Courtesy of Deviant Art
On the third day of his trip back to his Kingdom, he arrived. The destruction he sensed was beyond what his heart could bear. Screams of terror and wailing songs of despair pervaded the night.
This new generation – these toxic almost-adults – began to gather round him the moment he stepped foot in the Kingdom of Ruan. New blood for them to feast on, he thought. He sensed them smelling him like animals - predators - reading him, his odor sending them a warning that he was one of their own; yet not.
But the Blind Boy Who Could See, His Majesty Most Revered, was not afraid. His heart knew only compassion and love. Fear never introduced itself into his life because he knew the Divine was his protector and his life had already been predestined. Because he could not alter the path that was chosen for him, there was nothing to fear. He found this emotion useless, yet it was the one that all creatures traveled. And he sensed it here, in all of the different ways it manifested itself.
Tired and weary, and sensing the almost-adults blocking his way, he did the only thing that was left for him to do. He sat lotus in the middle of the dirt road and closed his milky-white eyes to the discord, anger, and hate surrounding him. They were afraid. And that made them dangerous.
"I mean you no harm," he said.
The almost-adults burst into an uncontrollable fit of laughter. Who was this decrepit, old man that thought that he could harm them? They gathered closer promising death and unbearable pain. He could smell their odors as well: liquor- and smoke-filled breaths and the stench of open wounds where maggots had made their home.
"There is no need to fear me. I am but an old man."
They whooped uncontrollably – perhaps nervously so - their tension and alarm evident in the silence that interspersed the laughter.
One of the almost-adults approached. He appeared to be their leader. The Blind Boy Who Could See sensed the insatiable fury that lived within and sought relief in the displeasure of all.
The almost-adult spoke to him harshly, "What business have you here, old man?"
"I’ve come to seek counsel with the Prince."
The almost-adult could not hide his contempt, "The Prince? Ha! We have no Prince old man!"
The Blind Boy Who Could See waited.
"If you speak of the coward that hides behind the palace’s walls, then I say again, we have no Prince! You take much risk with what little life you have left old man. Go home and die in peace. This is a dangerous place and no place for you to be, someone so feeble who cannot defend himself. It’s best you turn around and go back before harm comes to you."
"It is wise to remember that things are never what they appear to be."
"Oh, and foolishly brave! Old man, leave now. The only reason I’ve spared you is because you are old, but do not tempt me."
"The only reason you've spared me is because some goodness still dwells within the chambers of your heart. The fire that rages inside of you is competing with the light that wishes to come out. Besides, you would have slain me already if you had so desired. And then, there is the fact that I cannot control what you will do; I cannot change the course of my destiny as much as you can change the fact that you were born with one eye."
"How do you know this? How do you know I have but one eye? I did not tell you this! You cannot see!"
"You have but one eye and I have none at all. Yet it is you who cannot see." As he spoke these words, he looked straight into the almost-adult’s eye. This greatly discomforted the youth.
"Be on your way, old man, for my kindness is wearing thin."
"I’ve offended you. I am sorry. Pay no mind to this old man and his foolish words. I have been away from the family of man for so long that I have forgotten how to speak your language." The Blind Man Who Could See bowed his head in respect, "Again, I am sorry if I’ve offended you."
The respect and sincere apology he received from the old man was not something the almost-adult was familiar with. He remained silent, not knowing what to say, how to react, and instead walked away. The others followed and the old man was left alone sitting in the middle of the dirt road.
Soon, it began to rain. Yet the Blind Boy Who Could See, His Majesty Most Revered, remained lotus seemingly undisturbed by the change in weather. As the rain pelted down on him, he remained still, with eyes closed, listening once again to the songs of his former land. The tune had changed - this time more somber, desperate, and devoid of hope - and he began to weep tears of sorrow. His tears became one with those shed from the angry sky.
The dirt quickly turned into mud and around him thunder and lightning clamorously shattered the dark sky into light. The almost-adults took cover under tin roofs amusingly looking out onto this most-welcomed diversion.
Behind closed doors, families peeked fearfully through windows. They wanted to help the old man but were afraid for it would surely be met with death. No one crossed the almost-adults; they were the rogues that had taken hold of their land and held it under its oppressive thumb. Instead, they prayed for the man's safety and hoped he would live through the night.
The Blind Boy Who Could See, His Majesty Most Revered, listened as the heavy drops of rain pelted down on his land. Yet it failed to drown out the misery that surrounded, inhabitants weary and spent from years of living under the cloak of fear. For the almost-youths, instilling fear was the very thing that kept them feeling alive; for the captive others, it was what kept them alive.
Soon after, the rains ended. Yet the Blind Boy Who Could See remained sitting in the middle of the muddy road. When the Sun at last rose on the East the following day, he stood and began to walk towards his former home, the Palace.
"You are walking the wrong way, old man. You must turn around. The road out of the Kingdom is the other way," said a kind voice in warning.
The Blind Boy Who Could See recognized the voice at once. It was older, much older, yet it held the same timbre and kindness. "Thank you, Eng. But I am on the right path. I seek counsel with the Prince."