I closed my eyes, took a deep breath and stepped off the cliff of Revod. Instead of falling to my death, I was supported by an invisible bridge. I opened my eyes and looked back at Apdnarg, who was holding Amdnarg and Nimajneb.
“We must hurry,” Apdnarg hollered. “If we cross the Bridge of Faith before the Elgaes and Noil-Rotags reach us, they will not know how to cross the Citnalta. They do not have the ability to use faith like we do. We can reach the safety of Dnaleri and make our way to Proht.”
I turned around. I could see only the vastness of the Citnalta. “How do I keep from walking off the edge of the bridge?” I asked.
“Eniarrol Nosilla, close your eyes and you will see the way,” Apdnarg said calmly.
I closed my eyes and took a deep breath. My racing heart slowed and I felt a peace guiding me. I took a step and then another. The Bridge of Faith appeared to move with me. I quickened my pace and was soon sprinting across the Citnalta. I opened my eyes and shouted with glee because the Elgaes and Noil-Rotags were fading in the distance. Eventually, I could sense we were nearing the other side.
“We will soon reach Dnaleri,” Apdnarg said. He set Amdnarg and Nimajneb on the bridge.
“Nimajneb! We are close to safety,” I shouted.
He barked three times.
Suddenly, we reached the end of the Bridge of Faith. I took one final step and immediately the vast emptiness of the Citnalta was replaced by a lush green meadow filled with butterflies, songbirds and green flowers with three leaves shaped like those I remembered in Amlaopolis. Nimajneb bounded before me chasing the butterflies, who emitted a pleasant sound which gave me a sense of security almost as if I was back in Minkundy.
“How can this be, Apdnarg?” I asked as two songbirds landed on my shoulders. “If we are in Dnaleri, it reminds me of summertime in Amlaopolis.”
“Dnaleri will appear different to each person who sets foot on its land. It might appear as spring to you while to Amdnarg and I see it as small mountains covered in trees.”
“So, Dnaleri is an enchanted land.” I listened to the songbirds as I leisurely walked toward the edge of the meadow. Soon I saw a village full of dwellings built out of wood and stone. The roofs were covered by grass that seemed to flow with the breeze.
“It is enchanted, Eniarrol Nosilla. We are safe from Esuomyekcim. There is only one enemy to fear in Dnaleri,” Apdnarg whispered as his head swiveled back and forth. His eyes glowed again.
“How can there be an enemy to fear in this enchanted land?” I picked one of the flowers and noticed this one had four leaves instead of three.
“Ah! It is not an enemy like Esuomyekcim or the Elgaes and Noil-Rotags. This enemy will not cause bodily harm.”
Nimajneb and I looked up at Apdnarg. “How can it harm us then?”
“This enemy will creep into your mind if you let it. The Stnerapdnarg call this cunning enemy the Eldi. You cannot see it, and it tricks your mind into believing everything is all right.”
I walked slowly toward the closest dwelling. My eyes darted to the right then the left.
“Do you see the Eldi now, Apdnarg?”
Nimajneb’s tail was still as he sniffed the ground.
“No, you cannot see the Eldi. That is its secret weapon.” Apdnarg and Amdnarg were greeted by two other Stnerapdnarg.
“This is Elcnu. He is my brother and this is his wife, Tnua.” Apdnarg and Elcnu greeted each other with a high-pitched whistle that carried through the village of Proht and echoed off some distant unseen mountains.
I could not believe the remarkable images before me. Elcnu and Tnua appeared identical to Apdnarg and Amdnarg.
“I am Eniarrol Nosilla from the village of Amlaopolis in the valley of Minkundy. It is part of the Zartanoahan Empire.” Nimajneb barked to remind me of his presence. “This is my trusty companion, Nimajneb. We bring greetings from my parents and my older sisters, Allebasi and Imeon.”
Elcnu lowered his hand and touched Nimajneb.
“I too once had a companion like this creature. His name was Tuocs. He was a brave companion, and I miss him.”
“What happened to Tuocs?” I asked.
Elcnu sighed and closed his eyes. “Maybe another day I will tell you the story of how Tuocs fought Nibor in the forest of Eromitlab.”
“We came through Eromitlab,” I said proudly.
“Then the spirit of Tuocs was with you,” Elcnu said as he scanned the sky.
I used my hand to shield my eyes as I gazed into the pale purple sky. I noticed the red moon crossing in front of the yellow sun and pointed. “What does this mean?”
Apdnarg shuddered and whispered, “It means we are in danger.”