For a while now I had been plagued by an uneasy feeling.
Leave. Now. Run as far away from here as possible. That was what my gut was telling me. I didn’t want to stay here a second longer.
But I thought about Shun, and tried desperately to encourage myself. I couldn’t turn back now. I was the only one who could save him.
I kept going, using the deformed plants as guides. The forest seemed to be twisted in a spiral. If that was the case, then Shun had to be at the center.
The silhouette of the trees resembled giant, tentacled monsters, beckoning toward me. I continued onward, ducking and dodging under the branches.
Before I knew it, I had been enveloped in a thick, milky fog that obscured everything more than a couple centimeters in front of me. I kept hearing whispering noises. The wind, sounds of laughter, and occasionally what seemed to be words, though I couldn’t make out what they were.
The information I was getting from my senses were vague and distorted. Even the ground beneath my feet seemed soft and unreliable. The compass needle spun around and around uselessly.
Soon, I couldn’t even tell whether it was light or dark anymore. My eyes had stopped working.
What was happening?
My head began to ache as if someone were squeezing it with a clamp. Even thinking was becoming too much of an effort. I stood paralyzed, all feeling draining from my body. I couldn’t tell whether I was standing or sitting.
What was this place?
“Shun! Where are you?” I shouted.
My mind cleared for a moment when I heard my own voice, but it soon clouded over again. Just as I felt my consciousness fading away, I heard a voice.
“Saki! What are you doing here?”
“I don’t know. I don’t even know where…”
The mist suddenly vanished as if it had been sucked away and the ground returned to its familiar solidity.