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Story 04 – The Unexpected (Part 4)

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Again, the bright light ripped apart the dark clouds and almost grazed the hot air balloon. Losing their concept of surrounding because the strong gust of wind threw them away, there was nothing the group of friends could do.

“Toyu… What should we do…?” Ryu is very apparent trying to hold back her tears as she clings to the group leader.

“S-Stay calm, everyone!” Toyu tries to answer Ryu’s worries, but to no avail.

“Toyu is right. We have to stay cal—” Jun attempted to do the same thing by agreeing with Toyu. Sadly, before he could even finish his sentence, another streak of light flashes near them.

ZZBLARRRGHHHHZZZZTT

“AAAAAAHHHH!!!” Again, everyone freaks out over the sound.

As if giving the signal to the clouds, the lightning brings with it a much heavier rain than before.

“Oh no!!! Everyone, sit in a circle!” Noticing how Ryu, Hana, and Jun shivers from the cold, Toyu ordered the group to sit in a circle so they can warm themselves up. In a flash, Toyu grabs the carpet they used as a footing on the basket. Then, he spreads it out to cover everyone’s head.

“T-thank you, Toyu…” Hana was the first one to be grateful, followed by the others later.

Despite being thankful over the gratitude given by everyone, Toyu still could not relax. He feels that it is his responsibility that his friends are now trapped in this situation. What started as a simple plan for a journey outside of Toyu Land, now might turn into a very scary incident for all of them.

And as his insecurity grows, so is the intensity of the rain falling upon them. From time to time, the cumulonimbus that is still hovering above them would let out a spark of light, followed by a roaring sound.

For Toyu and friends, there was nothing they could do except to keep themselves warm under the carpet that Toyu had spread above them. Even then, they are still shivering. Not only from the cold, but also from the uncertainty and fear over what will happen to them.

Then, after a few minutes of hiding under the carpet, the situation gets calmer. There is no more wind, no more hail, and no more thunder ripping the horizon. Because of this, everyone slowly gets out of the carpet.

“Ah, finally it ends…” Ryu lets out a sigh of relief.

“Hopefully now we can continue our journey safely!” Hana chimes in, sharing the same reliefs as Ryu.

“I agree. I hope we do not have to deal with something as scary anymore.” Ken adds.

Despite the three having positive outlook about the whole situation, Jun does not share the same sentiment. Instead, his face looks even grimmer than before as he sees some part of the cumulonimbus stretches down to the ground, creating a cone-like shape.

“OH NO.” Jun screams.

“W-What is it, Jun? Do not scare us like that!” Toyu jumped a little as he shouts back at Jun.

“GUYS, WE ARE NOT SAFE YET.” Despite Toyu’s scream, Jun still talks with a very high tone.

“Wh-what are you talking about, Jun. The rain and lighting stopped already, right?” Ryu tries to get more explanation from Jun.

“THERE. LOOK AT THE CLOUD!” As an answer, Jun points to the cone-shaped parts of the cloud that are almost touching the ground.

“Yeah, and…?” Toyu asked with a confused expression.

“IT MEANS IT WILL BE BAD.”

Just as Jun shouted, the cone-shaped parts are suddenly twisting around as if dancing. However, if seeing someone dancing is beautiful, seeing the cones dancing are nothing less than terrifying. Fir trees are swallowed inside the cone, along with the dirt, snow, and everything else. Then, it starts attracting the hot air balloon they are on.

Seeing what unfolds in front of his eyes, Jun once again shouts, followed by everyone else.

Just like a wild beast, the cone swallowed the hot air balloon like it was nothing. Inside, they are swept along by the horrible circular wind alongside branches of fir trees, sharp rocks, and pebbles.

And one of them grazes the balloon, leaving behind a small hole that lets out pressurized wind that keeps the balloon afloat.

The good thing is, it caused them to be thrown out of the cyclone.

However, without the balloon to keep them afloat in the sky, they fall down at a very high speed…

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