Episode [ lethe ]

[ time set at T ]

“Lethe”, said Chie.

The name was unfamiliar to Aarowan, but he knew that the word itself held some value and thus he asked, “Lethe?”.

And listening to him Chie went on explaining, according to her Lethe is one of the five rivers of the “Underworld” and was known for its effects on the ones who drank from it.

For her explanation, the river itself was magical and one’s who drank from it forgets all. And one’s who crosses the river often if not has strong will shall fall under its spell and becomes overwhelmed by the desire to drink from it. Thus, the nearby villagers have started the festival of will, as per once every year young men from these villages participate. Where their task is to cross the bridge without being bewitched by the river. However, this often is messy as very few could cross it.

Listening to which Aarowan’s first thoughts were, “Why has she bought me here?”.

But soon he realized her mentioning that she somehow had some kind of authority over this section of the town, so for this time, he decided upon remaining silent.

And as for those whom Aarowan and Chie knocked out, they placed both at a safe spot over the bridge and continued on their journey. However, it was Aarowan who suggested not to bring those strangers with them.

“Well I see now why we are not allowed to bring our wagon down this bridge.”, said Aarowan continuing their journey.

Replying which Chie said, “This world is filled with many things you don’t know about”.

“So, tell me.”, said Aarowan.

“Before that let’s get to the town and get something to eat, later we shall visit the headquarters and shall discuss your situation.”, said Chie.

As their discussion went on, they soon reached the city of “Lethe”, as the name suggested it got its name from the river that flew by. However, as Aarowan entered the city the first thing he noticed was a huge road that leads from the end of the bridge. The road though being huge was one of the old ones. And for the architecture of the buildings, they were also of the medieval type. Finally, for the people leaving were all wearing clothes of the same era, however, the people of this city seemed mostly beast-man.

Entering the city Chie turned left and entered the first huge building, following her entered Aarowan. The place seemed some sort of bar. The interior of it also seemed medieval, as there was everything made of wood.

The only unlikely thing was that there was no one, the entire place was empty. The only person there was the bartender.

As Chie went and had a seat, she asked Aarowan to join her. Joining her Aarowan did.

Soon the bartender left his post and came near both and asked for their order. The man seemed out of place as he seemed quite strange for the setup.

Why?

Because from the body structure of the man. He seemed neither a beast-man nor a demon and not even a devil. He seemed oddly more like a dwarf.

Aarowan seeing the man kept on staring at him while Chie gave the order for the food. And Aarowan couldn’t make out the name of the dish as he was more interested in the man than the food.

As the man left Aarowan said to Chie, “Why does he look different?”.

To that Chie answered, “You might want to remember him and yes, he is different, he is from the surface world.”.

“Surface world”, the name rang a random bell in Aarowan’s mind but he was already too distracted by the events happning that he again decided upon letting it go and seek answers later.

================================================================

Soon their orders arrived. It was some sort of unknown fish and the most educated guess might be that it’s from the river.

And Aarowan, waiting for no one started digging in to it. However, soon he realized the mistake that he made.

Why?

Because of the food he was eating. Though being astounding by looks it was highly lacking in taste. It was bitter and was hard to swallow.

It was so bad that after eating the first few bites, he was about to throw up.

Looking at Aarowan, Chie started laughing and ordered wine to ease his pain saying,“Food is not good but the wine, you should try.”.

Listening to Chie Aarowan quickly drunk the wine in front and it was really good.

================================================================

As Aarowan finished his first glass of wine he could see the bartender standing right besides Chie discussing about Aarowan himself.

He was shocked, he was wondering why Chie was letting a normal bartender knew of the things that should be state secret.

But soon before he could realize the bartender spoke, “I see, nice to meet you Mr Aarowan”.

“Allow me to introduce myself, I am Sasgrim”, the bartender.

“I am the general of the Metal Squad”, Sasgrim.

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