After the airship landed on the ground, its inhabitants began to pour out of it. Save for me and my grandfather. Funnily enough, he hadn’t seemed drunk, even despite how much he drank. Yet at this point, I was completely hammered and barely able to get out of my seat. (Now, just know that my memory is a bit blurry for this part, so the details might be a bit off.)
My grandfather got out of his seat and came around to my side. He grabbed me by the armpits, picked me up, and began to drag me off of the airship. When we made it outside, there was someone waiting for us, standing by the bridge. My grandfather propped me up against the side of the airship. He went to this new person and they embraced each other with a hug. After which both he and this stranger walked off to the side and started chatting. As they did so, I drowsily looked up.
Night had fallen while we were flying and drinking, and three separate moons were now visible in the sky. One of them was full, the other was a new moon, and the third was a crescent. Behind them was a blanket of stars so bright and numerous that they would have made even in the best stargazing spots on earth seemed like being in the middle of a city. The amount of light they all produced together was enough so that I was able to see clearly. It might as well been daytime.
As I stared up at the grand display above me, my eyelids began to become increasingly heavy. My face was flushed and it felt warm along with the rest of my body. It was becoming more difficult for me to keep my eyes open as I started to nod off. But eventually, my consciousness ended up fading off, and I fell asleep on the spot.
Some time later
With a pounding headache, I slowly began to wake up. I tried to look around, but I couldn’t see a thing. Wherever I currently, although I assumed it was the palace, it was pitch black. Feeling out my surroundings, I knew that I was on top of a mattress with a blanket underneath me. One that was made from… cotton? That’s what I guessed anyway, but all I tell for sure was that it’s decently soft and comfy to lie on.
‘Okay then. Let’s see if maybe I can find the lights. And maybe some water as well,’ I thought to myself as I tried to stand up. Tried being the operative word. For I barely managed to be on my own two legs for a second before a wave of nausea and dizziness hit me like a wave. Forcing me to sit back down.
‘Ugh. Maybe not then. But man, this would be what, the third time I’ve fallen unconscious today? I really hope this doesn’t turn into a trend…’ I thought to myself. I laid back down onto the bed. But that still didn’t solve my problem of wanting to be able to see. Just for fun, I decided to try clapping twice. And lo and behold, it actually worked as the lights turned on. Something which I regretted immediately as my sensitive eyes were immediately unable to handle it.
I closed my eyes to shut out the light as I clapped my hands again. Which thankfully turned them back off. I took a few moments to recompose myself. And then while keeping one eye closed and squinting through the other, I turned the lights back on. I looked around the room that I was in.
It looked like the inside of a log cabin. With everything being made from wood. The bed I was on was a simple mattress on an equally wooden frame, and a heavy blanket on top. Aside from the bed, the only other piece of furniture was a large dresser. Above me was the source of the light, but it was not a lightbulb. Instead, it was just a ball of light that wasn’t attached to the ceiling by anything I could see. The bed was in the middle of the room, placed against the wall. To my left was what looked like a closet door. And to my right was the exit.
I got up again, slowly this time, and walked to the door. I opened it, and peeked my head out to the hallway on the other side. It looked like the hallway of a hotel. With it all being covered by a carpet and being lined with doors that had brass plates with their respective numbers next to them. I glanced around, but couldn’t see anyone.
‘Alrighty… first a high school, and now it’s a hotel. What’s next?’ I asked myself as I walked out and closed the door behind me. I turned around to look back to see if my room had anything different that made it unique from the others. It didn’t, except for the fact that there was a slip of paper tucked under the door number plate. I tugged it out, and unfolded it.
‘Edward, after you read this, go right until you reach the elevators. Once you do, head to the top floor. Also, there is a vending machine by the elevators as well. It doesn’t need money, so feel free to take whatever drinks or snacks you want from it,’ I read from the note. I placed into my pants’ pocket and began to follow its instructions.
When I reached the vending machine, which was nothing special, I took a bottle of water, some soda, and a bag of chips. As I sipped from the water, I called down the elevator, which only took less than a minute until it arrived. By then, I had drunk enough water to get take off the edge of my hangover. I entered the elevator, and began to look for the highest floor.
Something which took me a little bit of time. Mostly due to the fact that there were literally hundreds of buttons to choose from! Enough so that they started on one side of the elevator, and wrapped around until they reached the other end. But eventually, I did find the highest floor and pressed on it. Floor number 616.