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The Other Way Around -6-
Submitted by Yor on Wed, 12/29/2010 - 15:45
Better warn that this one is a unpolished as can be, I'll have to see it online, and then probably have to clean it up.. But don't let that stop you from reading :)
I talked it over with Emilia and her family. They all agreed that they needed to know wherefrom the failed attack had come. And they also understood my need for reconnect with my Mouse. After much discussion it was decided that I would be their so called ‘Agent Provocateur’ but Emilia insisted on me getting more lore’s in me before I started. I vehemently protested, saying ‘there is no time!’ Whereupon Emilia started to smile for the first time since my Mouse had disappeared. ‘Time you have’ she said, ‘the right teachers though? That might pose a problem.’ She started to far speak with some friends of her, after some time turned to me again. ‘You will stay here two weeks more, after that you will be as ready as we can arrange Laurel.’ She warned me that those two weeks would more feel like two years, ‘ don’t lose hope under that time, Laurel. Remember that time fares differently there’ she said.
The next day my first Teacher came. He didn’t waste any time on speech, he just led me to a room where we sat down and then we left. It was not the same sensation as with Master Twizt. It felt like sitting on a very big dipper, if you ever have done so, going faster and faster until it stopped suddenly, leaving me inside a cold room with only one window. ‘Now, get out’ was all he said. Get out where! I thought, looking out from the small opening there was only a straight fall down to a stony embankment surrounded by what seemed as a very cold sea. Then I heard his voice again, ‘boy, you really need to get out of here, fast.’ And now I could hear the walls starting to move. I sat down, so he wanted to play mind-games then. Ah well, I'll make my own, I thought. I started with creating a ladder, the ladder I made to go up to the pinnacle. I then made myself a looking glass, similar to what the Pilot had used on the ship. When I had the objects firmly anchored in my mind I went to the window and started to climb.
Now I heard his voice again, ‘That’s good boy, but you got to find me first.’ I sat down on the parapet concentrating on my looking glass again, this time I added a twist to it and when I finally finished, he was there, inside it. I then located wherefrom we had started and materialized myself and the looking glass there. ‘Now you can free yourself Sir’ I curtly said to the man, as I without further ado went on 'out' to Emilia. ‘Emilia.' I said, 'this is too simple, Master Twizt taught me so much more than this’. Inside the room I just left I heard a frustrated gnarling sound and then a popping noise as the wizard finally broke out of my looking glass. He came out, harrumphed and then said. ‘The boy is good, you should have warned me Emilia.’
She sighed a little and then asked him ‘Is there anything you learnt from him? Any weaknesses?’ From him, I thought disgustedly. Give me a break Lady! ‘Boy’ he said. ‘Look at me.’ So I did and suddenly we were standing on a cliff’s edge, I fought it back to the room, but the floor crumbled to show me that same cliff under it. The harder I willed my perception the easier it seemed to be for him to take me back, Suddenly I understood, he was using my will to augment his own, I folded in on myself to a pinpoint’s size and then inverted and broke free to see Emilia again. The wizard smiled at me ‘Interesting technique boy. Did Master Twizt teach you?’ ‘No Sir,’ I said somewhat curtly. ‘ I did you, Sir.’ I saw him getting as red in his face as a much overripe tomato.
He turned to Lady Emilia. ‘Well, my Lady, as you can see this boy knows it all. There is nothing I can teach him.’ He bowed to her and made of as if he was ready to leave. Emilia eyed me coldly ‘That was a most discourteous thing, Laurel. Apologize, now.’ Being under her stern eyes I started to feel ashamed, she was right. But I was also right. I did not really have time with relearning stuff I already knew!
Still. ‘Sir, please. I apologize, I can only blame my recent distress over Mouse for my unseemly manners.’ The wizard stopped, studied me for a moment and then nodded to himself. ‘I accept your apology son, and please accept mine in turn. It’s seldom one meet a young man of such inherent aptitude. We will both start anew I think.’
Now Emilia smiled. ‘Ahh’ she said. ‘Would it be to much of me to invite you both for a small repast in memorial of this cease-fire.’ Hearing my stomach growl I realized that feeling bereaved didn’t necessarily meant feeling sated. I smiled back at her, my first smile since my Mouse disappeared ‘With pleasure, Emilia.’ And as we sat down to the meal I started to find out more about my new teacher.
I couldn't help notice that Emilia seemed to hold him in an certain awe. From what he had shown me I wasn’t too impressed, but, I did trust Emilia. ‘Laurel,’ I heard the man say ‘Your former Master, did he show you the late Mungrowe Tractate? Wherein he discussed the heavenly bodies and what force that held them together?’ ‘No Sir,’ I answered. He looked a little disappointed at that. ‘Well then, are you familiar with the theory of light as a beam filled with droplets of will?’
What in the seven hells was he talking about? ‘Sorry Sir, I must have missed that too, Sir’ Now Emilia broke in. ‘Master Gradwill. His former Master, Master Twizt, mostly concentrated on the more mundane tasks while preparing the boy, one could call it’ and here she frowned most enchantingly ‘a crash course perhaps? You see, the boy had no control, and we needed him to find it quickly, for the sake of both him and us.’ Master Gradwill gave a reluctant nod, as if he suddenly understood. He smiled and said ‘So much substance and so little structure, My Lady. Ah, Master Twizt, you say? I'm not familiar with that man? Emilia smiled, ' Perhaps you read his penning on 'one thousand poisons and their aftermath?' I could see Master Gradwill stiffen somewhat. 'Aah, I see.' Was all he said. She then told us that while I had been searching outside she and some of the mightiest wizards she knew had been doing their own search for Mouse.
Finally they had succeeded to find traces of her going back to her own plane. They had found other wizards at that plane as well, which they after much difficulty succeeded to far speak. It seemed as her parents had used their own covens and conjurers for finding and getting her back. According to what they now, so newly understood, no one could stay away from their own dimensional time line for long. There would be enormous natural forces bringing them back, not caring if they lived or died through the transformation Emilias friends were enormously exited with the new possibilities and avenues of research this break trough opened for all scholar’s. Mouse’s parents had evidently succeeded with their task of bringing her home alive. That broke my heart.
Planes Of Destruction
As I continued my apprenticeship with Master Gradwill I started to see why Lady Emilia held him in such high esteem. He was a scholar of rare depth, under his tutoring I learnt to love books anew. He gave me also a deeper understanding of those natural forces that governs our worlds and Planes. Did you know that darkness is a force to, it’s principle governed by the fractions inherent in sunrays negation, as well as beams of light are manipulated by the salts of the sun. Lot’s of other lore he gave me, and under his guidance I started to understand mans place in our octagonal universe. And there were other teachers, some of them so abstruse that I wanted to scream. The ‘Piece the resistance’ was the guy that came to teach me locks picking by mental means. None to soon did he disappear, until finally one bright day it was mine own turn be let lose.
Emilia's family had set me up with recommendations, trade goods, and money. I was to pose as a trader in antiques and rare books. In the mean time Her family had been searching for vessels answering to the description of the ‘parasite’ that had stuck to Emilias ship. In the quadrant of Chmeer they had at last found similar crafts. There they also had a cult of the demon prince Beliam so it seemed as a reasonable first choice for me. My secret hope was to learn for myself how to move between those forbidden realities so that I could see my Mouse again, but in order to do that I had to find those foul ones who had stolen Mouse and then tried to leech on to us.
As I now had learnt how to farspeak I found that I always would have the benefit of my friend’s advice. The only problem with this farspeaking was that I became almost to good at it. Without meaning too I suddenly might find myself sharing my thoughts, especially with Emilia was this phenomena true. I was able to stand it happening most of the time, but when remembering my Mouse I really wanted to be left alone. On the other hand, as I by now had realized that Mouse and Emilia shared so much of the same spirit? He*, Emilia was my Mouse, an older Mouse, but my Mouse all the same so reluctantly I found myself accepting her, in the end almost to crave those moments as I knew us both to cherish her.
As I was fixing the last of my packing Puss came in. ‘Hi Puss’. ‘You are leaving’ he growled ‘Yes, I’m leaving with the Windskimmer at noon Puss’ ‘I’m coming with you’ said Puss. I stopped and looked him over, I had learnt some of the history of Puss and his species, theirs were a proud race of nomadic tribes, when humans introduced farming and fences there had been much strife at first. Before it had gone to full-blown war common sense had reined them all in, into some kind of a symbiotic partnership wherein the Lions were given the right to wander wherever ‘their noses would point them’ as the treaty said.
That was one of the things that made this planet so fine I thought as I packed an extra pair of trousers, no stupid wars. ‘Have you talked it over with your parents?’ I asked. I knew that all lions were expected to take to the ‘dreaming trail’ as a coming to age rite, and that it was supposed to be a trial of courage and forbearing in the face of adversity. Still, usually they made the trail on their own planet, not while traveling trough the Planes. Puss had grown since I first meet him, now he came almost to my breastbone and nobody could ever take him for a mild-mannered vegetarian. ‘I’ve had dreams, and there have been signs ‘ growled Puss. ‘We are bound for a journey into wild space. My tribe will watch and learn.’ ‘I thank you Puss, I said. To have a friend watching your back, someone to talk to and remind me of Home felt good.
So when noon arrived it saw me and Puss, standing on the foredeck of the Windskimmer watching Home slowly recede into the dusk. Our journey wouldn’t take us a straight course to the quadrant of Chmeer. First I wanted us to gather some more experience of trading, and Puss who in fact never had traded anything except maybe a slain prey, and that only for getting the attention of a lovely female, actually agreed. ‘It was so in mine portends’ he growled ‘One should always follow the prey.’ To my surprise, trading was kind of fun. And with the help of Emilias farspeaking i actually made some profit to. Another thing that gladdened me were the books. There were so many of them now, arcane books of magic and other lore, each night I sat up under a candle to read some more.
Puss, who had been observing me for some time now, at last asked me how I did it. His tail whisking in a irritated manner as he listened to my explanation of letters and words. ‘I’m bored’ he growled. ‘No prey’ ‘no felines, you will teach me how to eat those words.’ So we did, I suspect that Puss were one of the very first Lions that ever wanted or for that sake, ever cared for reading. ‘It will give you lots and lots of new knowledge’ I said solemnly. His tail swished, ‘and the admiration of felines to’ I said looking wise. His tail stopped swishing and his ears peaked up. ‘Is that soo?’ He growled. ‘Oh yes’ I said, and here I concocted an improbable tale wherein females of all species just couldn’t help themselves swooning when they meet fine males of knowledge. It didn’t take him long to get the hang of it, so now there were two reading by my candlelight, the only sound being the silent rasping of his tongue as he turned his page.
This ship was smaller than Emilias, and mostly filled with traders and goods. After coming to Everlast we changed boat and sailed on an even smaller vessel further into the wild. There was some interest in us, mainly because of Puss, whom people now assumed to be my pet. ‘No morrre’ said Puss. ‘I’m high caste, not a pet. The next one who want to pet me I will..’ ‘Puss. Please don’t. It’s to our benefit that they only think of you as a pet.’ I said. ‘You will be able to listen and see where I can’t, if they only believe so.’ He listened and thought. ‘Maybe soo’ he growled. ‘As long as they don’t try to touch me. I’m no plaything for humans!’ But look and behold, the next day I found him with a sweet young lady, caressing his neck. I looked at him, not saying a word, and he? He seemed to be residing in a blissful oblivion. Ah well, the mysterious allures of the fairer sex. The next day I had a new talk with the coxswain.
We had became friends since I had helped him to a rare navigation book I earlier had found. He told me that most trading ships tended to avoid the quadrant of Chmeer as it had an unsavory reputation. ‘Only savages and thieves there’ he said, and firmly recommended me to find another trading route. ‘There have been much strife there lately Master Laurel. None set sails to Chmeer quadrant nowadays, except maybe smugglers and mercenary’s.’ I had to make up a tall story of a missing uncle and the need for secrecy as my inheritance to come was involved with said missing Uncle, before he relented. I’m still not sure whether he believed me or not, but he agreed to help me in return for a token sum of appreciation. The week after we landed at a small harbor on the planet Mourn. He told us to get ready so we took our farewell’s of the crew and all, and in Puss case a most tender one of the fair lady who I had seen caressing him.