next. Eventually Ethan decided on going to floor 75 for no real reason.

The lobby on floor 75 was a green meadow of grass with a full moon high in the sky lighting everything up. People danced around the grass without shoes under the moonlight. Wisps of green colored lights danced along with them in the air carrying a sweet melody with them.

For a long while Ethan watched the people dancing around having a wondrous time until the corner of his eye finally took notice of a figure. Ethan turned to look at the figure and saw it was a young man with white hair sitting in the grass relaxed as he too watched the others dance around. Out of curiosity Ethan went up to the young man to see why he wasn’t dancing as well.

When Ethan approached, the young man without looking away from the people dancing, said, “It’s a nice spectacle isn’t it? I think it’s the one time of the year where they’re truly happy.”

Ethan sat down next to the young man and said, “Yes it is something, but what do you mean about that last part?”

“Those are my mate’s dancing with everyone in the moonlight. You can’t see them from here but they are having a great time. How about you, are you enjoying the new years festivities?”

“Yeah for the most part but I have yet to explore around more than a few other floors. I should be searching for my friends to enjoy the festivities with but with everything changed so much I’m not sure where to look.”

“Well there is always next year to explore around, very little changes each time. As for your friends, try remembering their hobbies. We are creatures of habit and will most often go to the places that bring us the most familiarity and joy. You simply need to find the floor that best represents them, assuming you know them at all.”

“That’s good advice thanks. Anyways it sounds like you have been around for a long time.”

The young man shrugged and said, “Longer than everyone here, but still not as long as the mansion itself.”

“That’s a rather bold statement. Then again I don’t really know much as it is so maybe you really could be the oldest phantom here. My name is Ethan by the way, what’s yours?”

“People call me Silver.”

“Huh, you know I have heard about you but not much. Whenever people reference you they call you a legend. Mind if I ask why?”

“Because people are stupid,” Silver said plainly.

Ethan frowned and didn’t respond right away.

“By the way, Ethan… you have been cursed.”

“Wow this conversation escalated quickly,” Ethan said sarcastically.

“You’re not aware of it yourself are you? Well I shouldn’t be surprised it’s a memory curse after all. Chances are you won’t even remember this conversation.”

Ethan became a little hostile now and asked, “What the hell are you talking about?”

“You have a dark path ahead of you I’m afraid, in case you do remember this though I will give you some advice. That dark spirit that attacked you, there will be more of them.”

“How do you know about that?”

Silver continued, ignoring Ethan’s question. “People think the reapers job is to hunt down those spirits but they’re wrong. Their real job is to fight them off, keep them distracted so new wayward spirits like you may make it to the safety of the mansion here. They fight a never-ending war with those monsters, hoping to one day rid the world of them for good but they know deep down that it will never happen.

Something else people don’t know about the spirits is once you're attacked by even one of them their scent lingers on you forever. Meaning the longer you stay outside the mansion the more likely you are to be attacked by more of them.

But worry not; those monsters will not be your downfall. No your end will come from someone who has had this plan in the making for some time. I warn you Ethan, if you continue down this dark path blindly then you will not only seal your fate but that of another whom is close to you.”

Ethan grew frustrated by the young mans words and he stood up and turned to walk away but the next thing he knew the young man was standing right in front of him. Ethan fell down on his but in surprise. “I can only see the future when its events can be changed. So if you remember anything from this remember, the future can be changed, your doom is not inevitable.”

Then the boy disappeared in a silver light and Ethan woke up in his bed. He rubbed his head trying to remember a strange dream he just had. The dream was quickly fleeting from him and when Picario came into the room saying something to him it was lost forever.

Ethan got out of bed stretched a little then said, “I’m sorry, what Picario?”

“I asked if you weren’t feeling good.” Picario said. “I came back to the room halfway through the new year’s festival to see if you by chance were in here and found you asleep. I tried waking you but you were out cold.”

Ethan sighed deeply and said, “Man I missed the entire festival? Great, you know I also had the strangest dream but I can’t seem to remember anything about it.”

“Well I always found that dreams were nothing more than silly stuff anyways so I wouldn’t worry about it too much. Anyways I ran into Marry during the festival she said she would like to speak to both of us about something in her room today if we could.”

Ethan grabbed one of his new coats and said, “Alright lets go see what she wants.”

This story is protected by International Copyright Law, by the author, all rights reserved. If found posted anywhere other than storiesspace.com with this note attached, it has been posted without my permission.

Copyright © © Jake Pendragon all rights reserved 2015

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