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Author's Note

This was originally meant to be a prologue chapter for my Sky Tower chronicle, but since the data of the floors are scarce, I haven't been able to write properly. Wish there was a raid that actually let you read them without you missing a whole floor lol. Btw, I wrote this last year, so yeah. Don't expect too much of me.

Enough about me, let's roll!

Prologue - The Mean Encounter

Sky Tower Stairwell 16-20

It felt like this world wasn’t the world we know. Like a world outside our own world. It definitely was a strange feeling, but I could feel a spark of excitement grow inside me. This fantasy tale was undiscovered, and no living being had taken a step inside this tower for over one thousand years. To explore a story that no one knows is a huge accomplishment that would be written in the history books in the future.

But I could also feel the nervousness creeping up on my spine. I couldn’t help to feel it. I mean, while it was exciting, many kind of danger lied ahead, just like any world. I needed to be careful and prepared, because I couldn’t die, not now, when there were so many people who put their fate and hope in me.

The tower was absolutely stunning. Tiny orbs of light illuminated the whole tower, floating around everywhere and spread its indulging light. Long, silky ivory vines were barely covering the cylindrical marble wall of the tower and the stairs, the long, never-ending spiral stairs, was just like the walls, ascending for each floor. Cracks could be easily be seen, both huge and tiny ones. But even so, the tower was sturdy as ever, mostly maybe because of the distorted gravity of the tower itself. Most of the fallen obstacles were floating as if it was lighter than air. Boulders of marble from the walls were floating eerily and somehow radiated a deep blue light from them. I don’t know what kind of magical gravity that is, oh well; the tower of sky was made by the most advanced ancient magic, so what did I expect?

This tower connected the past with the present and maybe even the future. The ancient people made this tower to record ancient tales (the first tales didn’t even feel ancient, wow) that was supposed to be told in the future. But, there was a price to see those tales. The ones that seek the tales must pay a price of bravery and strength. I guess that’s logical, nothing’s free in our own world.

I could feel how the stairs omitted a slightly hot breath as I sat down on it; I was surprised that it wasn’t cold. It was really a great feeling, because that gave me a feeling that this tower was still alive. It may have looked fragile over the time, but it was actually more solid than Terra itself.

What I loved the most with ST was when I was alone, just by myself and away from my guild mates, the ST was so serene. The beautiful lights and the tranquil feel it radiated had cosy feeling that kept growing inside me. It felt like, I was one with the tower. When I unlocked my hidden voice and let my inner words flow through my mouth, it resonated dimly. Not the normal, shallow echo that exists in empty caves, but rather, it felt like the tower itself echoed back to me, like a response.

I was currently going through my messy bag. Potions, clothes and other miscellaneous stuff were messily spread out inside my bag. It was as if a hurricane was inside my bag and shuffled everything all over the place. But I knew it was my fault for just stuffing whatever I find. With a sigh, I silently cursed myself over it.

“Where could it be…?” I muttered stubbornly and continued to use my hand as a shovel. When I scraped over the surface, my eyes widened. Oh Gaia, what the hell!? Why was there a still beating heart in my bag?! Gross!

A high-pitched squeak came out of my mouth. I swore, I sounded like a little mouse spotting a hungry cat, gazing over its prey. Anyway, quick as a heartbeat, I quickly threw it on the wall purely of desperation. And no, pun was not intended. The sensation from the heart was somewhat creepy in my palm. I could feel the beat of the heart, how it was filled with energy. With other words, it felt freaking alive! Eww!

With a frown of disgust on my face, my gaze was clued the wall that I threw it on. The marble white wall that was covered slightly by ivory plants had now a small red dyed splash on it. Small cracks are spread through the whole wall, which didn’t really surprise me, because this wall has existed in over one thousand years. I would be surprised if there weren’t any cracks.

The blood, which I assume, slowly trickled downwards on the wall, leaving small trails of red behind it. That red spot ruins the walls ancient image if you look at the context. Sorry, my bad.

The heart itself had fell down on the stair and comically rolled downstairs and leaved red fluid behind its footsteps. Not to mention, the quiet thumping noise it made for every step, which soon faded away out of my sight.

I just shrugged and continued to dig in my messy bag, whistling innocently as if it wasn’t my fault. Giving off a “nope, I’m totally innocent” aura.

Suddenly a silent rumbling sound could be heard, making me my checks lit up in a faint pink colour. Gee, how embarrassing. I lowly growled out of frustration, man I had really gotten tired of that bag. But it encouraged me to dig faster, because I was not going to let it out of my sight. Well, it wasn’t even in my sight, but you get my point.

My hand felt all kinds of things; silky stuff, compact stuff and even slimy stuff. What the… I didn’t even bother. I didn’t want to go through another freaky thing in my bag at the moment. How bothersome. After digging deep down, really deep down, at the very bottom, I finally found it. I couldn’t help but let out a squeak again, but this time, not a squeak of repulsion this time, but a squeak of delight. My hungry stomach would now be satisfied and delighted.

Okay, maybe I was a bit too excited about finding a steak. But seriously, my bag was messier than my hair in the morning. And everything I put in my bag, might I never find in my bag again. Don’t even ask me about the refining materials. Ugh.

My right hand that I used as a shovel ached. Maybe I was a bit too rough, but still, I was starving there! But that was my least concern, I should’ve really organized my bag, but unfortunately no one got time for that.

I swear that I could feel saliva slowly dropping down from my lips, down to my jaw and then down on the stairs while I gazed hungrily on the really fine steak that was on my lap as if I didn’t ate something in days. But how could you blame me? I hadn’t eaten anything since 5 AM and the sky had already turned scarlet. It wasn’t even a proper breakfast; just an apple and I didn’t even get to eat everything it had to offer. Ugh, I hated waking up early and I was going to lecture that person who decided that we would wake up THAT early so hard when this is over.

You know what people say, patience is virtue, but to be honest, I couldn’t care less about that because I was dying of hunger there. The only thing that was in my mind was clouded by thoughts of devouring that delicate piece of meat. I was beyond hungry.

“HEY SARI HURRY UP IT’S ABOUT TO START!” a sudden loud, eccentric and boyish shout totally caught me off guard, making me squeak once more. My eyes widened and my mind went completely blank. That shout came out of nowhere!

That was when my world froze. My lovely, delightful meal that I would enjoy the fullest of was now on the stair, covered with god-knows-what kind of dirt with vegetables and potatoes spread all over the ancient stairs. And that left me with a completely miserable stomach who was screaming for food.

FML! (ノO益O ) ノ彡┻━┻

I could feel it, after seeing my beloved meal destroyed and not in my stomach, a flame ignited inside me. Unconsciously I omitted a dark, fiery raging aura. My hand, legs and teeth was twitching painfully, yearning to grab my book so bad and nuke the source of my tragic loss with all my might. Oh god, it would feel so good! Seeing that person burn into crisps from my mighty firepower… Hehe… MWAHAHAHAHA!

Without hesitation, I turned around to face the source of the voice, my mood still unaffected. I recognized the voice. It was Taiga, the root of all perversity err I mean that pervert idiot is so perverted argh insistent! Yeah, definitely the word I was looking for.

Taiga was upstairs, descending hastily towards me like falling drops over a waterfall. For each step he took, he got closer and closer to me, and thus, closer to his horrible and brutal death. Gee, eccentric as always.

“TAIGA YOU’RE DEAD MEAT!” I screamed at him, ascending my way upstairs with stomping steps and I swear my hands were itching and aching so bad to choke him at that very moment. My body (especially my stomach!) and my mind both agreed on killing him once I reach him.

He flailed enthusiastically his arms over his head, trying to catch my attention. It was like he didn’t hear my roaring voice and stomping footsteps, ah how typical. He was so blissfully ignorant that I just want to crush every bone in his sorry body, especially with that gleeful smile in his face. The floating light illuminated his greyish, messy hair, his pale skin and his sharp, blood red eyes that were full of joy and life. But not anytime soon, because I was going to kick his sorry butt for ruining my meal! He wore his usual attire, a slim, black armor embellished in gold woven with a strange, hypnotic design, alluring a style of an exotic male envoy. He wore black pants and knee high that was also laced with golden strings. Not to mention, the long black cap around his hips reflected his bravery, like a superhero in a comic series. Don’t forget his white kitsune mask he lazily hung on the side of his head.

When we were face to face, he grinned oh-so-innocently and apparently didn’t even notice my deadly aura. He was looking down at me, which I didn’t like at all. Well, that may be because of him being one step higher. Ugh, I was so going to wipe that grin off his face…

“Taiga, what the hell? You ruined my freaking meal and now I’m starving!” I yelled in the miniscule level I could reach and emphasised the word ruined. I tried my best to give him a death glare, and if looks could kill, he would have died right there.

The grin on his face didn’t fade away, much to my dismay. “Aww, did I make you hungry? Hey, I know what you can eat!” He said oh-so-proudly and raised his eyebrows suggestive at me.

Seriously? “No. Just no. Taiga, I’m serious! You ruined my meal that I worked hard for!” I remarked with another glare and with a huff I crossed my arms over my chest.

He just nonchalantly shrugged. “C’mon Sari don’t be such a party pooper! The show is about to start!” He winked playfully and forcefully he grabbed my wrist and dragged me upstairs, leaving me a bit dumbfounded.

I stumbled a bit for each step, trying my best to be on the same beat as Taiga. A faint scent of his cologne reached my nose. It smelled like… lavender. What a nice fragrance. Normally I would have yelled at Taiga for dragging me, but that day was different. I just shrugged and let him lead me to the room. I secretly smiled behind him. Taiga may be a silly pervert, but he was fun to hang out with. He lightens the darkness in the air, and then we can just laugh at those bad times and instead just enjoy the present.

I was still going to kill him though.