Was This Really the Way to Win Her Heart?

Hiya, Welcome back to PEP! Without further ado, the next segment of Cheryl’s adventures. Its’ beginning to make sense now.

A couple of hours later, the driver wished them luck before getting out of there. No one went near the abandoned part of the jungle if they could help it.
The teens hitched their backpacks into comfortable positions before all falling in line behind Cheryl. As the only one who had translated the book, she was the only one who knew exactly where they were going.
“How long are we going to be gone on this adventure?”
Cheryl answered Izzy, “I expect likely to the end of the week. It’ll take us some time to hike to where we need to go, if we don’t run into any unforeseen problems. Then, once we’re there, from what I’ve deciphered, there’s quite a process for X to regain his family’s fortune.”
“Just what kind of process are we talking about here?”
Cheryl decided now was a good time before they got much deeper into the forest, unable to return on their own. A part of the process was a way to return without needing to re-hike the jungle. If they got there and X changed his mind, then they would have to come back the original way and run a high risk of getting lost permanently within the jungle, if they didn’t run out of food and water and starve to death first.
“Just hear me out.”
“Oh boy.”
“That’s never good.”
Scott shushed them, “Listen to her, hear her out like she asked.”
“I didn’t believe what I was reading, I retranslated it multiple times to make sure I did it right. Then, I did some research on history of this little island in Indonesia. It’s all backed up. Apparently, X, you have to perform a ritual to regain your family’s fortune.”
“I know how it sounds. Like I said, I did considerable research, that’s why it took me so long to ‘translate’ the pages. I had it done within the first few days but wanted to back up what I’d read before I believed them, much less told you.”
“Makes sense. What kind of ritual.”
“That’s where it gets a little foggy. I have directions to the cave within a mountain where we’re to head for the ritual and words you’re to say for each step. But what each step is missing. I’m guessing there’ll be clues or directions within the cave.”
“Why this ritual? Where did it come with.”
As they hiked, still following Cheryl, Cheryl told them what’d she’d translated out of the book.
Xavier’s first recorded ancestor, the first Jinn, was a regular member of the small village on the island. The same island the teens were staying in the hotel within and had just left. He’d fallen in love with one of the most beautiful woman on the island. But he didn’t consider himself to have anything to offer her, not compared to the more influential men on the island. So he’d gone to their Gods and asked to be blessed so that he may win her heart. The Gods granted his request, giving him a fortune to make anyone green with envy. However, they didn’t just grant his request, giving him conditions he had to follow. He had to leave the small island in Indonesia. He and his newfound bride could not remain in the village; they were to leave for a new country. There had to have at least one son each generation, that son had to marry a woman of either equal fortune or greater. Once the fortune began dwindling, they were to return to Indonesia, perform the necessary ritual and sacrifices to regrow the fortune the Gods had given them. Once performed, the heir or head of the Jinn family was to leave Indonesia once more; never to return in his lifetime and the next Jinn to return was only to do so to regain the family fortune.
By the end of Cheryl’s tale, they were deep into the forest and Cheryl asked, “Are you willing to perform the sacrifices and rituals necessary?”
X wasn’t sure about the marriage part as the girl he was interested in at the current moment was not of the fortune his family formerly carried. But he would cross that bridge when it was time, he was just 19; there was not a deadline that he had to be married by.
© Paula Crofoot

So, what’s going to happen once they reach the cave? Will Xavier really go through the sacrificial rituals his ancestor performed?


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