1 Discovery

"Logic will get you from point A to B. Imagination will take you

Daniel opened his eyes like an activated android, his eyes staring up to the ceiling.

His room was still dark with a tint of chilly blue. Soft morning light leaked through his glowing curtains.

He raised himself to a sitting position like a lever and hurled away the puffy blanket, unveiling his plain shirt and sweatpants.

The small room was only a couple of square meters, enough for a simple bed, a simple desk and a wooden wardrobe. It was clean, tidy and minimalistic.

Daniel was just living another normal day in his life. He lives in Seoul, together with his four friends in a rented house, far far away from any adult supervision. Fairly fun and flexible, but it gets hard when they themselves needed to do every single housework all by themselves.

He brushed his feet against the hardwood floor, getting himself out of the room. The small hallway was shaded. The other four doors were along the way, with names written on taped papers that seemed to be put without any effort. On the end of the narrow path was a dim light, leading downstairs.

He sniffed his surroundings. A pleasant aroma put a spell on him as he began walking down with enthusiasm, passing by a small framed picture of five elementary boys, a picture taken years ago.

He went down towards the light that began gleaming brighter and brighter. He raised his hand to block the source of light before gaining a clear vision.

The vibrance of the morning light brightened up the house with orange hues.

"Dan," called Nathan, carrying plates to the dining table, "breakfast's ready."

Nathan seemed to had woken up early to prepare breakfast for the rest. He was already wearing the school uniform. His face seemed fresh and awake.

Daniel nodded half-asleep and sat down on a chair. The other three were there with him at the dining table. Not a single word came out of anyone's mouth. Disheveled hair and blank, tired faces. Everyone was still a mess.

On table were bowls of rice paired with several side dishes. The breakfast gave an impression that they had a lack of budget, yet somehow look appetizing and delicate.

Daniel stretched his arms in the air. His back curved backwards. His eyes closed. Suddenly, in the midst of the darkness of his sight, he saw four gleaming orbs.

He opened his eyes. They vanished into thin air. Daniel paused in confusion. He looked around, puzzled.

"I should get some coffee," he muttered to himself, wiping the droplets of tears on his eyes.

Everyone grabbed onto their chopsticks and dug in.

"Hey, these rolled omelettes taste really good man," James blurted with a stuffed mouth, starting to get a grasp of reality. James was the giant of the group. The big guy wolfed down the food on the table like an animal.

Nathan chuckled, "I appreciate it."

Nobody else commented. There was only the munching of food as everyone ate quietly, not having enough energy to speak. Then something popped into Ken's mind.

"Oh yeah," Ken alerted,"so, how'd it go last night?"

Ken made a half smile, his eyebrows going up and down.

Suddenly every action stopped and clashes of utensils went silent. All eyes turned towards Nathan and smirks curled on their faces. Nate glanced at them as he went frozen with his mouth open, trying to get a bite of a crispy chicken strip.

He put down his chopsticks in an instant. His back went stiff like a stick and he started adjusting his collar as his neck stretched like a turtle. Nathan's eyes widened in panic, his eyes darted to every direction to avoid any stare.

"Ehh...." He stuttered, "it w-was yeah.."

There was a brief moment of silence. Everyone sighed in despair. They all stood up from their chairs with their heads downcasted. Right arms were raised close the chest and the other behind their waist.

"A brother has fallen," Daniel saluted with grief and sorrow on his face.

"SHINZOU WO SAS-" Philip paused when everyone looked at him with blank faces.

"Sorry, sorry," he shrunk in guilt as he gestured his hand.

"She in zoo what?" Nate's eyebrow raised.

"Its nothing," Ken replied.

"Oh its almost time for school," Nathan noticed the clock,"you guys should get ready,"

"Oh sh*t!" Philip hurtled off his chair.

They raced their way to the school.

"WE HAVE A TEST TODAY!" Philip screamed as he rushed like a chicken,"WE NEED TO HURRY TO THE BUS STOP!"

"Chill guys, if we're gonna be late we're gonna be late," Ken said with confidence that they might somehow make it in time.

At the time they reached school. The bell had just rung. All the students barged their way into the school building like a flock of sheeps through a narrow fence gate. Then, the lessons started.

"Alright class, so the derivate of tanx would be sec^2x," Mr. Lee pointed to the white board full of what seemed to some unfortunate students, a language from another planet. He was a tall, slender figure with a regtangular head, dressed in plain shirt tucked into his pants.

It was the first period and what better way to start a day than with Calculus. The rising sun shone its soft morning light into the classroom. Some students sat with attentive focus while some could only stare with their sad, anxious faces. Stress, in fact, could work more effectively than cafein to wake you up in the morning.

Fortunately, Daniel wasn't the dumbass of the class but he, like many other students, can be very lazy. His eyes wandered around the classroom, observing his classmates.

He was looking at one of his classmates, who's eyes were nailed to the white board with a studious gaze.

"That guy is sure determined," Daniel thought.

He glanced towards the clock. A steady ticking echoed in his head like a mental torment.

"Sheesh, this is boring," he yawned, burying his face on his arms.

As his eyes shut. Once again, he saw the gleaming lights hovering in the pitch black. All looked different from each other. Different colors, different brightness and shape. There were more than a dozen of them, organized like lines of people.

He noticed them. Slowly opening his eyes, the orbs disappeared again, replaced with the heads of his fellow students.

He closed his eyes repeatedly but each time he saw the same thing. His eyes weren't lying.

He turned to the nerdy student he previously observed and closed his eyes. Daniel focused on the light beaming in him.

He gazed at the light, an orange luminosity that glew like a shining amber. Daniel's eyebrows wrinkled and his eyes were clenched as he concentrated, as if with a desire to reach it. His head began vibrating with a face that one has when pushing one hell of a solid crap out of their asses.

Then his head dropped like a unstrung puppet. A loud slap was heard as his face met the table. The teacher paused and the whole class went silent, all eyes looking at him.

Abruptly, Daniel felt as if he was dragged somewhere with a sudden break. Everything was suddenly muted as if he was brought somewhere else. He opened his eyes. And it widened in suprise as he scanned his surroundings, an endless abyss of void. There were hills of stacked papers and books all around him, like a dumping site made specifically for graduates.

"What the hell is this?" he murmured, his forehead puckered and eyes glancing around.

"Daniel, are you alright?" the teacher shook the shoulder of his soulless body. Whispers started growing in the classroom as they saw their unconscious classmate.

Meanwhile, Daniel wandered around the strange world, sweeping his feet on the flying sheets of papers. All the books and papers were full of academic materials.

"Logarithmic functions, ew," Daniel cringed in disgust.

As he continued roaming aimlessly for what seemed to be only a few minutes, he heard muffled giggles somewhere behind the towering stacks.

He hurtled around, hunting the source of the sound as it began to grow.

He dug into a pile of papers, slowly swallowed into the pile. Just as he reached the end in which he sensed cracks of light, he hurled away the papers off his path where he heard the laughs of girls.

He froze like a statue. His breath stopped as if suffocated. Never before has he seen such horror in his life.

Not very distant infront of him was the nerd, sitting on a golden throne in his stained underpants. Four erotic nymphs with revealing clothes were giggling all over him, arousing him with lustful pleasure.

The scrawny nerd had a twisted look on his face. His eyes crossed, his cheeks blushing, his nose breathing heavily like a pig and drools rolling down his greasy skin. He giggled like a drunken old man, reeking with the smell of sweat.

Daniel had a silent, short gasp, his head leaped up like a catapult as he was thrown back to reality. Mr Lee whimpered a step back like a scared dog.

Daniel looked around the stares all over him. All attention was focused at him. The whole class appeared to be startled by his sudden ressurection.

Daniel glanced at the nerd with disgust. Mr. Lee wasn't explaining, yet the nerd was still staring at the board like a stone statue, just quiet in his desk with a pencil case sitting on his crotch.

"Daniel, Are you alright?" the teacher asked with concern on his face, "Do you need to go to the clinic?"

He didnt looked at the teacher. His expression was stern as he thought hard of what just happened.

"Daniel, is something wrong?" The teacher bowed closer to him.

"Ah sorry, its alright. Just a lack of sleep," He replied, forcing a smile, "Please, carry on."

The teacher nodded slowly with his head sightly tilted to the side and lips pressed together. He walked away back to the front and continued explaining.

"Whats going on?" Daniel asked himself, moving his eyes from one student to another, "was I just in his head just now?"

"This is really strange," He thought with a grim and flinty expression on his face, "did that really happened?"

He closed his eyes again, scanning through the many glowing orbs in sight and picked out one of them randomly.

He squeezed his buttocks the moment he closed his eyes and focused on one gleaming light, a violet radiance that glimmered like a torch.

Then there he was. He opened his eyes. It was an antique library, filled with countless of books. The glazed wooden walls and shelves were carved with graceful patterns. The curtains of the tall windows were dancing as the wind whistled gently.

"The hell, how am I doing this sorcery?" Daniel gazed around with amazement, "Who did I went to? This person sure has some imagination."

Sunlight shimmered through the windows. He approached one of the windows and peeked.

There was nothing outside. Just the cerulean sky and sea of clouds. Daniel extended his head out of the window. The library's exterior stretched down a few stories below as his eyes squinted, avoiding the wind blowing into his eyes. It was as if the library itself was a floating castle.

Daniel wandered around the library. The room was illuminated with the dim light of the chandeliers hanging on the ceiling several meters above.

"Whoah what are these?" Daniel said to himself, opening a chest, filled with some sort of equipments and clothings.

"Fantasy items," Daniel grabbed a sparkling necklace,"cool."

"Oho, this is nice," he hurled a brown dusty cloak over him.

"Ooo! this one's cool too," he pulled out a white wooden mask, shaped like the face of a horned owl.

He giggled to himself as he pulled down the hood and started bumbling around, acting like some wizard in a magical library.

"Harry Potter, Lord of The Rings, A Song of Ice & Fire-" He read the titles of some books on the shelves as his hand brushed through them.

As he continued exploring, he stumbled upon a fireplace. Daniel hid behind a shelf as he peeked through the small gaps between books.

The windows near the fireplace were blocked by the curtains. The curling flames were like a tiny sun in the surroundings that was engulfed in darkness. The soothing crackling of fire can be heard as it cracked into the firewood. There were two leather sofas, casting long shadows that stretched on the floor.

There was a silhouette of a girl, sitting crossed legs on the furry rug as she leaned against one of the sofas.

She was studying intently, books and papers scattered everywhere all over the floor.

Daniel looked closely as he focused on her face. It was Ye-rin. A girl in class who he never talked to. She was that one quiet girl who looks fierce and forbidding. Daniel had seen her around her friends, in which she seemed to soften down.

Her silky short hair was tied into a messy bun. All she wore were a hoodie and shorts.

"Studying suddenly seem so enjoyable," Daniel thought, gazing dreamily at Ye-rin with the radiant fire reflecting on the surface of his eyes.

Distracted, Daniel dropped a book off a shelf.

Ye-rin came to an abrupt silence and she scanned around the room.

She noticed something. Her eyes stared at Daniel, who was still hiding behind a shelf, not knowing that he was found out.

"Who are you?" She interrogated.

The moment those words reached his ears, he scrammed away, exposing himself in the light, a tall cloaked figure with an owl mask.

Scattering recklessly through a labyrinth of books in the darkness, Daniel crashed himself into a wall, knocking himself unconscious.

Before he hit the ground, he was suddenly plunged back into reality.

A rollercoaster of incomprehensible sounds bombarded his ears.

"Is he ok?"

"This is scary,"

"I wanna see too!"

Voices of people surrounded him. His vision slowly became clear when he saw everyone gathered up in a circle around him.

"Everyone, settle down," Mr. Lee pushed his way through the students.

He looked down at the seated Daniel with a wrinkled forehead.

"Daniel, you dont seem very healthy, you should go the clinic," He advised with a gentle voice.

"Yes sir." Daniel replied with faint voice.

Ye-rin was standing way back behind the crowd, wondering what just happened, but she was more curious about what the mysterious figure that appeared in her head.

Daniel laid down silently on a bed in the empty clinic.

"Alright... So.. I can go into people's minds?" Daniel said to himself as he stared up the ceiling on a bed.

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