The Gods' Scion

His Illusory Realm

My eyes shoot shot open. I am lying alone on the ground. My forearm is glowing; the Emblem of Tempus is the culprit.

I stand up and see a narrow path in front of me, a light appearing at the end. I start to walk.

As I continue down the mysterious path, a light appears at the end of the trail.

Finally, I get to the end of the trail.

There are two ancient doors in front of me. I push them open, eager to know what is on the other side. The doors

swing open, and the light reappeared. I reached out, barely grazing my fingers on it when I am transported to another

place. I look down at my arm, and a large flash of light shines over my eyes.

A giant temple is now in front of me, drenched in gold and ivory with its pillars looming standing firm and tall. I

walked up the stairs of the glorious temple to the two large doors at the front. I reach to pull the door open.

In the blink of an eye, I was back on the trail. I peer around to see where the door and the temple have gone.

When I twisted around, I found it. Now there was a staircase leading up to it. The Emblem is on a pedestal at the

very top. The sun and the moon glow like beacons in the darkness. The center circle pulled like waves of golden light.

As I got closer to the stairway, my arm blazes brighter. I hear others, making indiscernible noises, but as I got

closer, I notice that it was repetitive, “He will rise.”

“He will rise.”

“He will rise.”

“He will rise.”

The path behind me shakes and crumbles. I need to get closer.

The voices grow louder. The light from my arm becomes blinding. The chant begins to speed up as I get closer to the

Emblem.

“He will rise. He will rise. He will rise. He will rise.”

My anxiety grows with each moment, and I start to run faster, praying the path behind me does not pull me into

the unknown black abyss.

I can feel the sweat on my body, starting to form. I can hear my heart pounding in my chest. I will never reach the

stairs.

“He will rise. He will rise. He will rise. He will rise.”

The voices grow louder and louder.

My legs hurt. My palms are sweaty. My head is spinning.

“He will rise! He will rise! HE WILL RISE! HE WILL RISE!”

I am almost there; I can feel it.

If I could only get closer—

"PRINCE RODRICK!"

I jumped up, realizing it was a dream.

Man, I swear that felt all too real—

“My prince, a moment of your precious time.”

Crap.

I was in Dr. Rosary’s World Government Class. It was the end of my morning classes, thank

goodness.

I heard some students laughing and snickering on their way out of the classroom.

“Any day now, Mr. Rodrick. I would like to get out of here sometime today.”

I rolled my eyes and got up. What happened to the “Prince” part of my name?

He scowled as I made my way down the rows of chairs over to the fat, old man’s desk.

“What did I not do now?” I asked him.

“Mr. Rodrick, what you are not going to do is pass my class by sleeping. I don’t care who your

mother is, or who you are either. I went over some important—”

I blocked him out.

I was used to the whole “failing my class” speech. I will pass it anyway, I always did. Like he had

the guts to fail a prince of the country he was living in.

"Are you even listening to me?"

I focused my eyes on the balding man, “No."

His bushy brows furrowed even more. He leaned back in the chair, “It’s a shame, you may run

this country one day, and you cannot even stay awake for a sixty-minute class."

"I have three other siblings, so don’t try that crap with me. I’ll pass your class; Queen Riva pays

your check, and we don’t need to talk anymore."

Before he could snap back, I got the rest of my things from the class and made my way out the

door.

Parked outside, waiting for me, were four Royal Guard vehicles.

I groaned. I hated the Royal Guard; I could take care of myself better than those paid idiots. The

backseat passenger window of the second car rolled down, and Mrs. Erma’s face appeared.

“You’re late.”

“I know, sorry,” I smiled as the old lady rolled her eyes, opening the door for me, “You know the

Annual Jovial Meeting is today, right?”

I knew, but I did not care, “I’m not planning on going.”

She let out a breath, “That will simply be adding to the fire since the Queen is mad at you.”

“Isn’t she always mad at me?”

She turned to me, but I ignored her. I already knew what was coming when I got to the Castle. It

was the same thing day in and day out.

"What did I do now?"

"She did not say." Mrs. Erma said, her eyes never meeting mine, “She did not seem to be in the

best of moods when it came time to pick you up."

"Is she sober?"

Her jaw tightened, “For the time being, yes."

We made it back to the Castle in silence. Mrs. Erma told me Riva wanted me to go straight to her

office. Walking down the Castle halls, I passed by busy staff members, various paintings and vases.

When I reached her office door, I opened it, what.

I found was Riva working on a pile of papers. Next to them was a picture of me and my three

siblings, Rayden, Rahima and Rona.

An unopened bottle of wine sat lonely on the far corner of her desk. So, she was sober, for now,

of course.

“You are late,” she greeted me without looking up.

“I am always late,” I said.

“Another failing grade?” she glanced at me.

“I’ll pass the final exam. It’s not important. It’s a World Government Class. I don’t need to pay

attention to it. Plus, if I don’t pass on my own, you’ll make sure I do. So why am I—”

"It is not merely your World Government Class, is it?"

The room went quiet.

"I keep getting calls from the university."

"Don’t answer them," I said.

They aren’t supposed to be calling her anyway. I am the student, not her.

She paused and exhaled.

"If you would pass your classes, I wouldn’t have to worry about them calling me."

I sucked my teeth, “Is this all you want to say to me?"

She scowled, “Your clothes for tonight are already set out up in your room. I want you to behave

and function as if you have some decency when we get to—”

“Who told you I’m going anywhere?” I asked.

She knew that since I was nine, I had not gone to a single Jovial Meeting or any events like it. I

did not like those people, and they did not like me.

She put down her pen, “Close the door.”

I eyed her curiously and did as I was told.

“Rodrick, this meeting with the other nations will not only be on better international borders,

poverty intervention and refugee inflation. We are adding another topic to this year's list of

problems."

I gave her a dirty look, “Such as?”

She breathed out, “Ryton.”

My head perked up, and she continued.

“Due to the increase in terrorist and rebellion uprisings, I strongly believe the Atar is reforming

and growing larger than it was decades ago."

I stepped closer to her desk, “You guys are going to sit around for three hours straight to talk

about a guy that died sixteen years ago and his terrorist group? That’s wonderful. What does that

have to do with me?”

She scowled at me, “You know as well as I do that, he is not dead.”

I scoffed, “If he was, I wouldn’t have had to go through all this crap with you—”

She raised her hand to stop me from continuing, “Rodrick. Do not start. I did not ask you to

come here and cry about things in the past that I cannot change.”

She lowered her hand, “We will also be discussing you and how you can be ready—”

I stopped her there, “To be used as a weapon, or ‘key,’ or whatever you want to call me? Riva, I

am not going to go so I can have people decide on how I best benefit their needs.”

Not a word came out her lips.

I twisted around, aiming to leave her office. I paused, turning back around, “Why did you even

tell me this? I will not be in the room while you and your ‘friends’ talk.”

Her dark blue eyes stared at me, impassive, “I wanted to inform you because most likely, we will

be calling you into the room. You will have a voice in deciding how you can help us take on this

situation.”

After everything you put me through...well I guess it would lead up to this.

I headed out the door.

“The plane leaves at 4:45,” she yelled after me.

“I won’t be there, Riva,” I exclaimed as I slammed the door shut.

In my room, I noticed the suit on my bed.

It was composed of a fitted, narrow-notch navy blue coat, black dress shirt, and black pants. In a

small box was a white bow tie. At the foot of my bed, there were white leather dress shoes. The suit

seemed nice. I picked it up and placed it on the chair in the corner, near my fireplace and walked

back to my bed.

A few moments later, someone knocked on my door.

“Come in,” I looked up from where I was lying on my bed, putting my phone down.

A tanned, freckled face with bushels of auburn hair peeked through the door.

“She sent you up here to come to talk to me?”

My sister smiled, showing her mouth full of braces, “No, Rona is here because she wants to talk

to you.”

I could not help but shake my head at the girl.

“Rona, why must you speak in the third person? Why are you here at the Castle? You should be

at Incantation School right now.”

She narrowed her eyes, “I didn’t go to magic school since we have a Jovial Meeting today, which

you are going to.”

I got up from the bed, “No, I’m not.”

She snapped her fingers.

“Yes, I am.”

Did I just say that? I blinked a couple of times, “You learned a mock spell?”

She smiled, “Yes, about a week ago. Now I have to just learn how to get the person to do what

they say.”

She scooted closer toward the edge of the bed, “May I take a seat on the bed?”

I shrugged my shoulders, “Do whatever you want.”

She sat down, crossing her legs, “You know it’s being held at Qirar, barely three hours over the

water. It won’t take long to get there and back.”

“You should be fine by yourself,” I said.

She pressed her lips together, “You know as well as anyone that I hate being by myself.”

“Well if you get lonely, teleport back home,” I spoke.

She rolled her eyes, “That would be truly lovely if I could do that type of spell. Qirar is a bit too

far for a teleportation spell to work, anyway. You know that Mom is the worst flight buddy,” Rona

says.

I gave her a side-eye. She is not your mom. Not your real one anyway.

“I guess you’re out of luck Rona. Plus, I don’t go to those meetings. I have not for years. Invite a

friend to go with you or something.”

I went go back to focusing on my phone. Rona got gets off the bed and snapped snaps her

fingers, and my phone disappeared. I gave her a dirty look.

She folded her arms, “I will be on a plane for at least three hours to and from Qirar. I don’t

know if any of the other royals my age will be there. So, I don’t want to spend all that time alone,”

she finished with puppy dog eyes.

“Then why are you going?” I asked.

“Because my friend Celia invited me, and she is their princess. It would be rude not to go,

especially since I’d I have been blowing her off at other events.”

“Is she pretty?” I asked.

“I like her.”

“That is not what I asked.”

She grinned.

“I don’t know what you find attractive. Come to the meeting, and you can judge yourself.”

“Again, what does she look like?”

“Try looking her up.”

As she walked to the door, she snapped her fingers, and my phone reappeared in my hands.

I smirked, “Thanks, I will.”

She crossed her arms, “Shouldn’t you ask her full name before you try to see what she looks

like?”

I shrugged, “Maybe.”

Rona rolled her eyes, “Sometimes I feel like I’m the one who’s nineteen, not thirteen. Her name

is Princess Arcelia Phacadé. I know you’ve seen her before. You can decide if she’s worth the

flight.”

I typed her name into the search engine: Princess Arcelia Phacadé.

I scanned through the pictures that came up, realizing that I had have seen her before, once or

twice on television.

She had thick, black, kinky hair that went down her back. She was a curvy girl who probably

came up to my shoulders.

Her blue eyes were amazing in contrast with her deep, chocolate skin. So, I knew she must be an

Umbrian.

I smirked, “She is pretty, but I’m I am not going to that meeting.”

Rona exhaled deeply, “Oh well, I tried. I’m I am going to eat lunch. Care to join me?”

I shook my head at her offer.

“Then I’ll leave you with your thoughts.”

She stopped midway through the door, “You’ve been more aggravated lately, sassy too. Is it

because her birthday is coming up?”

I relaxed back on my bed, “Please go eat lunch, Rona.”

Thankfully, she did not push on the subject. Rona glanced at me one more time and shut my

door.

Not even a minute later, my arm glowed. I gazed at my right forearm, a symbol on the Emblem

was giving off light.

An Apostle was trying to reach me. As I peered closer, the Eye of Future symbol was shining. It

was Oracle trying to reach me.

I sluggishly rolled myself off my comfortable bed.

“Let’s see what you want,” I mumbled to myself.

I touched the Eye of Future and spoke the words: “Tunc aperientur portæ.”

A bronze portal opened in front of me. I stepped into the portal and on the other side was an

area filled with waterfalls.

The scenery seemed to be straight out of a painting, with soft blues and cascades of pink and

purple flowers. When I was entirely on the other side, the portal closed behind me.

The ground under my feet was soft and gravelly. I walked on the smooth rocky path until I came

upon four pathways.

I sucked the air through my teeth. I knew if I took the wrong path, I could be walking down it

for the rest of my days.

I cupped my hands around my mouth, “Oracle!” I yelled, “Which path should I take?”

It was a few seconds before I got my response, “Take the path which can never be wrong.”

Her voice sounded faint in the distance, even with my ears, I could not figure out where it was

coming from.

Luckily, I knew which path to take—the one farthest to the right of me. A right can never be

wrong.

I came to the end of my chosen path, where I found a large pond and a silver-haired woman. Her

slim body was facing away from me. She was wearing a deep pink, see-through tunic dress over a

darker pink bodysuit. I could tell she was playing with the koi fish in the pond.

“You picked the right path,” her voice was soft as she spoke.

I walked towards her, “Of course, I did.”

I sat down next to her, “Why did you call me here?”

“Hello, Rodrick, nice to see you. How were your college courses this morning?”

I sucked the air through my teeth, “Hello to you too, blind lady.”

She chuckled at my comment. Turning her head, she opened her eyes; faded irises stared out into

the distance.

“I find that offensive, Prince Rodrick.”

I rolled my eyes, “Not enough to not laugh at it.”

“You are right,” she said.

I watched as she took her left hand out of the water, drying it on the grass, ground, “Rodrick,

you have to go to the meeting tonight.”

I made a face at her, “Why?”

She lifted her head to the sky, “A vision, no, many visions came to me. They...”

She blinked, “…They all had you in them. Each one ended with darkness, but...”

This usually happened whenever I talked to her; she would start but never finish a thought.

“You’re not making sense Oracle.”

She snapped back to reality and tilted her head toward the water, “Oh, I am sorry.”

Oracle’s eyes saw a lot of pain throughout each day. There was so much bad in the world now,

that I couldn’t blame her for how to shut off, she could be. She would call me when she felt she

needed comfort.

I spoke in a softer tone, “It’s okay, but why do you want me to go to the meeting?”

“I can show you,” she spoke gently, “would you like to see?”

“Of course.”

She lifted her hand into the air. I took hold of it.

Here goes nothing.