Darim Vistrage was walking towards the great hall where his guests were waiting for him, it was his job as the head of the family to start the banquet. All branches of the family have come to his mansion to celebrate his birthday, but he knew this day wasn't about him.
He was walking through the ample hallway with its lustrous white tiles and walls decorated with paintings. These paintings depicted scenes of war, telling stories of bravery and honor. In most of them, the hero of these stories was a man with black long hair. He had thin eyebrows that make him look like he was halfway through a frown, a straight and small nose, and medium-sized lips. But what stood out the most were his dark cold and piercing eyes. All was framed by an oval-shaped face that made him look somewhat feminine.
The person on the paintings was a younger version of Darim. From a time when he thirsted for power and wealth, a time when he fought under one of the three grand generals of the empire. A campaign that led to the conquest of the barbarian lands at the northeast, where his current domain laid.
At that time his family only had a small piece of land near the capital. Now, thanks to him on top of that they had more lands on the north in the form of 5000 hectares. It wasn't much, there were certainly people with more lands. But this territory was the Blackwood region, named after one of the best resources the north had to offer.
So, although small in comparison to his accomplishments, what lacked in quantity it had more than enough in quality. Making many of his brothers in arms quite envious. Of course, the importance of the lands near the capital was still the highest but in comparison, he had more freedom here in the north.
Reaching the doors of the great hall he spotted a young boy with roughly his same features. He looked more similar to the hero of the paintings than to the current Darim. But instead of having his black eyes he inherited the light blue from his mother. He had short brown hair, almost blond, and he had a good build for someone his age. This boy was his eldest son.
Seeing his father the boy straightened his back and congratulated him in a formal way. With a clasp of his hand and a slight bow he said. "Happy birthday father, I'm sorry I couldn't congratulate you earlier."
With the same serious look in his eyes, Darim regarded his son. "It's okay. I already notice the moment you broke through. You have reached the qi circulation stage, it is remarkable indeed, Al "
"Thanks, father I will keep working hard I swear I will not disappoint you"
His son was going to be the main character of this event, a 13 years old boy at the qi circulation stage. That was a real genius with nothing to envy from the other talents in the capital. Today he was going to show to everyone that he has a worthy successor, someone worthy of spending enough to send him to the royal academy.
His son entering and graduating from the royal academy meant that they will have another expert of his and his brother level in their family. And with the potential his son has shown there were hopes of him surpassing them. That was not all, attending to this school meant establishing connections with the highest powers of the empire.
That was the best way to ensure the continued prosperity of the Vistrage family. He was almost sure his family will see, despite its cost, the importance of this step. If they invested enough resources and his son made another breakthrough in the next three cycles, then he will be able to join the elite class.
"I know you will." Said Darim with a soft voice both to him and his son.
He proceeded to open the door to the main hall. On the other side, his relatives were sitting at a long and wide table that rested in the center of the spacious hall. The hall was not as decorated as other rooms, it had some minor decorative statues and urns. What predominated in this room were very big windows, making the place look bigger than it actually was. Thanks to these windows, as long as the sun was out, no other type of illumination was needed.
The instant he entered everybody stood up in a show of respect towards the head of the family. Darim took a moment to look at his guests and nodded at them while he went to the main seat followed from behind by his son
As he close in he caught sight of his wife. She had blonde hair and pale blue eyes with a round face that made her look young and innocent. In her arms was his youngest boy, still a baby, but he hoped he will grow up like his brother.
The moment he caught sight of her he saw the frown on her face as she looked at something behind him. At that point he noticed something off, his son who was behind him stopped walking.
Turning around he saw his son, standing there with an empty gaze. After that Darim felt the energy inside his son go out of control "Al control your energy, what's wrong? But it wasn't over, afterward, the boy fell to the floor shaking and convulsing.
Darim moved over to his son side and grabbed the back of his head, then the kid started to mumble and laugh like a maniac. An incomprehensible scream escaped from his son's mouth, coming after it was more incoherent noises.
Matthews eyesight returned to normal to show him that he was surrounded by strangers in what looked like a big spacious room. His joy was soon overcome by disorientation, so swallowing his pain and gritting his teeth he asked.
"Where… where am I? Where is this?"
Nobody answered. He watched as a woman carrying a baby and a handsome man kept telling him something in a language that he didn't understand. He could guess that they were concerned and probably asking if he was alright. Though he had no way to tell them anything, so he tried to make gestures while speaking.
"I'm fine.." and then he realized he couldn't move his arms nor the rest of his body nothing but his neck and mouth answer to him.
Bending his neck he caught a glimpse of his body, he was wearing some kind of robe with an ancient style. But what struck him the most was that he was all sweaty, with a stain of blood on his torso and on top of that he had somehow soiled his pants.
'What do I do now?' He couldn't communicate, and he couldn't move. worse of all he didn't know where he was, he couldn't even recognize the language these people were using.
"well for now I bett-"
ahhhh!!"! The strongest headache he had ever had assaulted him and took his consciousness away.
Images and sounds of a life he had never lived went through his mind. Like a dream or a movie in a first-person perspective, with confusing and blurry parts, they all passed very quickly, some clearer than others.
Waking up Matthew realized that someone had placed him in another room. Looking around while moving his neck, the only part of the body that answered to his wishes, he could see that the room was quite big. The bed he was on, was already quite big and was really comfortable if it wasn't for the pain that didn't allow him to feel anything else he would have enjoyed it
The room in itself was not very furnished. Aside from the bed, there was only a big wardrobe on his right side and a study desk with several drawers on his left. The desk had a fancy air to it thanks to the golden engravings in the form of trees and leaves on its edges and legs. On top of the desk were several books all neatly ordered, with the cover written with illegible words. At the corner of the desk apart from the books was an old oil lamp placed in such a way that illuminated all that part of the room.
Lastly, right in front of the bed was the woman he saw before with the baby, only that now she was sleeping in a chair. 'She fell asleep watching out for me.' He looked at her with pity, she was caring for someone who was probably dead.
Now that he has calmed down he started to sort his mind out. "Let's start with the facts, I'm in the body of someone else. It seems like the body of a kid, for what I can tell probably 14 or 15. I can't move but after waking up I'm feeling a little less pain."
"Well fuck me, so much for the facts, that's all I'm sure of "
"Mmmm the best thing to go with is the ones I think are the most likely assumptions. I'm almost sure those images and sound where not illusions but the memories of the kid whose body I took." A regretful expression crossed his face. " Poor boy. " He couldn't help but feel somewhat responsible for this, even if he wasn't in control of what was happening
Trying to not think about that he kept going with his thoughts. "Those memories are not too useful in the short term, it's not like I have lived them I am not able to tell what the boy was thinking watching those images. Moreover, it feels like a movie I had watched long ago, all that he learned was lost even now I cannot speak that strange language. I don't even know the name of his parents, though if i have the time i will be able to learn a few useful things."
"On the bright side, I did learn the kid's name he was Aleran Vistrage, which I guess it is now my name? I don't know how long it will get me to get used to it."
"But, why did all this happen?"
Remembering that time he spent in that mysterious place where everything felt unreal he already had a theory. " If that was really my soul, that would explain a lot. But if I had let go and fall in that strange state like the others, would i have reincarnated without my memories? Or something else would have happened?"
The more he kept going on this train of thought the more questions started to appear. " Why were the other spheres of light or souls, in a state of slumber. And why the ones that were awake were slowly entering that state? Why was I the only one that was wide awake? Did it mean something?" No matter what, the feeling of his own existence and personality fading fill Matthew with concern and apprehension. He was glad he kept his mind active." By the way, why was I the only one capable of using that original sense? And then there's that entity....
And he stopped right there. He didn't want to think about that thing that took control of his soul. Just thinking about it made his mind hurt as if his brain wasn't able to comprehend what that being was. He remembered how only through his original sense and the being´s focus on him he could already feel such awe. More than that, he remembered the fear and helplessness, even in his current situation without being able to move his body Matthew didn't feel with such intensity.
"Well, I guess that any answer I give to these questions would be completely hypothetical." Trying to end this train of thought he went on with more pressing questions.
"Where am I? Am I on earth? There were some disturbing images in the kid´s memories, according to these images there are some beasts that looked like monsters."
"And things other humans did in those memories were more inside the realm of fantasy than in the field of reality. So, unless the boy was insane and was seeing things, I don't think I'm on earth. Besides, I can't see nor feel what was going through his head, so, I don't think I can see what he was imagining. Unless this Aleran suffered from a strong case of dementia till the point he actually saw these things, I'm safe assuming that I'm on another planet."
"So, for now, ill assume that I'm not on earth. Even though I have to say that the probability of there being a planet like earth where life evolves in such a way that gave birth to humans is astronomically small. Even if the only similarity was to be our appearance."
"Moreover, the fact that they have some cultural similarities is weird too. I suppose this will also lead to pure speculation on my part."
"I'm getting thirsty, I better make some noises to wake up this lady and, with a bit of luck, I may be able to make her bring me some water."
Regrettably, he woke her up but with the screams of pain from a sudden migraine. The last thing he saw before fainting was the woman screaming the boy's name.