The Mysterious Forest
Following a strange force into a mysterious forest Lumi met Zamer of Hria. Existing on hidden lands, Hrians protect the balance between the world’s sun and moon energy. By keeping it hidden and untouched, life can sustain. Zamer explained his mission to prove himself ready to lead Hria, taking over for his aging father and ailing mother. Learning of Lumi’s search for knowledge into the universe, Zamer asks Lumi to deliver a message to his parents in exchange for a chance to read Hria’s ancient texts. Closer to uncovering his past, Lumi set off to Hria!
Lumi couldn’t help but stare in awe at all the nature. The colors shone brighter than any he’d ever seen before. This forest was a completely different world! Lumi took in everything, from the gentle ripples in the ponds to the silent swinging of the animals from tree to tree. It was stunning. Lumi could feel how everything moved and existed with purpose, as if it knew exactly what it was doing. Did this harmony between nature exist everywhere? Lumi felt inspired by this, he too wanted to find his purpose.
Coming upon a clearing, Lumi spotted a large banyan tree with a pond at its base. It was imposing but beautiful. Wanting to get a closer look, Lumi headed in its direction when he saw a hut with unknown markings in front of the tree. From the hut emerged a . . . human?! He looked strong but young. His walk was one of power as he approached Lumi with a fierce-looking jaguar at his side.
“Who are you?” the human asked. “What are you doing here?”
Lumi was taken aback for a moment, not at all expecting to meet a human.
“I’m Lumi and . . . I’m not sure why I’m here. I followed a voice from within, and it led me here! I’m from Unicorn’s Kingdom, but I can’t remember anything about it. I thought if I followed the voice, I might find some answers.”
Lumi’s honesty resonated with the man. He lowered his guard and invited Lumi to take a seat with him near the fire. It cast a warm glow against the dark night.
“What about you?” Lumi asked. “I’ve been walking through the forest for so long and haven’t seen any other human.”
“This forest is special. It’s one of the barriers between outsiders and Hria.” Zamer pointed to their surroundings. “Each day it changes in the eyes of those who cannot see past its enchantment. This way the Sun and Moon lands remain safe from the rest of the world. In fact, I’m surprised you made it this far. It must mean you truly are on the right path.” The jaguar sat quietly next to Lumi, as if he were listening to them.
Lumi felt a warmth inside he knew didn’t come from the fire. He felt hope! Wanting to know more about what was beyond the forest, he asked, “What is Hria? And why does it need a barrier?”
“Hria is a tribe that has existed since the dawn of this land. It is hidden away past this forest, away from those who might harm the energies that keep this planet alive. We are the chosen inhabitants of the Sun land and the guardians of the Holy Moon land. My name is Zamer, son of Chief Lakamh of Hria.” He bowed his head toward Lumi. “It is a pleasure to meet someone from another universe. It is not often we get to do so.”
Lumi’s eyes widened. “Woah! But, Zamer, if your tribe is meant to protect the Moon land, why are you out here alone?”
“I have been traveling these lands for quite some time, taking on any challenge that comes my way to prove I am a man of valor.”
“I’ve collected many tokens from different adventures: I befriended this jaguar, known as the descendant of an ancient god to my people. I was gifted feathers of a wise trogon, saved the egg of a dinosaur, and even found a rare stone said to bring good fortune to anyone who has it. With these as proof, I'll show my father. He is now the head of Hria, but wait and see— the greatest pride in his life will be me.” He thumped his hand on his chest. “I’m not just a boy, I’m a man, a warrior, and a protector of my people.”
Lumi admired the pride in Zamer’s voice as he spoke. “I know I’ve only known you for a short time,” he said, “but it’s clear you’re a true warrior. And these tokens are proof! They’re all so beautiful . . . . especially this jade.”
“Thank you, Lumi. I hope my father will have the same view. As for the jade, I wish to gift it to my mother. She fell ill shortly before my departure. I hope this and the soorson leaf can heal her. I want to be strong enough to help her.”
“It is a rare plant rumored to heal those who eat it. If I can find it, I can help my mother get well.” His eyes brightened. “Lumi, since you are on a journey of exploration, maybe we can help each other out.”
“What do you mean?”
“Hria is as old as the lands we walk on. There are sacred writings and knowledge of the universes. Maybe there you can find the answers you are looking for!”
“That would be amazing!”
“And while you are there, maybe you can deliver a message for me.” Zamer pulled a map from his cloth and gave it to Lumi. “This map is of the lands surrounding Hria. Just follow the path here and you’ll find the gateway. When you get there, please tell my parents I am well and will return soon. I would rather someone say it. The only way to send messages is by raven, but they usually mean bad news. I don’t want to cause more worry to my parents.”
Lumi smiled as he took the map. “No problem, Zamer, I’ll be sure to let them know how amazing the future leader of Hria is.
Zamer smiled in return. “I look forward to meeting you again, Lumi. Maybe at that time, we will both have found what we are looking for.”
Lumi thanked Zamer before setting off. Zamer watched as his new friend disappeared into the night. He looked up to the sky and saw a small part of the moon peeking from behind the clouds. “Help guide my friend!” he silently prayed.
As Lumi looked at the map, his mind wandered to what the future had in store for him and Zamer. Would they succeed in their journeys? Would they get closer to their goals? The future, he realized, depended on the present. With new hope and a bright smile, Lumi pressed on.