Suddenly, the lid of the coffin creaked and slowly moved to the side.
With a thud, it fell to the ground.
A few seconds later, Azik Eggers sat up, looking rather lost.
At that moment, he was wearing loose pajamas that had been popular in Loen years ago. He resembled a noble who had woken up in his manor.
After a while, Azik narrowed his eyes slightly. He looked around in confusion as though he didn't know who he was.
He then saw the brilliant sunlight that penetrated through the cracks and saw the dust dancing in the sunlight. He saw letters scattered on the table, ground, and coffin lid around him.
They were like giant snowflakes that blanketed half the area.
Azik got out of the coffin. With a puzzled expression, he bent down to pick up a letter and began reading.
As he read, the confusion on his face disappeared a little, as if he had remembered many things from the past.
Azik immediately found a chair and sat down, allowing all the letters to fly in front of him to stack up like a mountain.
He opened the letters one by one, reading them one after another. There would be pauses in between as he fell deep in thought as if he was seriously recalling something.
The sunlight that passed through the gap in the curtains gradually dimmed. After a long time, it shone inside again.
At that moment, Azik finally finished reading all the letters and completed the long contemplations that resembled Cogitation.
"He" looked at the letters that had been stacked on the table and slowly let out a long sigh.
Following that, he took out a piece of paper, a fountain pen, and some ink that he could still use. He wrote with a warm expression:
"…I've already woken up and received all your letters. They made me recall who I am and who you are. I also remember many memories of the past.
"Your experiences, no matter how complicated and exciting, have exceeded my imagination. It also makes me understand some of the problems that previously plagued me.
"I can feel your joy, your exhaustion, your faith in life, and the heavy responsibility that you have borne from your letters.
"I can roughly guess why you ultimately made that choice. If it were me, I might not even be able to make such a decision.
"From the beginning, you've been a guardian. You mimicked others until you were mimicked by others.
"Next, I will begin a journey to pursue the past and witness the changes in this world.
"You seem to still be asleep, but it doesn't matter. I'll write to tell you about the interesting things that I've encountered, the interesting traditions, and interesting people.
"I think I should be able to send these letters to you via sacrifice…"
The tip of the golden pen reflected the sunlight as it rustled on the white piece of paper, continuously penning down more content.
Backlund, in a solarium of a terrace house.
Melissa walked in with a girl who was clearly less than ten years old.
"Aunt Melissa, why here?" the little girl asked, puzzled. "All the stories I heard had mysterious rituals held in the basement."
With her hair tied up, the bespectacled Melissa smiled and said, "Those are unconventional mysticism rituals."
She pointed at the altar that had been set up and the unlit candles and said, "You may begin."
"Really?" The little girl tilted her head to look at the bright sunshine outside the window. "Do we need to draw the curtains?"
"There's no need. It's pretty good this way." After Melissa answered, she smiled at the little girl while she awkwardly mimicked her usual method of holding rituals in a clumsy and unfamiliar manner.
During this process, she would instruct her from time to time and even personally help her to complete the pre-ritual preparations.
"Alright, repeat after me." Melissa took a deep breath as her expression gradually turned staid.
"Yes, yes." The little girl tried her best to appear stern.
Melissa looked at the candle flames on the altar for a few seconds before slowly reciting in ancient Hermes, "The Fool that doesn't belong to this era…"
"Da Pool that dun pelong to diz ela…" The little girl had never learned ancient Hermes before. Although she tried her best to imitate her aunt, she still didn't know what she was saying.
"The mysterious ruler above the gray fog…" Melissa continued reciting.
"Da Mesterwes luler apove the gway pog…" the little girl recited in all seriousness.
"The King of Yellow and Black who wields good luck…" After Melissa finished reciting, the candle at the end didn't wait for the little girl to imitate her. It immediately burgeoned to the size of a human head.
In the large flame, a slippery tentacle with a somewhat sinister pattern extended out in an indiscernible manner. It was extremely slow.
The little girl was stunned. She retreated and hid behind her aunt.
Melissa pursed her lips and said with a gentle smile, "Don't be afraid, go greet him."
The little girl timidly poked her head out from behind her aunt and saw the terrifying, slimy tentacle gently swaying in the brilliant sunlight that shone through the windows. It seemed to be attempting to swat away the dust or was waving at her.
"Go, don't be afraid," Melissa repeated.
The little girl finally mustered her courage and stood in front of the altar.
She recited the incantations she had just invented before revealing a sincere smile and raised her palm.
The slippery tentacle whose patterns had disappeared paused for a few seconds. It seemed hesitant and somewhat out of practice.
Then, it raised its head and curled up slightly, lowering itself inch by inch.
Amidst the sunlight, it high-fived that tiny palm.
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