That night, he went to sleep earlier than usual, one hour after the walk had ended.
To be alone to think during ‘this period of darkness’ is such a luxury to him. Going out for a walk to calm himself, to be able to somehow control the painful feeling then replace it with a sense of determination – that’s how it is. He was tired of listening to complaints and useless questions from time to time. He needed to take “a proper rest”, for a while before a new start.
The dream came naturally, as if it had always been open for him to enter that easily. He couldn’t remember when he had fallen into unconsciousness, but he knew exactly the feeling when the time came. The feeling of transformation. Then came a small crack in his mind, surrounded by full darkness, yet a small glimpse of light. Right at that moment …
Transformation – something burned inside out, but there was no heat at all. He felt relieved in one second, then … he was able to open his eyes. Somehow.
Luxury. That was the word that first appeared in his mind. A luxury world, that he couldn’t describe through any more words.
No, that’s not true. Words always came easily outside whenever he wanted; it’s just that this time, he felt too real to bother taking a note about it. He felt … the true nature.
It was a dream world, full of huge trees with green leaves, rustling continously in the melody of the winds. He took one step, then another, then another … straight ahead. He was inside a forest, yes, a tropical forest. The soil seemed to break when his feet touched it, but it didn’t. Just the moving sound of some rocks. “Even if it did, then this is just a dream, and I will definitely come back to the save point right before entering another dream.” – he thought, and he knew it for sure.
Well, that means, he couldn’t die, or come across any grave danger in a dream. So he continued to move, and move, to find out the truth behind those large trees. They seemed to be old, very old, and there were even some that looked like one thousand years old, or more. Even the youngest must be around one hundred years old. So this is the feeling of luxury in a faraway world. What’s next then?
It became darker as he walked. He didn’t understand why, until he remembered that there was a moon above just before. “So I came here at such a lucky spot. I can see clearly, that’s good.” But he started to run, despite trying to be calm. Somehow he sensed something abnormal around, so he ran, as quickly as he could. “The trees were very tall, I knew. But the situation couldn’t be so similar to “that” like this. No, it can’t be. I’m in my dream!”
Oopss!! He fell, but he felt nothing. Then he stood up immediately, and expected the chaos in the air, as usual. However, he remained still. Nothing changed. The atmosphere, the space, and the winds, they were all so clear. What happened?
“I should have been out of this world when there is even a single shock. I can’t feel too real like this. Any dream can’t be more luxury than this.”
No, no, no. He began to run faster, and felt the abnormality even more realistic. Somehow, there wasn’t only him inside this forest. There was something else, something inhuman.
One more trees, one more trees, one more, then one more. The distance between them became wider, wider, and he could see the light before. “I’m near now. Just a bit more.”
Then suddenly, he could feel “that” nearer, too. He could see it.
A dark creature, no, a dark shape jumped out of the shades of the trees, and stopped right before his eyes. He was shocked at that instant, but he kept running forward, even faster. Something sharp, and shining in its hand.
There was only one thing to be sure about this feeling of a dream. He screamed.
A powerful sound came from very far, assailing his voice. The voice of wolves. Then he reached the shadow before him. He could see the lighting object move immediately at the moment he looked at it. Then he felt it. Everything happened in just one second. No, one mili-second.
That feeling came one more time. The feeling right before he entered this world. “Ah, that’s right. So I was indeed in a dream.”
Haah? He opened his eyes. Before him was a beautiful scence, with a dark sky and a brilliant moon. A range of mountains could be seen clearly. And he was on the top of one bluff. He had stopped at the right time. Somehow.
How could that be? Am I still here?
He only had less than a second to think about that question. He was overawed by the landscape before. A picture, such a magnificent picture. No, this must be the world. He was in this world, in this luxury world.
“But what was that before? Was I alive?” – he murmured. Then he turned his head back, and just see “the gate” into the area of those trees. Where was it? Why couldn’t I feel anything back then? Was it an object, or a part of its body?
“This dream is so real, yet still imaginary. How can it be so elegant, yet so weird? Even the wind is so real, just like I can touch it. I can smell it. Yeah, the shock wave, and … the heat.”
Huh? The heat? He looked up to the sky one more time. The moon was still so bright, but there was definitely something there. This time, he realized that it was really a creature. It’s coming this way. And naturally, as if it had been all there for him to predict before, he knew.
A dragon. So luxury.