I stared at the hole, and then I stared intensely at mum, remaining in silence. I was totally confused and my eyes looked like plates.
“Wh…what?” I spoke after a while.
“Jump” She repeated.
“Ah…so I just jump in? And I won’t get hurt? Because I do trust you. What about the horse?” I had so many questions right there.
“You and Shobo will be okay. Your journey will start as soon as you jump in the hole” she said.
I looked at Shobo, and even if he seemed to understand everything that we were talking about, he didn’t look concerned at all. He’s always a surprise, but the Misaki breed is known for being extremely fearless and the one good thing is that through our bond, I got this brave feeling travelling through every vein and muscle of my body.
“Come here Ilan, give me a big hug” she said and gave me one of her best hugs.
I almost started to cry but I took a deep breath and told her I was more than ready to jump. I held Shobo’s reins with one hand and with the other hand I was stroking his back, so after all I was feeling a bit tense, or maybe I was just getting really excited. Then I jumped and Shobo followed behind me. The fall took really long and I realized while I was falling that at some point I would reach a bottom (if such thing existed!) I fell and fell, and fell more, and it got all dark, and I could only hear my own breathing and Shobo’s, who whinnied a bit while we were falling down into the unknown.
At some point, the fall decelerated, and we actually touched bottom. But where I was exactly, I had no idea until I turned my head. A crack in all this darkness. I made a step and another, and Shobo followed me, and we both slipped through the crack. Outside, we were on top of a hill, and the crack we just went through was a crack in… my tree? Jomon Sugi was standing there, but in a complete different landscape. Another mystery to be resolved. But where I was, was even more mysterious.
When I have any doubt arising in me, I usually ride my horse in the valley because he always ends up reassuring me. So that’s exactly what I did. I grabbed the reins and got on the saddle. And softly kicking his side, we trotted down the only path, behind the tree and into a thick forest of beech trees and yews. I was trusting Shobogenzo totally, I let go of the reins and he got out into a meadow all by his own instincts. When I raised my eyes and looked in the horizon, I saw a most amazing castle in the distance. It was built on top of another hill. The walls where shiny and I could see them gleaming from where I was. The sun was rising, and it’s only then that I realized that I must have been falling through the hole during the whole night! It seemed to me not more than 15 minutes though! I looked again in the horizon and noticed a path all the way from there to where I was standing with the horse.
“Come on Shobo San, let’s meet the Guildmistress!”