He looked around but was unable to identify anyone in the darkness. The voice echoed as if it encompassed everything around him, but he also heard it as a whisper within his mind.
"Give in to your righteous rage and use it to fuel our power. You will surely be able to do whatever you like within the world."
"What power?" asked Leylin.
"The Power of God!"
"Ohhh, something so amazing. What side-effects happen to be included?"
A deep, eerie chuckle resounded.
"That's something you will find out when the time comes. I won't force you to make a decision now. You will need me someday, whether you like it or not. Oh, and welcome to Hell."
With those last words, the murky smoke cleared. A vast ocean of twinkling lights, like stars in the darkness, was revealed. Out of curiosity, Leylin reached out to touch one of the "stars" closest to him. When he poked it, a jolt of energy traveled down his arm and throughout his body. After, Leylin felt as if his soul was being sucked against its will somewhere else once more.
His vision faded, and when it cleared, he saw that he was in the middle of a forest. Yet, the forest was unlike anything he had ever seen at home. The trees had large purple trunks that exuded a foul gas and pitch black leaves that stifled any light in the area. The ground was dry and cracked with no fauna other than the strange trees. The weirdest thing of all was the fact that it was completely silent. There wasn't even the peep of an insect.
He looked around and simply picked a direction to walk in, hoping he would find a town of some sort. After walking for an hour, he came to the edge of the forest. In front of him lay a large plain. It had the same dry, cracked earth of the forest. Despite the region being arid, a village had been built nearby. Leylin continued toward it.
Within the town, most of the buildings were made of wood, and a few of the more important looking ones were made from clay. The townspeople wore thin, light-colored clothing to resist the scorching heat. Although there was no farmland, the villagers looked fairly well-nourished compared to what Leylin expected.
As he walked down the road, all of the villagers stared at him. The townspeople viewed him with suspicion because they had not received visitors in a very long time. It didn't help that his clothing was conspicuous as well.
A group of guards in leather armor stood in front of Leylin. The captain of the group stepped forward.
"Where are you from, and what is your name?"
"My name is Leylin, and I'm from Lavania."
The guard captain stared at him with a bit of confusion.
"Where is Lavania? Have any of you heard of it?" asked the captain.
The rest of the guards shook their heads.
"It's very far from here. You probably wouldn't know of it," added Leylin.
The captain nodded. He thought about what he should do about Leylin. The town never had visitors, and it was suspicious to have one now. But Leylin hadn't done anything illegal, so he couldn't imprison him. He decided to threaten him as a precaution and observe him.
"Ok, don't do anything fishy. I am the Law here, so I will exercise it to the fullest extent if needed."
'Intimidation tactics... so brutish,' thought Leylin.
"I'll make sure to be on my best behavior,"
The captain nodded as if he had done a good deed. He felt slightly bad intimidating a kid, so he decided o help him a bit.
"The inn is towards the South of town by the way. It's a bit vacant since we never have visitors, but it should be sufficient," said the captain, helpfully.
Leylin thanked him and headed in the direction indicated. He wasn't sure how he would pay for the inn, but maybe he could work something out with the owner. As he walked along the road, the inn stuck out compared to the other buildings. It was larger than the rest and made of baked brick. A wooden sign above the doorway read "Patty's Inn and Bar".
Inside, there was a large hearth for cooking. Although it wasn't overly fancy, the inn had a cozy atmosphere. Strangely, no one was around except for a young girl behind the bar.
"Hi, I'm looking for the owner of this place. Could you bring me to him?" asked Leylin.
"I run this inn," the girl said, bluntly.
Leylin was surprised. Few women were able to own property back home. There, the majority of the land was owned by nobles who rented it to commoners. The peasants would farm the land and pay a portion of their crops for the rent.
The nobles treated owning land as a God-given right. They were entitled to it all because they were supposedly recognized as rulers by the Creator himself.
Leylin looked down on this belief. Being raised by servants, he grew up hearing stories about the nobles' treatment of this "rule". Many commoners were wrongly accused of not paying their rent.
As punishment, they had to give all of their harvest and livestock to make up for it. Rarely, the punishment was justified, but the majority of the claims were false. These "accusations" were particularly common during times of frequent feasts.
After processing his surprise, Leylin recovered.
"Oh... What is your name?"
"Emily. What can I help you with?" she asked.
"I need a room, but I don't have any money. I was hoping I could work in exchange for one," Leylin said.
"I do have a few things you could do to stay a few days, but you will have to find a more permanent income if you want to stay longer," she said.
Emily pointed to a door behind the bar.
"This is where we keep all of our meat. I need you to butcher all of it by tomorrow evening. When you are done, you can stay for three days."
"Ok, thank you very much!"