“We the balance has only one single reason to our existence and that is to keep the power balance in this world” Greier were leading May along one of the city’s main roads. “I won’t explain any details now since I am a bit hurried with giving a report. But I will lead you to vendor, he will explain everything you want to know and don’t walk out of this city. The ruins are gigantic and we have barely explored minor parts of it. I am telling this for your safety, so you won’t get lost or stumble onto something dangerous” he finally stopped outside a building with a tavern sign. “Vendor is inside and you will know who vendor is since he will come for you. Now I will leave but I will come back later because it is some paper work and tests that is required for you to do in order to join Balance” Leaving May alone outside the tavern he disappeared away along the street.
May looked on the door and hesitation appeared din her face “How confusing this place is. Did I really do the right thing by joining?” She mumbled and shook her head. “No, if I can meet Seith again than it is the right choice” She had new determination and opened the door.
Loud cheerful laughter flowed out through the door, almost overwhelming May. It wasn’t a very big tavern. Four round tables and one counter. The bartender gave her a look and nodded to greet her welcome and went back to what he was doing.
“I wonder which one is vendor” she used a small unsure voice. Never had she been in a tavern and surely she didn’t fit in. Not a single woman was in sight, only muscular man who drunk until they fell.
“Little lady” A voice said behind May. She jumped. “I just happened to see you with Greier through the window. Could you be a new recruit? I am Vendor” He starched out his hand with a friendly smile on his lips.
“Yes, my name is May” Her voice was shaky and unsure. “Greier just took me here with that ability of his sword”
“Oh I see then let’s go to some more private” Vendor said and made eye contact with the bartender and pointed at the door behind him with his thumb. The bartender nodded and went back to work. “Follow me, May was it?” He turned around and headed for the door.
Vendor made himself at home in one of the chairs. It was a small room that was decorated completely different from the actually tavern. Red curtains at the window wall, a couch at the opposite wall as the door, behind Vendor and several paintings was hanging around the room.
“Sit down” Vendor said friendly and jested at the chair at the other side of the table.
May sat down.
“Since Greier took you here I suppose you are in lack of some knowledge. Where are you from?”
“From Blooddale, a town to the south” She was still sticking to her low voice.
“That sounds so like Greier. Taking with him a recruit that just happened to cross path with him” He sighted “There isn’t any magic in Blooddale right?”
“Oh this will be a long explanation. Let’s start from the beginning. This world is unbalanced; power is overflowing. With other words, there is too much energy in the world. Here in the east, in Lighterig the overflow makes living lifeforms to change, giving them abilities or forms they shouldn’t have but that isn’t the common effect” he took a pause and his expression turned an inch more serious. “The common effect is… Death. The enormous amount of power that wants to inhabit a lifeform’s body destroys it from within; letting the life forms life energy sipper out in a terrible fast speed. That is what the unbalance in energy is doing in this country and therefore was this origination created. As its name suggest, balance out the power. Did you get all of that?” The seriousness in Vendor face had disappeared and the friendly smile had reappeared. He leaned backwards in the chair.
“This overflow in energy is killing people or in rare cases gives them abilities that they shouldn’t have. And Balance is created to thin out this overflow in energy. Right?” May’s low voice was long gone, forgotten in all the fact that surrounding her. “Is it only like this in Lighterig? Or is it the same in other countries as well?” She asked curious.
“Well of some reason it is worse here in Lighterig but the overflow in energy is in the east as well. A country named Techno is laying to the east and of some still unknown reason has its inhabitants evolved so they can withstand the overflow of energy. Or maybe I should just say that they have gotten smarter and that with miles in comparison to our knowledge, here in Lighterig.” Vendor’s face told that he didn’t enjoy the subject. “They natural use of the energy in the air as they use their brain and more over they build what they call ‘Machines’ out of metal that uses great amount of energy as well. By doing this they have set pretty much all the overflow in their country in a circulation and so they thinned it out”
“Then why don’t you ask for help from Techno. If you as well have these M things everything will be solved right?” May had used the pause of the explanation but she regretted it. Not until she had said it she understood how childish simple that solution sounded.
“It is a good idea but there are two reasons that stops it. The first is that Techno dosen’t really like Lighterig. We are like barbarians too them since we lack the kind of intelligence they have. And the second is that even if we got machines we still lack their natural ability to use the overflown energy and so the energy would never thin out. It is Techno’s own inhabitants that set most of their overflown energy in circulation after all. But let’s leave this now since this isn’t something low rank members like you and me is supposed to think about. Let’s leave it to Greier and the other big shots”
May wasn’t very surprised to hear that Greier was a big shot, she had felt it by the aura he emitted, that he wasn’t some normal person, but she asked anyway. “So Greier is a high ranked person?”
“If I don’t remember wrong he is the strongest member in Balance since a week ago. He dueled last week, with at that time the strongest, and won. So since a week he has been the strongest… well the strongest after the leader”
“Yes he is the leader of Balance. He is the brain and the members are the body” He chuckled and continued. “I think you could compare us two and others low ranks with fingernails or the skin, the ones that protect the higher ranked ones”
“How come you group yourself together with me?” It had bothered since he mentioned about the ranks from the first time. “You sound really wise and you surely have been in Balance for years…” She quiet as Vendor held up his index finger.
“You don’t need to go on. I know what you mean but the thing is that I don’t do anything. I just walking around in these ruins, explaining to new recruits and sometimes teach some basic magic. I am never doing anything that is for the organization” He pulled up a stone, a perfect round stone that perfectly fitted in Vendor’s hand. “I think it is about to start explaining about magic but first I will just test you”
“Test me?” May said surprised.
“Yeah, I don’t have any expectations from you since you came from Blooddale that don’t have magic but I still want to check which degree you are compatible with magic.” He placed the stone in the table’s center. “Place your hand on the stone. If the stone shines that means you are able to use magic and the color of the shine tells you what kind. There are five kinds. The first is fire and is red, the second is water and that is blue, third nature and is green, fourth is light and is white and lastly the fifth kind” he hesitated “Darkness. Its color is as I suppose you could guess, black. I have never seen anyone in my life time that could use darkness magic but I know a few stories and those stories are not pretty. You could say that if you get a black shine, which I fairly sure you won’t, it is like saying that your fate is to take the path of evil.” He saw that May had fear in her eyes that was glued at the stone. “Don’t worry you won’t get darkness.”
“Magic, with magic I could help Seith” May mumbled. The fear in May’s eyes wasn’t towards the darkness magic. It was fear that maybe the stone wouldn’t shine at all, the fear for being powerless to help Seith. She stretched out her hand and placed it on the stone. The stone blew up with a sharp white light. \\
It hit her hard and she was forced to close her eyes. She reopened them and in front of her she saw something that made her skin crawl. She was sitting in front of her own eyes with the hand on the stone and Vendor frozen at the other side of the table. She couldn’t believe her eyes. She closed and reopened them and still she was sitting there in front of her. Her head fell and her hands felt her own body. Yes she was herself then who was the one that sat in front of her? It couldn’t be two of her.
Something pulled May backwards and then one more pull much stronger than the last one; she almost flew into the wall. She was grabbed by panic and wanted to scream but she couldn’t. Her body wouldn’t obey her and in front of her, unmoved she sat on the chair. She wanted to cry but couldn’t.
Without warning another pull came this time in a completely other scale. She flew straight through the wall; it was like the wall wasn’t there.
Without landing on the ground she was forced backwards in mid-air. It was no longer a pull it was something that was sucking her towards it. She passed through wall after wall, corridor after corridor and downwards stair after stair. She couldn’t tell which direction she went anymore. Was it up? Or was it down? Was it to the right or was it to the left? Everything was mixing together before her eyes as she just flew faster and faster the longer she flew.
She couldn’t take it anymore; she wanted to close her eyes. Slowly her eyelids fell and the next second she was sitting still on a cold floor with a book self-rising in front of her. Without stopping her falling eyelids she closed her eyes and opened them in a blinking. Her head was a mess, slow. She blinked again to really be sure that she had stopped. And once more she blinked. Yes she had really stopped and she sighted.
Bookshelves were covering all of the walls of the round room and stretching upwards towards the ceiling that she couldn’t spot. The floor was white and cold. She stood up and went towards the spiral stair that was in the room’s center. She went up a pair of steps and looked down; the floor was gone. The bookshelves were continuing to stretch down below there the floor had just been. She started to climb the stair again.
Minutes of climbing passed and no ceiling grew visible in the distant above her. The minutes stuck upon each other and turned into an hour, then another hour and another.
Still no ceiling was spotted. She sighted and looked down on her feats. Her feats hurt and her legs was about to give in any moment. With a deep breath she got new determination and looked up. There it was, the ceiling. Just a couple of steps up, not more than five meters above her head were the ceiling. She started to climb again.