The Stranger, Part 4

Panay News - - OPINION -

UBAL

Pre­vi­ously: Ubal woke up in Mad­lus, a strange world with three suns, where he met Stok who trans­fused him with his blood. Ubal also no­ticed a strange or­gan grow­ing out of his chest. On their way to Mt. Kirkir, while the suns were in a show­down, the mys­ter­i­form Yang­gaw ap­peared to them to warn against Kriyum. Stok told Ubal the story of his en­counter with Kriyum Lastik who had the abil­ity to grow ex­tra limbs. Kriyum had quizzed Stok about love and things

was speech­less from “What about you? What is your that are greater than love. hear­ing the story. Stok’s throat power, Stok?” felt dry. A few mo­ments of “To live as I be­lieve.” si­lence reigned over them once more. “And what is it that you be­lieve?”

Af­ter a while, Ubal asked, “Why “Be­fore I an­swer that,” Stok said as did Yang­gaw lead us the other way?” he sat un­der the shade of a tree with

“Yang­gaw is a mys­ter­i­form,” Stok thick canopy, “I want to know why ex­plained. “She has fem­i­nine power you want to seek Wut­ing.” that is al­ways stronger than the The wide leaves of the gi­ant tree mus­cu­line. I think that she is fond of were white but in the glare of blue you. She usu­ally doesn’t show her­self Sheme, they shone like tiny flames to just any­body.” of hot stars.

“She is a beau­ti­ful woman,” Ubal Ubal sat be­side him, and rested re­marked. his back on the trunk of the tree. He

“She is not a woman, even if saw tried to re­mem­ber the past. “When I her with mengkus and sis­meglan. was lit­tle,” Ubal be­gan, “my par­ents Mys­ter­i­forms like her only ap­pear took me to For­est Loa to meet the ac­cord­ing to your lust and de­sire. If renowned sage Pokis. You can say you were fe­male, per­haps you would that I was Pokis’ last vis­i­tor. And have seen her with a tugku­ran.” Stok be­fore he passed away, he left me smiled. “Be care­ful of mys­ter­i­forms with Wut­ing’s name…” like her.” Ubal nar­rated ev­ery­thing that he

“Who is more pow­er­ful – Kriyum, could re­call of the jour­ney to meet Wut­ing, or Yang­gaw?” Ubal asked the sage 20 years ago. again. He was only 13 years old when

“In this world, Ubal, each one is Ubal and his par­ents crossed the sea sup­posed to be pow­er­ful, but only of fire sur­round­ing For­est Loa, where the spe­cial few be­lieve in their own the famed wise man Pokis lived. power. In Mad­lus, your unique tal­ent The jour­ney to see Pokis was is your power. If you can grow hands, ar­du­ous, not only be­cause of the Kriyum will cease to be pow­er­ful. If sur­prise spouts of fire that come from you can be in­vis­i­ble like Yang­gaw, she un­der­ground but also be­cause of the will lose her power, too. If you can le­gion of fierce and fear­some sko­rkis in­flu­ence the mind of oth­ers, what is – winged fire­blow­ers, lurk­ing in the Wut­ing’s rea­son to ex­ist?” dark. But his fa­ther Tor­mon took up some courage be­cause his wife wouldn’t give him peace un­til Ubal’s con­di­tion was reme­died.

In ad­di­tion, in the for­est of Loa, there were plenty of shapeshifters that changed their forms and mien in a blink. But his sickly mother Mirda braved all of those. Tor­mon’s wife silently climbed the rocks, and swung from tree to tree on the vines, all in the hope that the wise man would have a cure for her child.

Pokis had three eyes. He also had three hands, and three feet. It would seem like his eyes did not blink at all. He is said to be all-know­ing so that even be­fore Tor­mon and Mirda ex­plained their pur­pose, he had al­ready guessed it.

Pokis swayed his three arms, and a cloud of green smoke ap­peared be­fore him. “Each man or woman among us,” he started, “is a wan­der­ing mur­derer. If you were a man, you would have strug­gled, and pre­vailed

PN PHOTO

The mu­nic­i­pal govern­ment of Malay, Aklan ap­pears to have not halted the con­struc­tion of its P4.98mil­lion in­for­ma­tion cen­ter on the beach of Bo­ra­cay Is­land de­spite crit­i­cism that the struc­ture falls within the 30-me­ter shore­line ease­ment or no-build zone. The cen­ter – ex­pected to be com­pleted in May – will have a toi­let for tourists and res­i­dents. Con­struc­tion started last year yet. The project has drawn flak from en­vi­ron­men­tal­ists. The con­struc­tion of any­thing within 30 me­ters from the shore­line of Bo­ra­cay is pro­hib­ited.

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