The Silver Knight felt the nightmare coming before it arrived.
It started as it always did- a burst of sudden dizziness. His vision narrowed, the world seeming to spin around him. He tried to stand up, but the ground was rocking beneath his feet like a ship in a storm. Someone grabbed his arm, steadying him - thank you, Black - but his vision was already starting to darken. The world around him dimmed as though covered in thick black fog. As his consciousness drifted away, he could hear the shouts of the Black Knight.
"Remember!" he roared. "Prepare yourself!"
With that, the light fled.
The Silver Knight opened his eyes to a blue sky.
He pushed himself to his feet, careful not to strain any of injuries- then abruptly realized that there weren't any injuries. Stunned, he raised a hand to his shoulder and felt only soft fabric. Glancing down, he realized that instead of armor, he was wearing a silver T-shirt and black shorts. His hands, too, were different- the callouses and scars gone. He turned them over a few times, marveling, then looked up and around at his surroundings.
A few feet in front of him, a creek poured over a small cliff in a burbling waterfall. The river wound away and out of sight behind one of the many trees that surrounded him on all sides. He stood on a path of smooth white stone that wound parallel to the stream in both directions. Slowly, haltingly, still not entirely believing what his eyes were telling him, the Silver Knight took a few steps forward and knelt down by the side of the stream. He reached out, letting his fingers trail through the pouring stream of the waterfall.
"You're awake!" a voice suddenly spoke out behind him. The Silver Knight jumped, spinning around to face a young woman with red hair who had seemingly appeared out of nowhere. She raised her hand to her mouth. "Oh! I'm sorry, did I startle you?"
The Silver Knight exhaled, relaxing. "Only a little bit. Was I... asleep?"
"Of course!" the young woman replied. "You've been dozing here for almost a whole day!" She suddenly looked at the knight with concern. "You do feel well rested, don't you?"
"Uh..." the Silver Knight blinked, suddenly realizing that he felt extraordinarily awake. "Yeah," he answered, surprise evident in his voice. "Yeah, I do!"
The young woman smiled. "Great! The others thought we should move you somewhere else, but I didn't want to risk waking you up when you were sleeping so peacefully... I'm glad it worked out!" All of a sudden, she grabbed his hand and started dragging him down the path. "But anyway! Something happened while you were asleep! You need to see this."
The Silver Knight stumbled forwards as he was dragged along behind his new- or maybe old? - red-haired friend. "Something new?" he gasped once his breath caught up to him. "What is it?"
"The ______!" she shouted back over her shoulder. "Or at least, that's what we call it!"
The Silver Knight stumbled all of a sudden, tripping over a branch and nearly yanking his companion to the ground. She paused, helping him get back to his feet, looking at him with puzzled eyes. "Are you alright?"
"Yeah," Silver replied, his eyes fixed on branch he'd tripped over. At the end of it was a brown leaf, shriveled and dead. He looked up, but the trees looked as green as ever. He pulled his eyes away. Something about what she'd said... was it just his imagination? "Yeah. I just tripped."
The young woman's hand flew to her mouth again. "Oh! I'm so sorry! I shouldn't have dragged you. Here, we can walk the rest of the way. It's not far." She started off in a quick, bouncing stride, and Silver hastily followed her. "The ______ is going to blow. Your. Mind. I just know it!"
Goosebumps rose up on Silver's arms. He pulled them close to himself, shivering. Had he imagined that chilling breeze when she said... that strange word? He rubbed his arms and tried to put it out of his mind as they reached an archway blocked by a closed door.
The red-haired woman stopped. "Here it is," she whispered, excitedly. "Are you ready?"
Silver nodded, trying to keep the knot of tension slowly building in his stomach from manifesting in his expression. "Yeah! I'm excited. You've been hyping this up pretty hard."
His companion gave him a sly smile. "When you see it you'll understand." She reached out and grabbed hold of the door handle, pulling it open dramatically. "I present... the ______!"