Your guide has done it, he has taken you through bug-infested swamps and dark forests, straight to the Temple of Scheherazade. And he has done a good job of looking out for you, helping you get through any obstacles and even saving you a couple of times. But you couldn’t help but wonder about him, most of your questions about him were left unanswered, the most important one being, how does he know the way? He was most certainly no native, not with that pale skin and blue eyes that seem to see down to your core. And the fact that he literally popped up out of the blue right when you needed a guide? Was he a magician of sorts, a wizard? Not even the wisest of irshi could have known you were really after the Temple on this archaeological search, so how did he?
“Behold, the Temple of Scheherazade,” he stated, pointing. Your eyes follow the line of his finger, and gasp. Before you lay the ruins of the once mighty Temple, the vines that are nearly overtaking the front gate give it an eerie look.
“After so many years of looking, here it is,” you mutter in awe.
“Why did you seek it?”
You glance sharply at your guide, “You know everything, why do you need to ask that?”
“Because I don’t know everything, and I need to know your true intentions before letting you take another step,” he replied coolly. You gulp, you can tell he means business.
“Um,” you begin as you turn to glance at the Temple. “I-I wanted to know . . .”
You glance at your guide, “The truth, Matthew, the truth. We have become so far removed from our past, from our legends and stories, I . . . I had to know that it was still true. I grew up with the stories of Scheherazade, of Ananse, and the others, I adored them, they inspired me to seek out the truth, to listen closer to the stories. The others at the University wanted me to stop searching for an old wives tale, as they called it.”
“But then you wouldn’t be standing here, and finding the truth,” smiled Matthew.
You smiled back, “And thank you for getting me here. May I approach now?”
“One more question, do you think you’re ready?”
“R-ready for what?”
“Everything you will find beyond the Temple gate. The reason why this Temple is so well hidden is because one of the most powerful of the portals lies here, and if you are not careful, it could leave you stranded on another world.”
“Wh-what? How do you know this? Who are you really?” Matthew chuckles as his form begins to change, turning into a blue-skinned figure with star-shaped irises and pupils. “You, you, you’re a genie!”
Matthew grins, “Yup.”
“And not just any genie, you’re the last blue, the king of the genies!” you exclaim. “Oh, that story would be great to hear!”
Matthew laughs, “Hold on, one story at a time! Now do you understand why I needed to know your true intentions before allowing you to take another step?”
“It explains a bunch of other things as well,” you mutter.
“But of course! Now, shall I continue to act as your guide, but instead of on Alixandria, through the universe?” Your blood pulses through your veins, sending a feeling of excitement and adventure through your body.
“Yes,” you reply firmly.
Matthew grins as he holds out his hand, “Good, now hang on tight and stay close, anything can happen.” You nod as you take his hand, and, shifting back into the guide you knew, Matthew leads you into the Temple.