Part 1: The Book of Prophecy
When I awoke, I turned to another page, the page where I left off.
And out slid a bookmark.
Just litter, I thought. Thrown away or lost, carried to me by wind and chance. In some ways, I wasn't wrong.
In most, I was.
When the dazzle subsided, there was the book hovering imperiously above, bound in tessellating, jigsaw-like tiles. And from beneath, where pieces were missing, devilish yellow eyes appraised me.
I hate to say it, but when it fell, I only caught it on reflex. Even in witness of a miracle, some dreadfully prosaic part of me thought "I can't let it land on the ground. It'll get dirty."
That's a stupid reason, isn't it?
You have it.
You have it.
What do you want?
You have it.
Have what? The book? You want this book? Take it. It's okay. It's not even mine.
Listen, I, I don't know anything about it, whatever it is, I don't know. I just found it. I just picked it up. You can have it.
I don't have anything else. Please.
Where what, sir?
FOUND IT WHERE?
Here! It came out of this monolith here, just before you got-
Close your eyes, boy.
...what are you going to do?
Close your eyes. It won't hurt.
Wait, no! Wait!
HELP! SOMEBODY HELP ME!
Close your eyes.
Hi. Step away from the book.
Actually, no. Run away from the book. Run for your rotten little hide.
I WILL BREAK YOU, SPIRIT!
Ha ha. Boy, you're about to start hating your life right now. This guy's gonna feed your gizzards to the grass.
I noticed! Can't you help me or something?!
...no. No, you're going to feed his gizzards. To the grass.
Because you can fight. Right? I'm not working with a wuss here, right? Show me some action!
Ugh. Alright, let's try this.
Everything in my head wanted to argue. "What good will that do? Can't you get rid of him? How do you expect me to fight this thing? What's going on here anyway?"
Thank goodness for fear. Fear doesn't listen to your head. Fear doesn't let you die asking bloody stupid questions.
Sometimes it doesn't let you die at all.
How did I...
Congratulations. You are now a certified badass. We'll make you a badge.
Don't bother, I think I know. Who am I, what am I, why am I so awesome and good-looking?
Rempo, spirit of fire, and aw shucks, I guess it just comes naturally.
Come on, it's over now. Get it together. What's your name? Can you tell me your name?
I...Yumil. It's Yumil.
Yumil. Alright. Take a deep breath, 'cause you aren't ready to hear this. See that book you're holding?
That's the Book of Prophecy, and you just got picked to be the author.
This world, your world, is going to end. When it does, a new one will take its place. And that new one? You're gonna write it.
Hold on. Someone's skulking over there.
Looks like pot roast here brought a side dish. Alright, Yumil! Let's go!
Okay. I kinda meant "go" as in "go get 'em."
Probably should've clarified.
The hell happened here? He just stripped down?
No. Any further and we might as well sound the war drums. Report to the prince. I'll check on the troops.
Also, one of the men might have gone insane and started streaking. See if you can find him.
Er. Very funny, sir.
Will it be funny if someone sees him? Will it be funny if they find out he's a Waisen soldier dangling his balls over the border? Will it be funny when a peace treaty dissolves and thousands of good people die with naught to curse but a knight's errant junk?
I'll keep an eye out.
You know, they aren't chasing us. You can slow down.
Hey! Did you hear me?
Whatever this is, I'm not getting involved. This Book of Prophecy or whatever. You take it. I need to get home.
Uh, yeah. That's not how this works. The book chose you, not me.
Well it'll just have to change its mind. I'm sorry, but I'm not...I just want to go home right now. Stop following me, please.
Have you dreamt about this?
About the end of the world. You've seen it happen, haven't you?
How do you know what I've been dreaming about?
That's what happens. Whoever gets chosen has the dreams.
Everything you've seen is coming, soon, and you're the only one alive who knows it. Ask anyone else and they'll call you crazy.
You have the book. You can use it. Nobody else. It has to be you.
So I'm supposed to just devote my life to...to what? I didn't volunteer for this. "Write a new world"? What does that even mean?
I told you. When this world is gone, a new one will be created. You're the one who decides what goes into it.
And what happens after that? Do I get to live in this new world?
If you don't do this, it'll be the end of existence.
Do I get to live?
Okay. I'm sorry. I'm going home now.
You're kidding, right? Are you kidding me? You have a book that can rewrite reality and you're just going to ditch it?
Yes. Yes I am. I don't want anything those monsters are looking for. Leave me alone.
Maybe you didn't hear me. You have a book that can rewrite reality. Why the hell are you worried about monsters?
You mean if anyone else came after me, I could just make them go away?
The book can do whatever you want it to. But first you have to learn how to use it. You'll need me for that.
Also, suppose one of those guys tracks you down and you don't have it. How do you think that'll go?
"RAWR, GIVE ME THE BOOK!"
"Sorry, I left it in a field somewhere!"
"Oh ha ha okay I guess I'm gonna rip your legs off now."
I knew then that I'd lost. When all you have left to bargain with is "This isn't fair", the most you can afford is empty sympathy. If you haggle.
Alright. I'll hold on to it. I'm not promising anything.
That's more like it!
That was supposed to get you motivated.
Try saying it with me. "Now to start our-"
It's fine. I'll manage.