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Looking For Magic

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Looking for forgotten and lost magic turns out to be about colors and what magic is about.

Fantasy / Mystery
Age Rating:

Chapter 1

Where are the colors?

“Right. Okay. Good. Hmm... Interesting. Let’s see. Nice. Good, good. How about now? Oh? That is new. Oh, no, I need to write this down.” The man tested, observed, calculate, wrote many times, but still something was missing. And by the protraction of the expected result now showing, instead what appeared was something different, he judged that it need another approach. “Well, my thing, what are we to do with you!?” There was knocking on the door, by the time he finished the question. “Who is it?” “Greist, teacher, please open the door!” A boy who at first cleared his throat, and then answered his question with a hint of quivery.

“It is open, fellow. You may enter!” Then, very slowly, the door bcame ajar as if the opener behinf it was afraid to do it. At last, figure appeared and a youngster of much lower age than him, but about the similar height nodded with his steady head.

“Master Yondy, the king requests your presence in his study. He says it is of an urgent matter.” Greist did not falter at one word.

“Of course it is, fellow. Why otherwise would he bother with calling me!? Our poor king has no one else.” He looked at the man and raised and eyebrow. “Is he alone, or am I being awaited by more!?”

“Alone, master. He insisted on that as well. He just dismissed a meeting before telling me to call you.”

“Then, Greist, let’s not make out majesty wait and squirm. Service is what we do, don’t we!?” And with that both men got out of the room. The corridor was so long that you began losing track of where and when. But that was always the case with Yondy. His waking hours of work were like the fly of a bird travelling a long distance to the needed, desired, or necessary spot. Of course, sometimes was exhausting, but at least every time there were some surprises and always new things to learn. And that was the most valuable thing in the whole of the experience. When the got near the king’s chambers, both men waited for a while, listening to some noises. When nothing was caught by their hearing, Yondy stretched his right hand in the direction of the doors and knocked three times. Right after that nothing came as an answer. But just before he was ready to knock again, a voice responded.

“Enter! Be allowed!” A strong, but welcoming tone reached the ears of both of them.

“You stay here, Greist. And wait!” Yondy reminded him.

“I hadn’t even planned on doing something other than that, master.” And he shook his head to confirm it.

“Just warn us is someone intends to come here. Just do it in a careful way.”

“Like knocking on the door?”

“That can serve for now.” Then he pushed the doors open and stepped inside the royal place where private matters were discussed.

“Good to see you, Yondy! Have a seat, please!” The king did not give him the chance either for distraction, or for anything else, he was worried enough.

“Great day, your Highness! Of what service may I be of assistance?”

“Great day for great troubles, Yondy.” The king began and already exasperated. “I simply do not know what to do anymore. Our resources are about to become deplete. We have no good alliance. And the people... oh, I do not even have to go there. With them is never good, unless there is food, water, home and a happy family. But about the poor!? What about those who are on the edge of desperation? What do they live for? It is an empty life. And I, Yondy, the king himself, cannot do anything about it.” He was out of breath. He tried to regain new strength. But Yondy decided to calm things down.

“Sire, every situation has an exit, except death.” The king raised his head in Yondy’s direction. “What is it the exact thing that troubles the king? Because you are talking about common, big, many things. Those do not get solved in on day, or with one move. They...“, Yondy was not allowed to finish. The king raised his left hand suddenly.

“That is the problem here, Yondy. All those things are falling together at the same time, an my hands are powerless. I am no longer the king I was. So, tell me, Yondy, what can you propose to me?” He was on the verge of cracking, but nevertheless stood formal.

“My king, the only thing in my hands, in my head is information and gathering this and that. I am no master of extra powers.” Then, the king raised his left forefinger.

“That’s IT! ‘Extra powers’, Yondy!” The man opened his eyes wide.

“You mean... magic!?” Yondy was wary to utter the word.

“What else could be of help!?”

“But I was not born with it. None of the inhabitants of your kingdom is such possessor. Whoever has such talent, is either long gone or in a very remote land.”

“Then find someone, bring him here and let him teach you!” The anger had already started building in his voice.

“It cannot be taught. You either have it or not.”

“You said it yourself, Yondy, ‘everything has solution’....”

“Yes, indeed, sire. But I was talking about solution to the problem. Not solution about how to acquire magic. The same way I cannot become a tree. I am born a human, and that it is.”

“Are you telling me that you are not capable of bringing magic in my kingdom in any way, Yondy!?”

“Uhm.... no, sire!” Yondy swallowed, both in slight fear of what he may answer, and of what was he about to say next. “I can try it, but...”

“I don’t care about ‘buts’, Yondy. Bring me magic and solve the problems. I would not be asking this of you, hadn’t I tried everything I could.”

“I understand, your Majesty.” Yondy lowered his head.

“DO you?” The king challenged him. “Because the way you speak, seems to me that you are both, unwilling to act, and being distracted by sometihng.” He looked squarely at him with suspicious yes. “Tell me what it is?” The king said it so abruptly, that made Yondy jump out of his seat.

“What if there are no more people with magic?”

“What makes you think that it cannot be taught?”

“Because that is the tradition, and I have tried many times, but it does not work.”

“Perhaps you are doing something wrong. Keep trying!”

“Sire, some things are impossible. This may...”

“A-hah! There! Yondy - this ‘may be’, which means you are uncertain.”

“That is true. But since we cannot know for sure, shall we not try different way of solving this?”

Are you trying to evade the question of magic, Yondy!? That’s IT! That what this is about.” The king was no fool, he felt it. “You either fear magic or something else. I want to hear it all!” That voice brook no reply in the negative.

“Magic, my lord, is the reason I lost many and much. That is why I have been tried to learn it, to bring back the lost. But it resulted in nothing. The reason I gave up all efforts.”

“Haven’t you thought about different strategies?”

“I couldn’t because I don’t know of any. My knowledge is too limited for this field.”

“Well, then, look, ask, experiment. Do anything there is to be tried. Leave no grass unchecked, no tree unclimbed, no land unpassed, until you discover what can be found.” Now the king’s voice had the nuance of friendliness, all the edge was no more present.

“But, my dear king Thas, what if nothing comes out of all this?”

“Then the praying should commence, and will mean we are forsaken.” The silence that followed was felt so profound that breathing became hard to be done.

“Is there anything else, your majesty?”

“Speak to no on about this, unless that person be intended to become part of the covenant.”

“I am the last person from whom anyone could hear about anything, sir. Need not worry about that. But appreciate the reminder.”

“Then, dismissed, until more news.” And so Yondy, with slow steps got out of the king’s seating place. Outside, Greist was almost startled when he appeared.

“Why are you so jumpy, Greist?”

“Because I was so focused on any visitors that I completely forgot why I was doing what I was doing.” Greist nodded. “I think it is too quiet. So, everything okay, master?”

“Everything is at worst, friend.” Gloom on his face.

“Why? What did he tell you? What did he ask of your mastership?”

“The impossible.” Yondy shook his head, then passed fingers through his hair. “And either I find a way to make it possible, or...” He decided that pause to serve for a warning enough.

“What is this impossible thing, master?” Greist became worried and curious at the same time.

“Not now. Let’s go to my place, where no one can overhear a thing.” And so he put his arm around the shoulders of Greist and went unhastily toward his room. Not a single person passed near them, and that relaxed them a bit, imagining the whole procedure of greeting, unnecessary talking, and possible excuses they have to utter. But they did not even say anything between themselves all the way, until they got inside of the room he was experimenting before he was called to attend the king. Once inside, they could breath freely, and thanks to the open window Yondy had left right before leaving. The summer was approaching and the temperatures were getting suffocating. “Finally to be comfortably breathing.” He took a deeper breath and sat on his bed-like thing.

“Master, I am all in creeping pimples. What is that terrible, impossible thing that the king wants of you. I already feel as if a rope is around my neck.”

“Something, Greist, that have never been here. In some lands had been for quite some time. In other realms, always. But nothing is eternal. So is that thing, probably.”

“Ghosts!? Spirits? Dead people!? Master, you are scaring me deeply! Are we going to die so soon!?”

“And that thing is, I do not know what to do. I can read as many books as there are in the underground library, but like I told the king, it is unteachable. You either have it or you do not.”

“If you are not going to share the thing, master, I better leave you alone and try to occupy my mind with things that are within my hands.” Greist was ready to get out of the room, when Yondy stopped him.

“Magic, dear my fellow. The thing that is ... I don’t even know what wording can I put on it!?”

“What are you talking about, master!?” Greist seemed perplexed and amused. “What is a ‘match ick’? Is it some diseases that few had seen, or...?”

“No, no, Greist! MAGIC! The thing that makes wonders when you know how to do it. Spells, incantations, spiritual ceremony that requires talent, inborn character and sometimes ingredients.”

“How is that possible, master?” The bafflement now grew into ignorant anticipation.

“It is good thing you never heard of it. Some say, it is the most dangerous weapon there is.”

“Who made it? What is this disease, master?”

“No one knows, Greist. It is such a bane, that you are probably right. This is a complete disaster caused by strange disease.” Yondy shook his head. “And I have to find a way to take it into this kingdom. Can you believe this, Greist!? I don’t even know from where to begin, let alone how to get in touch with it!” He looked around, but did not find what he was hoping to catch. “I have tried so many times, but apparently it is farther from my field of abilities. How can I not give up!?” Now silence, and he almost was ready to cry, when he felt the hand of Greist on his back.

“Master, do not do that. You act as if it is your fault. Do not blame yourself for thing that is not within your powers. I am just a man, you are a knowing man, but still a man. We can do more than we want to do, even if we want it so much. Every time I try to find a herb, or to put my shoes, or change clothes, I see that some things are easy, others are difficult, the rest - cannot be done.” “You know what, Greist? You are smarter than you look.” He smiled, and then Greist saw that his eyes were full of tears. “Thank you, very much for the words.” He brushed his watery face and cleared his throat. “You are free to leave and do your business. I doubt that the king will need you anymore for today. He has a lot to decided, think and many other things. Have a good rest of sunlight!” “Well, I guess, from so much emotions, I can get first a good stretch, then go see if someone needs my assistance. But, master, if you want my help, do not hesitate to call me! Always pleasure to be around you.” Greist smiled, bowed and nodded his head.

“Thank you again, Greist! You are a good friend. I will never forget about you. The same goes with you - if anything, you know where to find me.” They both nodded, shake their hands, and finally could not contain their emotions anymore, so they hugged and a very fraternal embrace, with patting on backs and squeeze of the shoulders. Then Greist with no hurry left him alone. “I sure as bloodiness have to go downstairs. So many books, so little time! Such pity!” He shook his head, but nevertheless stood up, looked outside with blank expression, went in the opposite direction of the door that was just closed by Greist and passed inside another room. There was a cozy bedroom, with a bed for one man, a chair, a table, a window, and enough space for clothing. But what he took, was only a set of keys. When he did so, they jingled, which made him wonder, how many wonders had they done so far!? Were they about to do that again? He would soon find out. But his expression did not became any more positive, just more desperate. “All right, let’s get this over with. What is there to lose, right!?” He took a bottle of water, some chunk of bread, two apples, and a stick. With that he went to the door, through on which everybody used to knock when they needed him, opened it, looked around his place, saw nothing special, then closed it behind himself. Loneliness, that was the feeling he was always getting in his heart every time his sight fell on the darkness that was consuming this part of the castle. It might not be that large, but it was like a maze enough to lose your head - if you did not know the pathways, of course. Not Yondy. He could walk through any hole, if it was wide enough, with closed eyes. He knew every single niche in the whole of the palace. Few had acquainted the castle so well as he did. Many folks were simply afraid of whatever was behind any of the walls. But not him. He was practically adoring the place. So many secrets it was keeping, and so more to come. Some were known by few, others - by none. The shivers that ran along his whole spine, told Yondy that he was about to uncover another one. How big? Was a matter of time. You cannot get such feelings for no reason, he told himself. Slow steps. But why? He asked himself. Okay, my hurriness what make things happen faster, neither do any tardiness with matter. What would it it be so important the speed? He was careful enough, not too much, but with certain amount that could get him outside of many troubles, not all, but amount to be bearable. If I started running, that would mean either I am afraid of something, or that I desire the same thing as the king. As much as that is somewhat true, I do not think I can handle magic. Oh, and one more thing, I, running, means, I hang on the possibility that, in there, might be really for what he was sent. What were the chances? Hmm, that did not matter either. It does not mean anything what I want, what the king wants. It will not make it so. What is in that place, does not depend on my wishes, although, to find the desired .... oh, the sooner the better, but , definitely not the hurrier. He stopped for a while, a portrait set him apart from his thoughts, so far.

The king Jaston. The first to rule this amazing castle. He did not know much about him. But what he did know, was that this king was so noble that truly inspired many to be like him, and that is why there were almost no enemies around this realm. Almost. That was the interesting word. Magic. That was the other connection that made the almost so close to on big NO. That is the situation, either you rule, or be subjugated. The very thought of being enslaved, tortured and beating to death or decapitated, made Yondy quickly spring out of any apparent sight that might be caught of what he was doing. But now he remembered the previous king - Halton. He was the cousin of Thas. No other relatives were around them. They were dying off. So few physicians. No magic in the land. Consequence - death and less and less people around you. People were either fleeing from this realm in search for better life, or conformed with the situation and saw no point in moving. How am I still standing? He asked himself. No one could answer. But he knew it. He craved to be a gift magician, even though he did not have the inborn quality. And he never understood, nor did he try to understand, what exactly were those qualities. He want to know more. But from where? No books, no people to ask. The very question of magic made people open eyes wide or reproach you, or ignore you, as if you were a mad person. But now, since his discovering of the huge, the enormous library... Who knows? Was he lying to himself? Creating illusions in his heart? Of course, he did not read them all, it was impossible, but still... That lingered in his thoughts like an echo in a cave, and so like that he get near to the door that lead to the dungeons. Opened it and embraced deeper darkness. The last time he was here, was more than ten years ago, some days before king Halton died of that wicked illness. He remembered how he tried desperately to find a way to save him. But his haste gave him nothing. As much as he wanted, it was not possible. Magic was nowhere near the castle. The gloom started creeping behind the thick barricades that surrounded the whole realm, and more and more those who were still living here, began to lead a life without much purpose. They wanted something they could not have - bright future. They were on the edge oblivion, and it seemed like they were down with it. Nevertheless the pastures, the great air, the sunny days, the blessed rains, the clean attitude, all that could not eliminate the deep blankness in their everydayness. And Yondy was sick and tired of all this, too.

He grabbed the nearby torch, lit it, and made a turn from the left side of the corridor that lead to the dungeons. A few steps he barely made, when he stopped and approached with the torch near the whole in front of him. Then he tried to find the right spot, and when he thought he felt it, he careful pushed one of the bricks. Nothing happened. That did not surprise him. Either the wrong part or he needed more force to make it happen. He tried again, this time with more strength. Again nothing. He decided to approach the matter with different bricks. On above the current - nothing. On the left side - nothing. On the right - nothing. On beneath - nothing. Adjacent - nothing and again nothing. He started wondering whether he was at the wrong wall, or even side of the wall, since it was kind of circular, even though not exactly all the way around. He passed the torch through wherever place his eyes could reach, and tried some other bricks, with the same result. Then he realized his mistake - different level standing. He moved a little farther ahead, until finally he was at some spot where the movement became more free. Then he lifted the torch and at long last he saw immediately how one of the bricks were a little askew. He smiled. He put the torch in a comfortable position so that he could still see what he was doing, and this time he was not delicate, but simply pushed with enough force, and that made the brick give out. He removed it easily. Then he passed his hand through the hole and tried to reach for something, and just when he was wondering if it was still there, he felt something on the way of his fingers and pushed it - nothing. Then he pulled it - nothing. Of course, he told himself, how much was he distracted by this desire, so he turned it in sidewise, and it moved without much of hesitation. Then there was a rumbling noise, hopefully not loud enough to make any notice to the outside. The whole wall started shifting in front of him, until it came open and enclosed him with wide black-staring eyes. He swallowed, hard, then stepped through the dim threshold and took a first glance of what was inside, after walking down some stairs - a massive amount of books, anywhere his eyes could look around. It looked so spacious that it probably was taking the space of the whole castle, if not more. Only he knew about this place - at least, from among the living men. He had read some books, but it was enough to tell him that they were out of his league. So many fields of information, such huge collection of knowledge, he could only begin, if he could of course, to imagine. How many times had he looked for any books about magic. Of course, he had found many, but worthless - to him. With not talent in him, even if he knew them by heart, wouldn’t help him in the least. Knowledge meant nothing, if you do not know how to use it. But one thing left in him sparkle of hope - he had not read all the books. So, he put that last piece of heart in the remaining reading. By the view of the way they were stacked, and by the structure of the whole place, he judged that it must have been build either before the castle itself, or at the time of the first king. None of the books he had read contained any information about the castle. About anything outside - yes. Whatever material was needed, it was there, written. Even old, ancient children stories he had encountered. Many times he had tried for other passages that could lead to this place, but none were discovered, at least not by him. The place was so humongous that the imagination could barely describe it so that the mind can comprehend it. The picture it formed was like an infinitely long line, that got lost the farther you look. The limitation of the senses. The most impressive thing was not the size, anyway, it was the intactness of everything in it. You would think that all there was, could be in pieces and with one touch to be destroyed. But no. Whatever you took, it was like perfectly new with only dust that needed brushing off. A little cleaning and the whole thing with become precious. But even without it, without the broom or any rag, the room, the gigantic version of any room, was invaluable still. Almost felt like itself was keeping the secrets of the whole world, with what is known and unknown. The problem - all the people cannot be able to unlock its mysteries. Well, Yondy thought, I do not need to unleash everything - just enough to guide me through the path of ... He did not there finish. As if the very mention of the word could summon some spirits and ... who knew... maybe a curse could fall on his head. The cost was high - but after considering all the options and the limited time, worthy enough, even at the price of his own life. When he started walking again, he noticed that no sound came out of the floor and then to echo around the walls. A complete isolation from everything to come inside, or to get out. Like a catacomb. The very thought made his every inch on his skin crawl with goosebumps. Like he was meeting the dead, and death itself. He tried to calm down. He told himself that the best way is to stop thinking about things that makes him scared. Cannot get any worse...., can it!? More steps. Now he was close to some shelves which contained ancient history of the land. He regarded them as important, but not for now. Further ahead there were collection of different sources where one could find anti-poisonous plants, poison guidance, poison maker, and what plants should be avoided, or always taken, no matter what. But that thought made him smile. IF whoever wrote this knows of such information, that means either he, or the one who told him about had experience which such trouble, which means... He frowned. How many people had died in pursuit of cures and some power against anything that brings trouble, diseases and is the bane of whatever it is that befalls any living creature!? He did not want to know the answer. He walked even more ahead. Hah! He remembered the shelf very well - love stories. But then he shook his head. Till nowadays, I still cannot understand, what would someone put such literature in this mag....!? He was on the very of uttering the word, then he breathed slowly. .... such magnificent place. He did not have the time to find any answer for that, so he continued. Now was the row of books at which he looked most confused. Different languages. Not just one or two. About ten, or even more. There was a whole section of more than ten shelves, on each language that has nothing to do with English, or any similar to it, they were even different between themselves. He picked one - squiggles, strokes, and some dots. Almost as pictures, but not quite. Then another - pictures of weird appearance and no description. Or rather what may have looked like description was smeared and looked like ... yes, it was something of writing that represented animals, or so Yondy thought. The next was a book with only lines, all with different shapes, length, width and curvature - some were very straight, others almost formed circle, but there was not single line on which the ends would touch. Another was full with so dense writing that he could not separate letter from letter, and barely able to distinguish word from word. That baffled him so much, that he picked up another book, inside which there was such writing, that no density at all. Every single character written was so clear that ... And then it hit him - the previous language must be representation of this one. Only the perspective, at last from what Yondy could form an idea, was that perhaps the two languages were of lands near to each other. Density might mean too many words needed to describe one thing, but as soon as you see the main letters, you can guess the rest. While the less dense, the more clear writing was only like a symbol - one character was only needed. Or maybe, the one was the explanation of the other. He laughed, or maybe I am losing my mind. Anyway, he kept going. Next language was so repulsive to his eyes that he could not believe at what he was looking at - a collection of ... he just could not stand it, so he closed it. Next, he almost got lost in thoughts of what he was looking for, and why was he here, when he found a book that had script which made a very interesting reminiscence of one dream he had recently. It was about he painting something colorful, and then the moment he finished it, it became only black and white, which made him startle and woke up. Like the writings on the book which he was holding right now was playing games with his vision - many colors, black-and-white, and over again. He shut it and continued with the next category. He thought that as much as it was interesting to dive into those strange languages, even if he could find something of intriguement, it will not be of help, he knew none of them. The rows of shelves were full of many thin books, the whole alphabet could fit into only one row, including all the letters. He picked up one - stones. Another - trees. Next - tiny animals. Next - sources for water. After that - maps. Then - stars. More - clocks, mechanisms, of which his head started hurting. All the way to the end. Not a single book about something that can say anything about powers or similar. He breathed in exhaustion. He stepped back, looked around and he asked himself, how much could it take him to look through all of them!? They are so many. Too huge amount. But, he thought, no other choice. So he kept going. He found history books, ancestry, lineage, stocks, short-lived family tree, and a such long that it took a whole separate book to encompass every single member, and everything that was known about that person. Then there were books about plants. This time he started reading more carefully. But again could not find a thing related. He passed through all the topics he knew were studied, and even more he did not had the idea could be transferred at all. Books for pregnancy, for childbirth, for cattle diseases, for appropriate love-making, for official ceremonies, laws, prohibitions and orders. Books about how to sooth grief, how to make someone happy. How to relieve pain, how to induce pain. For every topic, there as some kind of anti-topic. So, that gave him the idea of thinking - what is the opposite of magic!? He thought, and thought and thought, which made him stop reading for a while. At last he gave up and continued with the process of leafing through. The reading did not bother him at all. On the contrary, the delight of learning so much was incredible. But what irritated him was the obvious - he could not find even the slightest clue to give him some way of discovering more about magic. The more he felt disappointed and on the verge of giving up, the more he reminded himself the reason for why he was doing it. And more. It was not futile, fully. If at least he could not figure anything out, he would be having other sort of information stored in his head. But. There was it, the but in the end. But all that could do nothing, if magic was not accessible. Which seemed to be the result of all the efforts. He decided to renew the looking, but only after a little rest, and time to think about the perspective so far. By the who knows the number of the books that are here, he could barely estimate that, even with all day long reading, or only having a slight look on them, it would take him ten sunsets, or double that, or even triple. The king did not tell him of any deadline, but the urgency was expedient. He kind of wished to stop with this huge task. Probably, he told himself, there isn’t a single piece of information about magic. But the thing was, he could not not for sure. He did not want to be caught in such a situation where, it could turn out that there is at least one book, or paper concerning magic, and just because he was reluctant or discouraged to do the job, he failed even before we was able to achieve anything. Even if there were very slim chances of finding anything, he had to try, just to be completely sure. Well, not exactly ‘completely’, since there were languages and terminology which he did not have the slightest idea what was written in them. Suddenly, and ridiculously, he reminded himself with an unpleasant memory, the many times he was trying to understand magic, to master it, but when he remembered that even back then, he did not know what he was doing, let alone, if he was doing anything remotely connected with the matter. So, bottom line, back to the beginning. What do I know about magic? He asked himself. Two things, only, that you have to be gifted, it cannot be taught, but only guided; and second, it is about the bending of the rules of nature. But then, an interesting thought occurred to him, and that was the most astounding of all he had so far - from where did he know about these things? From second hand. Not from any books, not from educated people, but from listening to tradition, commentary of ordinary people, and those who were afraid, or even did not know anything about magic, so they may had made up everything. That thought woke up the slumber of a hunter that he had never thought he had it in himself. But how to solve this problem, when there is no information!? He patted his forehead, then remain silent, sitting on the ground with his hands covering his face. Like that, with nothing to see, darkness as if spoken to him. It gave him a clue. Of course, holy dear, that must be it. Right? I am looking at the wrong place, I mean, at the wrong section, at the wrong books, but then, how do I know which one!? He was baffled and could not orient himself in the chaos. Then he stopped, light. The opposite of light is darkness. But light is much more than opposite. It made the world visible. Which means, darkness hides everything, but so long as no one can actually see behind her veil. That is why people are afraid of darkness - because they cannot see, and so their imagination plays tricks on them, making them think of the most horrible things, even though those things are not there. If you are in your room in a brought daylight, everything is fine. But once the the light is gone, even though you know your own room, creeps begin crawling along your skin - just because visibility is diminished. And we value too much, overvalue in great extent what the eyes bring us. We are so blinded by light, that we cannot stop think what if without it? What would we be like if you were literally blind? Then, there are other senses - hearing, smelling, tasting, feeling, and maybe more. So, what we do is clouding one thing for the sake of another. We consider the small things to be too insignificant, while THEY are exactly the ones turning upside down the cart. Big things are clear, they do not need any additional attention. But what is behind them, the tiny particles are those who really matter. You can start the value with when you see a ray of light passing through the window, and how it shines over pieces of dust. So man things hidden under the surface of something of little value - TO US. So, my search should be in the direction of dark field. But, again, where is it? Then the answer came, as obvious as anything could be seen, or missed. There were parts of the library, which were more visible than others, not only due to the reach of the eyes, but somehow the were as if obscured by some sort of shroud that gets lifted only by closer inspection. They were visible in the understand that there is something more, but not what that is. Like those who have weak sight - they see clearly at certain distance, but cannot on different one - they see it smudgy. You know, you can barely see something over there, but you see it, after all. Then he slowly began to advance toward the darker sections of the place. He knew he would be missing about a hundred, hundreds of books, of which he knew nothing about, but he would leave them for later. In no way, they will remain unchecked. But for now, other things be of first priority. With every step the lack of light enveloped him like a cocoon. He no more could see himself, arms or legs. The quietness grew deeper. Is that even possible!? He wondered. More and more he went until he decided to begin from the very end, or the beginning of the columns, from the opposite side, from where he came. He was never at that spot. He never gave himself the chance to search through the whole place. Now was the moment of his life. He did not want to waste any piece of opportunity to discovery as much as he could. The walking become so prolonged, that he distracted himself, by thinking of how had they build such a place!? He imagined building it himself. How much time would it take to be done!? Various stories, and images flew around in his mind, and h lost himself in some imaginary world. He was so engrossed with the vision he constructed that at some point it became dull to him. He shook his head, looked around, in both sides, and so that he was in the middle of so dark area, that he almost forgot where was he, or what was he doing here. From the standing where he was, nothing was visible. Audible, sensible, yes, but nothing the eyes could catch. He continued with the steps. He wondered for how long he was thinking of that thing!? He could not estimate. How much more is there!? He could not answer that either. More time passed, still no end was near, nothing to stop his movements. But something began do impede his current task - exhaustion. His legs grew tired, and not from disappointment or else, but from pure running out of strength from the muscles. He thought that maybe he could walk a little bit more, and if faces no wall or similar, he will take a break. He kept going for a while, and that was just what happened, he was not stopped by any obstacle, and his legs almost screamed to be let to relax, and he did so. That was a bliss for his anatomy. It turned out not only his legs, but his head was in a hurry to be put to rest for short time. Now even his breathing became steadier. Hell, not only that, his whole body started throbbing more blood throughout his limbs, and anywhere that felt the slightest need of regeneration. It was time for a break, as long as it needed it to be. And, by the way, he could not allow himself get out of here before the whole of the task was finished. That meant, the whole of the library. All the books needed to be checked for any form of mentioning or guide about magic. Again he looked around, and again on to nothing his eyes were able to hold. But then something actually happened while he decided to take break with his eyes as well. He heard something. Or more precisely, he felt as if he was listening to someone listening to him. Is that possible!? Could his day get any weirder!? He became still and fixated on that ‘sound’, or ‘feeling’. He did not know what to name it. Quiet again, for him, and started honing his ears. There! Right there, he could sense it as a distant movement, faint, barely, but still palpable no matter the low of the tone. Maybe it is some random sound. But it did not sound like one. And just when he was about to make an approach with motioning his arms, the sound stopped immediately. Or was he no more able to hear such thinness? He tried to listen to it carefully, while moving carefully. No sound. He stopped, and again concentrated on it. There. It was there again. It was audible, no matter how barely, only if there were no movement in the surrounding. But if he stood where he was, he will never find out its origin. So he decided to listen to it for a longer time and to judge, at least its location. What was even more interesting - it was not just unsteady, but it sounded like talking, Yondy raised his eyebrow. Was he listening to some mice conversing!? He shook his head. I am going crazy, am I not!? He waved the thought and continued listening. But there, again, the sound was so difficult to be figured out that, he dropped that wondering, and focused on the spot from where it was coming. Then he realized something. It was not on the same level as his. It was coming from below, or some place that is lower than Yondy. That was why it sounded so far-fetched. But that also meant he would not be able to reach it. But why was it doing this sound only when things got quiet, instead of taking advantage of the noise so not to be picked up!? That meant something to Yondy. It was a sign. A signal. That only could be caught if someone needed help. That was certainly what was it. Another thing to emphasize this thought was the fact that it did not move, or did not seem so. Neither going farther, nor nearer, nor was it growing bigger or diminishing. The very sound was having high and low tones, but their combination was all the same category. So, at least, it was not something living. No creature could produce such regularity in any way. And finally, he was able to make a guess to where he should check it out. So he stood up, slowly, and went in the direction of his surmise. Another long strolling, but this time he could feel blood flooding through his legs, they were starting to wake up. He switched to faster stepping, but not running. He rarely used that weapon of his body. He was almost there, when something occurred to him. How can I go back to where I was!? This place was like a labyrinth, even though it looked ordered and in a non-chaotic state. Anyway, he decided not to bother with this thought, until he find out what was that noise. He stopped walking to hear it again. There. Not it was more graspable by his hearing. More steps, another stop - more clear sound. A little more, again - now it felt is if it was near his ear. Then he was stopped, by something that prevented him from continuing ahead. I looked, or tried to do saw, but nothing was visible. Then he tried with his hands, and indeed felt something solid. He tried to remove it, but could not. He moved his hands in different direction, and there it found a movable something. He pushed it and it felt. The sound was as if being near a well. He shivered, not so much of the thought of being at some high place, but falling into something that may cause your end. Not the tall position, but the falling from it. He tried his legs, to feel something. Yes, there were more movable things. He cleaned the way. And the sound became louder and louder. Then the steps continued. Now he was moving freely. The moment he made a further approach, a breeze welcomed him at his left side, so he turned left. Then something mad him laugh. He was on the threshold of another huge room. But the next moment he understood that the noise was coming from even further, he decided to check the room later. Now he painstakingly follow the lead. And it lead him to a door-like opening. That opening let him free from any dark surrounding. Light, although not very strong was coming from his right side. And when he got out he got clear of what was causing the noise - the very sound of nature coming from the opening he just passed through. So, he was right. If someone got lost inside, by following the noise, he could escape any probable danger. He took a deep breath, saw that the light was going away, so he returned inside. Now he wanted to know more about this new place. And so he went in that direction. The path that was leading to it went down. This time, no light could penetrate this place, unless you carried with yourself something that can provide it. That made him decided otherwise - checking the place after finishing the work up there. So he backtracked his own steps and went back to continued with the library. Once there he tried to remember where he was sitting before being taken by that sound. From the position he was, he could not able to judge anything. A perfect place for hiding, even from yourself. He smiled, but not from being funny, but rather tragic. He continued walking, and walking, and just the same. Still nothing to stop it from doing it. Then again he decided for another rest. But right before that he wondered, was he going circular, and that is why he cannot reach any end!? No. He immediately answered. He did not felt like it. But what if it were a big circle!? Even so, he would have noticed and curves on the way. But everything was being straight. Can I be deluding myself!? It was dark, after all, and nothing was visible anymore. But still, if you were going in circle, you would be able to tell that direction is changing, no matter how much slight. So he dismissed this thought and sat down to relax for more time. Now, he decided to be not allowed to stand up unless his body grows tired of sitting like that. So he closed his eyes, and wished not to fall asleep. And just when he was, in fact, ready to drift away, a thought made him open his eyes and look around. He would sleep later, much later. Now, what had to be done, could not wait anymore. He stood up and continued walking in the same direction - with very step his pace gained speed. Until he reached a point where he needed to gain slowness, now that he reminded himself that he could not do this forever, and that forever was the thought that stirred him in the first place. The thinking about something lasting for so long that it could not be encompassed made him think of so man things and how could they be made such, that even he dared to wonder whether this library was running like forever. But that would mean that it is constructed is such a way to be not let to be taken entirely. It would take much more energy, strength, time and devotion. Which meant - even if you decided to spend your whole life in this place, you will not be able to read everything that is in here. But, again, how is that possible!? He did not know, but he was about to, at least, make sure that that is in the right direction. The walking again started prolonging, not feeling any end. The surmise grow bigger and more solid. More walking, and he almost begin to have no doubt that it was so. Then he just stopped at the very spot from where he got distracted from that sound. He looked to the left, then to the right - nothing, full darkness. He got near to the closest column and picked up the first book he could reach. It was about ancient history of mythological creatures that supposedly were living in hidden places around the world. He left that book, and took another. It told various stories about vanquishings, conquering, subjugation and domination. The next book was connected with rituals that meant to talk with the dead, but did not show whether the results were successful. Nevertheless, he kept the book aside for further reference. Another book was about people with bright minds that were discovering many things that helped society to live a better and peaceful life. Boring, he almost fell asleep. Next book, dragons, fairies and .... he could not believe it .... MAGIC. Of course, finally. But. When he continued reading he noticed that it was about children. His disappointment was split between bafflement and some sort of expectation. Could that mean that ‘magic’ was in the working, or they were just playing with words!? He would necessarily find out about that. Next book talked about how to build underground passages without ruining the earth. He raised both his eyebrows. What!? He could not understand anything in it. How was it... Then it struck him - making the impossible, possible. AH! AH! Un...believe...able.... He stopped reading, looked around, no one and nothing to be seen or heard. He looked again at the book - clear in obvious writing it said, ‘wishes and desires can lead to a lot of distress if not handled with proper power that could make the heart at rest; to whomever it is given should not be told right away, because demise will follow where the eyes could not stay; once it is known that the energy is within, no one should interfere with the elements that are built in, otherwise consequences are for those who dare, to involve themselves in the most dire affair’. It ran on and on like a poetical structure obviously, or almost obviously, mentioned, or rather talking about magic. Could it be something else, he wondered!? He left the book aside, along with the one with the tales with the dragons. The next book was nothing but gibberish. Not the language, it was his language, but what the explanation were about. It had something to do with cleaning water with water, whatever the hell did that mean. Book number whatever it is, said something about how important was it to not only learn, but as well to teach... Teach what!? Anything? He decided one more book - and it turned out to be about rules of using the law. He noticed that the book on this shelf contained such information that was confusing the mind. No clear speaking and mostly unintelligible writing. He shifted to another shelf. And what he saw, as hard as it was, made his eyes open so wide, that he forgot he left them so. On the front mage with large letters was written, ‘guide beyond reach’, and under it, with smaller title said one single word that shook his whole being, ‘magic’, and under it, with even smaller size was, ‘source of light’, and that took all his thoughts to wander for a long while. His imagination flew in so many directions, that he completely lost himself. He saw colors, movement, and not a single living thing, not even a tree. It was like a dream of child, of some fantasy land. But, as beautiful and amazing that was, it contained some sort of creepiness and lack of humanity in it. Vividity but brought by play of visual changes of whatever it could be caught be the sight, and no other sense. And that was it - bleakness of anything actually alive. He then tried to pull himself back but he found he could not. Slight shivers ran through his neck. What if I cannot get out of here!? He tried again - it became even hard to release that grasp of this vision. Then he stopped a while to think of what else to do. These thoughts relaxed him a bit, and then the thing happened - the imagery disappeared slowly, and he was back to the reality of his world. What just happened!? He wondered in confusion. Then he looked at the book and saw that the letters as if moving. And more - he felt as if the book was alive. IT was warm, not hot, but comfortably cozy. And when tried with his ears to adjust from the lack of any sound during the experience, he noticed, also, that some whispers were coming from the very book. It was not talking, but more of a winds, gentle and so welcoming that they were trying attract his senses on a deeper level. He shook to release the slight tension the book was eliciting, not wanting to be in the snare of that momentum again. And what amazed him even more, if that was still possible, was that he had not even opened the book yet. That quickly decided for him to do it. He opened it. But something shocked him greatly - many pages were missing. The ones that were still, barely intact were just something provisional, nothing basic or of high importance. He was disappointed, much more than before. But that soon turn into suspicion and anger. Someone was here, who knows when, and either need the book,... OR, the more likely suggestion, someone wanted to make sure that Yondy will not have the essential content of the book. Otherwise, why not taking the whole book, instead of ripping off half of it!? But whoever did that, why leave the clue!? Questions, unanswered questions were spinning in his head. Now, different kind of exhaustion fell on him - powerlessness against being able to do or find anything.... else. Were there more books? He completely forgot that he had enormous amount of books right here - whole, giant room dedicated exactly for this. But, another thought stopped him - what if whoever did this to this book, did the same with others, if there were others, that is, what then? So, while looking through more and more, he needed to figure something out, and if he can, to find out who did it. The chances were so tiny.... nevertheless, he will try. But before that, something very important should be done - take the book with him, to have it in him all the time. Who knows, maybe it will help him. The book was alive, all right, or in any case, it has magic in it. But to have magic, and to know how to use it, were two entirely different jobs. And he did not want to be left with either missing. He continued with the checking of the books on the current column. They were not many, but enough to take his mind in the right direction. First, the hands of his took one that had no title, no indication of what was it about in any way - no picture, no drawing, not even a single dot or line. Inside it, it was blank - as if ready to be wrote on. And it smelled in a strange way, in what, he could not quite place his senses in the appropriate way. He decided, after closing it, he took it with him. Next book, was the exact opposite of the previous. So many inscriptions, so many things written, painted, drawn, depicted, and so many smells were combined in one, that he almost felt dizzy. He leafed through it, check certain passages. Some pages were filled with only long paragraphs. On some, pictures were put on the whole of them. It was not so much thick, but it contained enough to fill the day off, with your mind on it. Next, was a book of diagrams, or more precisely, all those things that were either built, or were planned to, or were never done so. Such elegance and precision was astonishing, even though slightly familiar. Move to the next. Now, it was about the science behind the construction. He changed the shelf. But there were no books, only papers stacked on thick piles. He did not dismissed them. He checked them swiftly, and saw that they contained letters from and to different authorities. Next shelf was so full of books, that Yondy was barely about to take out one. And no wonder. All of them concerning one single subject - how to rule over. A complete mastership, guide, and revelation of talents and different strategies, which can help even the most ignorant person to be able to achieve what belonged to few. Yondy thought, what if those things fall into the wrong hands!? He did not want to think about the consequences. He did not know what to do with them. On one hand, he wanted to take them, but they were too many. On the other hand, it was better if he just read them slowly, one by one, and nothing else. Even if no one, probably, comes here, something missing, and especially, a lot of things missing, would be such a suspicious thing. So, for now, keep on going with the checking, while taking one to read. Next column, besides being in a slightly darker angle, provided perspective for watching on any side, without, maybe, being seen. So, that point, perhaps, was the turning one. Some sort of making a turn in either the opposite direction, or in some other one. The lowest shelf was about plants that were not in this land, but on the farthest which could be reached by the person who wrote the information. And with this in mind, all others in this section, were about things that were found in the farthest lands any men had manage to achieve going to. And now, his walking just followed where the path of the very positions of the columns toward wherever it was leading him. It turned out, that that was only the beginning of new area of the library, because it did not turn all around, but went in a left-angular direction. Or was that an illusion!? He stood still and tried to see anything, even the slightest indication of non-straight line. And that really was it. The very space went askew from that point on. And when he looked at the ‘new’ pathway, he saw ‘new’ long corridor. What a surprise! He slapped his forehead and shook his head. The walking continued. Wait! He warned himself. Before he moved to the ‘next level’, he had to check the very literal angle which the columns were making. Was it because the darkness that he could barely distinguish it? Probably, and yet, he was missing something else. That, he told himself, for later. Now, the ‘new’ thing. The next corridor, was not so spacious, but contained deeper amount of darkness. He started to imagine, what would be like being enveloped in the deepest darkness possible!? He was split there - both wanting to experience it, but also wishing to be able to escape it anytime he felt the need to. One step was enough, and the new darkness covered him completely. He felt the darkness, in all its curiosities and mysteries, how it was getting the best of his senses and mind. As much as frightening and quiet it was, there was something peculiarly pleasant in all of this condition. He looked around, it did not matter that he could not see even his own hands. But something was strange - he could see what was way farther ahead of him. That was why he was able to see that this new corridor was like a giant secret niche, more covered than any place he was in, including the other corridor. A thought occurred to him - what if there are more corridors. And the way he was walking so far, that probably was the case. And there, another task to be done, for later. With this decision he focused on the first book his hands could take. He cracked a laughter. He realized he probably should not have done it, but he also understood that he could not have contained it. It was so surprising that his reactions was out of handling, What was written on the book, was the reason for this outburst. There with thin letters was said, ‘Darkness for everything’, and he stared at it for a while. Then he opened it and was even more baffled, but this instead of laughter, and a deep lightning bolt as if passed through his hands. The very pages were all in dark lines, spots, figures, all dark, but in such a way that whatever it needed to be seen was surrounded or filled with white space. But the white regions did not not at all negated the appalling feeling one could get just by looking at it. His face became transfixed completely. He could not move, could not think, he could not utter a sound. Struck as if something he did not even know what had hit him. And what was the most crawling-giving sensation, made him stoned - the whole of the whatever was drawn, written, or else, was in a motion - irregular incessant movements. He tried, instinctively, to touch it, and when he did so, a slight electric shock slowly got all over his skin. It was not awful, but it felt so alien, that he immediately pulled his hand away. Then, he could not believe it himself, he tried it again. This time more carefully and ready for ... well, anything. But he did not have the chance again, because just when he was about to touch it again, all movements ceased. All magic stopped, immediately. He was stunned. Did I imagined it all, he wondered!? Nevertheless, he touched it. Nothing happened. It was as if he were handling an ordinary book - nothing special. He took it, most decisively; or more precisely without any further thought, it was on instinct, no doubt, no hesitation. He moved to the next book, while his mind still on the one he just put into his collection. The content of the current one was only in drawings - not a single explanation, barely anything wording, just for basic orientation with some abbreviation. Next book - it had such writing that filled all the space of the pages. There was no free space at all =- corned, sides, bottom, or top. The title said, ‘Letters’, he found it strange to put such simple name, but who was he to say a thing. He read some passages. They spoke of deals that were not according to the laws in the kingdom. They may be of some others, he doubted it, but could not exclude the possibilities. Some business that was not done with the public knowledge, and that, apparently, was the whole point. There was some king Grezenhauten, who were committing some offences against the population of his realm, and was helped by another king named Hritofer, who was a ruler of a land called Toferia. Grezenhauten’s kingdom bore the name Hazen. From what the reading was telling him, both were aiming for the conquering of another kingdom, called Batania, which had lied on some mountain named Tana. With this, they were trying to take ownership of a such enormous territory, that they included about eleven kingdoms. With continuing down the pages, Yondy found that the farthest regions that the huge rulership was reaching kings which they still existed, such that were in proximity with the Panaka, the place where he was now exploring. They were named Jatam and Kaisa. Both were wide and rich enough to be good at what they were doing, at least that was what it seemed like from the outside. He had been in that places for some times, but never stayed in them for long periods. He always felt something uncomfortable about their surrounding, and they way the people in there were in attitude. Friendly, helpful and ready for fight if necessary, but they guarded their private space so well, that they did not allowed no one to say something in their lands. Which was good, but too suspicious. A matte for way much later - if it even comes to that, Yondy decided. Now, next one. A book of anatomy. Why? Why in such a place? But, he thought, perhaps there was not specific arrangement of the books. No the less, he checked what exactly was inside. And to his surprise, it contained much more than he could expect when thinking about the human body. It was about finding a way to make it stronger and less vulnerable toward diseases, but not so impregnable against other physical injuries, like stabbing, falling , making an outside wound. And the process is conducted with summoning some sort of spirit that has the power to infuse something called ‘ganota’, which makes the skeleton thicker and as if enveloped in impenetrable shield. But, to his disappointment, there were not written conclusions, no results. Either the were not positive, or no results at all. He took it anyway. The next book was about magician. Actually, all the books on the next shelf concerned stories and discoveries and makings of all the magicians known. So many were they, that Yondy thought as if there was a whole village full of them. The last one have, or had, the name Vantos, who are on the training but he could not master it the right way so man unpleasant things followed. And since he was the last one, no one was around, he failed, and that period of failure brought him his end. That made Yondy think of a very interesting perspective he did not come up with so far - the fact that you can have it, does not mean you are masterful. You may have power, but if you do not know how to wield it, it will ruin you, and probably the people around you. That gave a well of imageries in Yondy’s head, and he went in some reality that did not belong to his current one. He was face in face with the same picture, or rather description of the man he just read about. He was a young man, perhaps even younger than Yondy himself. He had long hair, and short beard. His face spoke of grave attitude toward something Yondy could not catch. Now that he started paying attention toward his facial movements, he noticed that the man was saying something, or more of whispering. On closer look, he already realized what that was - incantation. The man was making a spell, or more specifically, he was invoking something - a spirit? Yondy waited. The man continued, no sound was audible, but the visual focus was good enough. The man suddenly raised his hands, and there came slight explosion near him. Then something came out, but Yondy could not see what was. Now the man was talking clearly and no more whispering. That did not matter anyway. The man’s body language became ambiguous - at one point he bowed, as he in front of a king, and the next moment, he was yelling at the thing. Then all disappeared, and the man was again alone. He was angry, but tried to contain it. Then he moved closer to Yondy’s direction, took some book and started reading it. Then Yondy gasped - it was the book Yondy was holding right at that moment. Is all this magic, or...., Yondy asked frantically!? He did not know how to react, so many emotions were overflowing, and he could do nothing about it. It was similar to the feeling he experienced earlier, but the difference was - there was a man, a probably alive man, who.... WHO WAS IT!? Yondy kept wondering. He shook his head, but the images did not go away. Then something happen that Yondy wished it hadn’t. The man looked at him - straight at his eyes, and said something, then came again at the direction of Yondy, and continued talking. Yondy was shaking his head - WHAT DO YOU WANT? I cannot hear you!!! Oh, my dear lord, is he going to....What he can do? Am I trapped? So many questions bombarded his head that he almost fainted. Thankfully, at the moment he dropped the book, which made it up possible for Yondy to stop seeing the visions, so no matter that h fell on the ground, he was able to shake out of what had happened, and tried to focus on its meaning. What was THAT!? He was breathing so heavily, that he thought he could loose not only air, but the ability to take any. Since the whole place was entirely dark, and no sound came or went, every single action of his was like the noises he made were the only existing in it at all, nothing else. When he regain composure, he stood up, slowly, and, of course, took the book. Soon, he thought, there will not be much space in the bag. He barely dared to pick up the next book, but nothing happened when he touched it. Nothing was written on its cover, but that was a compensation for what was inside it - HIMSELF. He could not say anything. He was so petrified and stoned, that he was like a statute - staring, with open mouth, no breathing, not a single movement, no indication that he was something alive. He was reading about his own self, but the thing that shocked him, was not that the book contain some sort of history. Quite the contrary, in a way. It was about the future. About what was about to happen. There was not just a drawing of Yondy in the book, as he was in his current age, but every characteristic that he possessed was there, right in the book, written by ... who knows whom. He kept reading and reading - no explanation, just depiction of thoughts, actions and what he will do. That, on the other hand gave him the urge to see if he can find whether he was going to discover anything connected with magic. And then the biggest disappointment, which turned into fury, came - nothing about it. But not because no had written anything, but because someone made sure that no one will read it. The pages were not just torn, but done so in the most violent and obvious character. How many books were like this!? And that got an idea in his head. To look for books with ripped pages. That did not mean, ONLY for such books, but them to be the focus. The farthest he could reach with the current book said that Yondy was in the process of search in so many places that when he read their names, his brows frowned because he had never heard of them. The interesting thing was, that after the torn section, there was nothing - the book ended. That could mean a lot of things. Another book in the bag. Next one,... oh, he was so distracted at the moment the he could not longer thing about magic itself, but about the written book, he just saw - about him personally. Why would someone bother to write about me, he wondered!? And more importantly, who is this someone that is ruining writings? As if this part intrigued him more and more. It became the main thought in his head. No, he could not continue with the search, he needed rest. So he lied on the floor and drifted into pensive mood. But even that did not give him the satisfaction he needed. He just could not get out of the grip the last book took over him. HIM, a book about him, referring to HIS FUTURE. At some point he still thought that that was not real, so he pulled it out of the bag, looked at it, opened it, and there - depiction of him, with drawings and writings. So precise was it that talked of either the person knew him, or the person had seen him, either in another drawing or in vision, or it is something of prophetical nature. He closed the book. It became creepy and too much information at once. Artags, that was the last place mentioned in the book, before the part of where the rest was taken away. He did not know it. Never heard of it. Did not ring any bells. Did that mean it was so farther away that it was better to be prepared if going there!? Further, the place before it was called Gantra, which he knew nothing about. Another mystery enveloped with more questions. And before it, Tarnatis, unfamiliar, no matter how much he tried to remember anything about it, mentally. He did not bother look forward. It seemed that a long journey was ahead. And that he thought not just connected with some prophecy, but the problem was - here, in this huge library, although there were certain amount of books about magic, none had the essential about it, or more correctly SOMEONE ripped the pages from them, thus making it impossible for him to discover anything. Which meant, that was going to be his next step - finding out, if he can, who that person is. While in sitting position, he took another book - it told stories about how some people had seen certain creatures, but could not do anything against them. Later, they were reported as either imagination or some demons came to wreck havoc in the village. But since no one was hurt physically, but only mental confusion, the only thing done was those to be locked, or sent away. The book was very colorfully written at the beginning, but at the end, formality became palpable. The book next to it was some kind of explanation. Even more precisely - depiction of those creatures, either in words, or with drawings. One looked like a three-headed snake that was blowing fire, blowing water, and blowing some sort of substance, that make people lose control over their bodies. Next creature was a monster that has the body of wolf and the head of sheep, which was producing sounds of echoing bleating that split later into two distinct sounds - cracking and whistling. Next was something that no name was put because no one has seen anything similar to it - big, hairy, nose that was not long, not very big eyes, paws that looked like humans, but not so much, on later view they resembled frogs, but later, that of a hen; the body had three limbs, the one limb had three fingers, the second five, and of the last, the drawing was blurry. Yondy shook his head, it started hurting. He read the next depiction and he did not want to continue anymore with it. It was something that was exactly like a cat, but five times bigger, and it sounded exactly like a dog. Okay, that is enough, he commanded himself. Either those people had incredible imagination, or there was some magic in play. But who was he to tell anything about magic!? What did HE know about it!? NOTHING. So, keep your mouth close, and your eyes ready. But now, he really needed to give his head something to think about, that was not heavy, so he could relax, so he could continue with the checking. While in that position, he came to the conclusion that as much as the books were interesting to be read, or gathered in the bag, he needed only to check them to see if they contained anything connected with magic. No more distractions. Who knows how many do I have to check!? he wondered. From that point of view, watching at the ceiling, and then around the walls, for as much as he could see, he noticed something that could be eluding him due to non-stopping to look around as constantly. The space between the walls, the opposite walls, and between bottom and top, was varying. It was not the same in everywhere. At first, he thought it was only illusion, but then he actually started measuring the distances, and the result was there - at places, it was wide, while on others - as if converging into tiny space. Yet, he did not feel any strange difference, until now. He renewed the procedure. More monster stories. In fact, they were so many, that people actually started believing that everybody is either getting sick, or someone was messing with their heads. The problem was, if you pick one man, or woman, telling a scary story, every time you did it, it was a different telling. A single person was seeing different things at different times. Not one story was repeated twice, or by two people. It was so strange and expanding that the king of Masiata, Hont Ras, decided to look for someone who was adept to dealing with such matters. Few men with knowledge of the art appeared before him, and were given the task to find a way to eliminate all this trouble, with the reward that no one should keep them away from his land, ever again. With this, the king had something in mind that he did not share with anyone. He knew that actually magic is causing all this havoc, but he was no master in it. He was suspecting that a wizard was playing games so that he could force the king to ask him for help so that he will receive gratitude and allowance to stay in the realm. But the magician who had done his trick possessed advantage, besides magic, on his side - he knew one secret about the king’s family that not even the king himself was not aware. The man revealed to the king that situation, and the king did not know what else to do but accept the proposition. What the secret was about, it was not said. Only that the magic was lifted from the faces of the people. The explanation provided was that an evil force was trying to use magic for bad purposes, but some men who also have magic were good, and with the kings ruling, those who thought that they can help build better place for living, by protecting the kingdom from external influence, especially dark powers, all of those good-willing magicians were welcome to inhabit the land of the Masi. But then other problems emerged, slowly but deleterious enough. First, the king became so avid with the possession of power that can free him from any shackles, hereditary or else. And magic seemed to be the only one that no one could stop. But also, he knew that was not an easy task. More to it, it required certain things, which the king simply did not have in him - patience, focus, spending time in reading, piling knowledge and exercising. He was used to everything being done by people around him, but not by he himself. Nevertheless, that did not stop him from the aching need of having, from getting his hands on the whatever was to be had in order to own magic. That is why, he decided to spend hours in doing something he had not been doing since he was a kid - reading every single book he could find about any information stored anywhere, starting with his own library. Yondy felt weird, as if he was following the step of some confused king who wanted what he wanted,.... just like king Thas. He wanted to get just to the end of the story. It turned out none of the readings had anything of help. The king Masiata asked, implored the magician to tell him everything he knew about magic. He even made an offer to either give him the throne, or gift him with land of his choice. But the magician was not interested in such things - he only wanted to be free and stopped being pursued in order to be executed or locked in the dungeons. Despite the refusal, the king did not let his head down. But no matter the offer, the magician did not say yes. Masiata asked him for someone else to teach him about magic. To which the magician told him that such learning is not about reading some book and knowledge some language, but exacted much more than that - life, dedication and abilities, which the king did not possess. That was the final drop. The king became furious. He wanted to kill the magician. But he knew that that will not achieve anything. Then he came up with something that so much surprised himself that, it was the thing which ruined the very kingdom - he killed them all. He thought that the best magic to achieve any goal is simply eliminating for good all living creatures that were causing the trouble. Problem solved. Yondy’s hands were trembling so uncontrollably, that he dropped the book. A tear from each eyes slid over his checks and followed the direction of the fallen book. He wiped them out, and breathed heavily. His heart was beating so hard that he felt as if he was going to get out of his chest and start running in some direction. To quickly escape this unpleasant feeling, Yondy focused on the next book - but that only brought more tears to him. What kind of bane had magic brought - stories of all sorts, some easily forgotten, others, painful to this day. He did not want to read any. So he continued to the next book. It said, ‘the healing power of water’, with very thing letters. Below it was the rippling surface of the lake behind the end of the town. That made him feel better. But what really caught his attention was the method of the cure, or rather the disarming of illusion, of whatever was causing any inconveniences. Practically, it was the remedy for high-level of disturbance - either mental or physical. Apparently, someone had discovered the characteristics of water and had used it to implement its power for positive goals. But, was it all? Yondy had his doubts. He kept reading. This man, who treated people with water, had no relatives in the village where he lived. He owned only a donkey, and poultry. In the book was not revealed he he was doing it, and that is why Yondy looked through the next book, near it. But it was not about the water, nor about the man. It was about something Yondy was so exhausted of hearing that the moment he saw its title he pushed it away. No more snakes, enough of it already. The next book was about teaching someone how teaching should be done. Yondy became both - intrigued and confused. But continued with checking the next books - various plants, various songs, species of mammals, species of bird, species of fish, species of reptiles, rare species. So, Yondy thought, here is all the knowledge about everything, gathered by so many wisemen, and then stored by who knows who, and then ... what? What are the next generations supposed to do with such information that is kept in such a secret place!? While thinking about it, he skipped several columns. After a count he lost, he stopped the moment the room became so dark that literally nothing could be seen, absolutely nothing. More - nothing could be heard, not even his own steps. As if something was taking the sounds out of everything. He tried to speak - NOTHING. He felt instant shock. His gulp caught in his throat in a wrong way, which made him start coughing for a certain period of time. The slight pain he was feeling was not so much about the difficulty of breathing and composure, but the fact that he could not hear his own flow of air - that was agonizing. He was feeling the deep desire to rip himself apart, but again, for the sake of losing touch with another senses... WAIT! Is that IT!? Have I suddenly became deaf!? He check his ears. They seemed fine, they did not even hurt him. He tried again with some noise. Nothing. He did not know what else to try. So, for now, he decided to focus on the checking of the books. May be on the way he will find out what was wrong. He continued. The darkness became so deep and dense, that you could almost feel as if it was alive - the hearing was still lacking. He kept going. Now he needed to use his touch to orient himself - it became the only source of direction. He grabbed the first columns his hands could hold on to, and reach for any book. But what is the point!? He asked himself. It is so black around me, that I cannot even see my own hands, my own nose, even if I know that they are there. Nevertheless, he took the book and got it close to his face. WHAT!? HOW....!!!!? Wh....? He did not know what to say. He rubbed his eyes, but what he could see....YES, could SEE, was so unbelievable that his thoughts were split in two directions - what was going on, and what was written in the book. The former will come later. The title said, ‘imagination at its prime’, and under it with bold letters, ‘for things with no limits’, and under it with very small writing was, ‘let you wish come true’, and that made Yondy gasp. For a while he completely forgot about the loss of hearing anything. He put the book in the bag and immediately after that took the next one. And when he read the title, or rather when he saw the title - first he could not believe yet that he could see nothing but the writings on the books alone - he suddenly dropped it as if bitten by it. When he regained his composure he carefully opened it. The very first sentence made him gulp so deep in his throat that he almost thought he could lose his breathings as well. It said, ‘No one with the no knowledge or understanding, can see the real magic. Only with the certain minds, are born the best of the best’, which made him shook his head. What is the meaning of this!? He kept wondering. He kept reading. “The attitude of human being is to be the being of a human.” Another shaking of head. What is this? A riddle? He continued. “What one can gather, only one can sense. The rest are nothing but pile of trash and pest.” The next one opened his eyes. “The majority is the one who thinks the least, because the minority makes the world as it is.” Yondy wanted to continue, but he realized that there are many more books to be checked, so he closed the book, looked again at the title which said, ‘banish the world with the spell of a word’, and then he put it back. When he took the next book, he noticed something more heavy - the air was becoming harder to breath. Perhaps it is because of the underground space!? He thought. But inside his head, something else was telling him, that there was more to it. He just could not place it. ‘The limits are here, but who dares to make them disappear’, was the first sentence of the book he was holding, with no title on it. After reading a little bit more, he come to the understanding of one thing - too many information in the span of one day, from too many direction. And I need to focus only on magic, he repeated it to himself. But that was the problem as well - he did not know on what to hold on to. He nodded his head in confirmation that he knew nothing about it, after all. He went forward to the next column, with his hand touching their posts and walls for slight support and orientation, and then to the next, and another one. Like this he passed through more than twenty, then fifty, then possibly a hundred. And still a single ray of light. Most likely, he thought this corridor was even longer than the previous. The strange thing - he did not felt exhausted, at least in his legs. But his head, oh, dear everything, he whispered. Or was it a clear uttering!? He did not know anymore. No sound, meant no sound. And he did not even bother to wonder why and how. He kind of learned how not to use his ears. And that gave him a further idea - focus, especially such that he could expand the ability of his sense, simply by letting them feel whatever they can. But since there was nothing to taste with his tongue, that left him with smell and touch. No matter how much he exerted his eyes, absolutely nothing he was able to see - except for the writing. In it was not like a torch or light. It was the other mysterious thing he could not comprehend - yet. The walking continued. Near how many he already passed, he lost the count. He decided to stop with the steps and pick a random book. He looked at it, but was set even more stunned - he could not read it. At first, he thought it was because there was nothing written on the cover, but then when he opened it, the same, nothing. If it weren’t for his hands, or more specifically, for his skin, he would not be knowing that he was holding anything at all. Nothing to be seen, no leafing through to be heard. Just feeling of hard object, and the movements of changing the pages. He put it in the bag. Then he continued with the going ahead. And as if all this was not enough, something more breath-taking happened - literally. He could not breath properly. With every breath he felt as he had swallowed something that he could not get out of his throat. More tries, more trouble, more taking it, more not being able to take it out. It felt as if the air was something solid, heavy and cannot be broke to pieces. Was he panicking for nothing, or the end for him was at his time!? He dare not hear the answer. The only thing he could do, was to lay on the floor and try NOT TO breath for a while, even if that thought scared him more than he was thinking the effect could be. Like that, on his back on the almost cold ground, with placed hands over his chest, he was following his own expanding and diminishing of the size of his torso. Slow and steady rhythm, yet, not very convincing. It turned out, after little enough period, that it made him feel better. Much better, in fact. So better, that his normal breathing came back again. No suffocation, no nothing. He then slowly stood up, and was about to start walking when a pain in his chest bursted so fiercely, that brought him back down to the ground. Once he was there, lying again, the comfort became to flow through his body once more. So, what he discovered was that the only way he could continue is like that. More to it, if he wanted movement - crawling. So he started doing it. problem, except for the difficulty of placing himself from one spot to the next. He kept putting his hands, right then left, then his legs, right then left, over and over. It was onerous, but effective. He did not seem to care anymore about any books, reading or similar. Right now, what was on his mind - to get out of this trap-like situation. But HOW!? He wondered. To where? Now his motions became too much mechanical - his body was exercising great deal of muscular strength, while his mind was thousand steps away. The only explanation he had for the happening was .... IT, magic. And he did not have the slightest idea of what to do about it, or how to deal with it? Soon, his physical condition was getting so trudged, that he stopped to take a breath, and to let his body relax. He did not dare to stand up again. The idea of feeling that pain again, hurt him without even actually being hurt. But something, deep inside his heart told him to give it a final try before submitting to the rules of whatever it was controlling it. And he did it - slowly, and carefully, he stood up on his knees, then on his feet in something like a squat, and then very warily straightened his posture. Nothing happened. Which both - surprised him and made his whole being be at the ready to fall down. But no pain, no strange feeling, not even a touch of anything was close to his anatomy. The only thing still there, or rather still lacking, was vision and hearing. He breathed a very deep breath, and looked around. Why!? He wondered. What is the point? And he continued. But. That was the moment when an enormous amount of blinding flash hit him in the eyes, and he could not but fell on the ground, and this time, it hurt most, because he was so unprepared for such a task, that his limbs literally gave up all support. He collapsed like a lifeless doll. AS if the very soul of him was taken in the blink of the eye. Yet, he was there, alive, screaming of both - pain and inability to understand what was that hit him so hard!? His head even started hurting. His ears buzzing - the first sound since the silence stepped on his eardrums. He could not taka a regular breath. The tension in his eyes was so strong that he could not stop wallowing on the floor, still opening and closing his mouth, he could not hear it, but he did not need to. He was yelling with all the strength his lungs could produce. Through all this experience, he momentarily realized something, and that stopped the panic. I am screaming, am I not!? That means, I am still alive, no matter the situation. Which means... what? He tried to find the answer. That this place is ... very well-defended. But. Why now? Why here? So many books, so many columns, such distance. Nothing wrong. And now, here? What is so different? He was actually starting himself very reasonable and profound questions, which took his mind completely. He was so desperate to find even the least piece of something that can tell him more. But he did not have it. And that made him angry. This time, he screamed and yelled, but out of of ire, not of something else. No there was only his head doing two things at a time - vibrating and considering what had just happened with his eyes. So he just sat on the floor and tried to remember what exactly was the instant blast of light!? But it was so fast and least expectful, that he was not able to catch anything but the feeling it caused him. When every part of his body recovered from the event, he decided to continue walking - for now, no standing up. Crawling, cowering, anything, but being straight in his posture. What he really wanted is to find the end of this almost-madness. Now, with his legs feeling better, he tried different method - walking like a frog. At first, it was fun and more time passed more easily. But with darkness all around you, it was getting even more bothersome, because in a situation like this, one would want to be free, outside of any fetters, whether material or not. Then he went back to slide along the floor like the animals he hated most. That was most smooth, and even though it cost much more effort, after every getting up, you could immediately lie down again to rest. This, he did so many times that he grew so tired of the constant up and down, that he finally gave up all hope of getting out. He took a break. He breathed deeply, and tried to concentrate on even the smallest change that could be detected. Nothing. Then he decided to do something he thought he would not try again - standing up, straight. What if the pain returns!? Then I will die, he told himself. We will all die anyway. Was that the desperate voice in me, he wondered. Never mind. This time he was not careful. Just at once, he prepared his legs, his knees, and his feet, then his legs and head, and from being on the ground, he swiftly changed to being on his knees, then making the necessary effort to lift his body, until he reach the full length of his height. Nothing. No pain. Only.... He was about to think that only his breathing was present, but that even that was not the thing. His breathing was not there. He had stopped breathing. The moment he realized it, he started transferring some air into his lungs. The first intake felt good, but the second.... Oh, it brought such pain that literally made him stop, as if someone put a hand on his mouth. But right then, with the cease of breathing in, the pain stopped as well. He caught that right away. So he prepared to take more breath for further walking, with the cost of more pain. He did it. And then he started with his legs. He tried to do a fast pacing, but not too much so not to lose strength and breath. He did well, but only for a while. He knew that of course, so mentally he was preparing to pass through the whole travail of taking breaths along with pain, on every certain amounts of steps taken. He did not count the whole amount, his thoughts was on ‘every time I am about to take breath, be ready for... you know’ phrase, and with that he lost more than sense of time. He did it so many times that at some point he completely forgot that he was receiving pain after each intake. That amaze him so much, that he decided to stop non-breathing for the certain amounts of steps. The result was astonishing - no more pain. At least, he judged so. That made him think about the very pain. Was it real pain, or I had imagined it!? Then he thought of something. I am under the ground, where access to air is very limited. But that does not explain anything. There was pain, not just need for breathing - simple and acute pain,... which was not gone... or simply he got used to it. He tried to compare his state now with what was before. Completely different. Was it because I am in a different section of this corridor!? He could not answer that. Now, only one desire - keep going, find the way out. He kept with that, going and going and going, no stopping for anything. Soon, it was not longer walking. He started running - first with little faster speed than walking, then he increased the alacrity, until it became a real run. He kept pushing him self and his legs to such limits that the running hot so fast that he just wanted to fly. He almost felt that with one movement at the right way and at the right speed, he could be able to achieve it. In fact, that was his mind telling him to do - detach yourself from the ground and soar. But. HOW!? I am UNDER the ground. He did not even know how much deep. But that did not stop him from the desperate yearn to be separated from the boundaries of this labyrinth. He quickly dismissed any thought that might distract him, took a break, took a breath, and continued with the running - again, first slowly, then real fast. Now was not the same, he had lost a lot of strength. Nevertheless he did not gave up. Run and run, and so fast to beyond the fun. When BAM! Something stopped him right in the front of him. A wall that hit him on every part of his front side - hands, legs, torso. Fortunately, thanks to his reflexes, he barely felt it with his head. His hands play a great role of guards. The rest was for his quick response. He was so stunned, that his surprise was both - pleasant, that he finally had found the end, and unpleasant, because of the impact. So, this is it!? He felt his face lit, although could not see it. Am I going to get out of this hole, at long last!? He breathed in and out, with pleasure, and tried to feel for where the wall was leading. In the left direction, still, and still, slowly and slowly. And when he was about to get on faster level, he touched the wall’s end. He walked around it, passed behind it, and his eyes could not believe what he was seeing, actually seeing. There was not just darkness, not just deep black color, not just profound level of lack of light, but the very whatever you can call that thing was HELPING him see anything. As if the darkness itself provided him with new sort of vision. Like the light does normally, only now, that was done by darkness. How the ..., he did not know what phrase to put, ... is that possible!? But what took him aback, were two things - no columns of books, and a long, very long path of stairs, which did not seem to lead to anywhere that he were seeing. But only gave him the enough pull to make him proceed into the strangely looking, yet comfortably-vast structure of steps. The only thing that made him hesitate a little before he decide to be more certain, was the question of ’what could be at its end?’, but that thought passed through his mind so slightly, that was swept away by everything else that filled his mind while looking around. The first step felt like nothing. Like regular one. The second, as if elevation only now began. With the third, and all after that, he felt the real difference - he was not only ascending, but moving mentally. Like a non-physical flight. He shivered, and he did not know from what - pleasure or fear. Right now, he did not care much, for as long as I am out of here. So he continued, and the more he was away from the ground, the more the stars seem to increase in amount and distance. When he felt that there was no danger, for now, he started walking more freely, in a relaxed way. So much was the tension receding, that he first started looking at very direction, not just because he could see everything, but because he could not but notice the great view with which the surrounding was filled. And he could find no word to describe it. He only breathed very heavily, and wanted to remember as much as he can. Darkness was playing its most intricate game - illusion and reality into one, or more precisely, illusion flowing into reality. No colors, but sight of such depth and synchronization that he could not comprehend exactly what he was seeing. Literally uncountable objects of different sizes and shapes were piling, assembling, disassembling, regrouping, reshaping. Ones created images of amazingly beautiful sceneries, others where picturing a paradise-like places where no harm could be put, there were even such contours that the moment you start following theirs paths you found yourself into a completely different background. And all this was not happening on only one side. It was as if everything was merging in such a way that all perception Yondy was aware of was gone. Completely new kind of world he was observing. The only thing that was not possible to be done - touching. The moment Yondy tried to get near one wall, either the very wall lengthened its distance, disappeared, or the very staircase did not allow movement away from its own path. Only visual perception was available. But the end of the tunnel, if he could call it thus, was nowhere to be seen. Another illusion!? Does not matter. Did not matter. No pain, no suffering, no tears, no .... He was about to say no problems, but he noticed something that he stopped paying attention to for quite the time - the hearing was still lacking. He tried the other senses. With nose and tongue, everything good. Then touch came. What...? Then a thought came to him. The very steps. He looked down, stopped his legs, kneeled, and slowly with his right hand reach for the stairs. Just when he was about to touch it, he felt something that made him pull his hand away. He did not know what that was, but the fact that he FELT it, meant that his touch was good, too. Okay, he told himself, everything is amazing. No question about it. But, he looked around as if expecting to see something more ordinary, or leading to something different. Like exit. His desperation was getting the best of him. But, surprisingly, he got a hold of it pretty quickly. Like it had not been there. He decided to try running, again. The stairs did not stop him, but something else did - change of the very direction to where the stairs were going - to the right. He got closer to the edge. Stepped two more steps, and his face became bright the moment he saw different view. No more stairs. Just a tiny corridor, leading to a wall - its ending. He shook his head in disbelief. He got even closer. Touched the wall, and nothing was felt. Then he tried to move it - nothing. Pushed it - nothing. Is it fake? He became irate. He looked around - nothing behind him, just the stairs. He turned again toward the wall. I must be doing something wrong, he muttered. But, the point was, he did not know what to do. He tried touching it on different places, again, but nothing moved. Am I stuck here? He wondered. Going back did not seem like a very good idea. So he sat down and took a break to think about it, in peace. Like that, sitting on the floor, he had the chance to really look around, for what seemed like enough place for to be hidden. Slowly, his eyes moved from surface to surface, to the wall, to the floor, to the opposite wall, and then went to the ceiling. That was the moment he noticed something - an engraving of some sort. He was not sure exactly what, so he stood up and tried to make something out of it. Symbols that when looked at the right angle represented something like arrows, but pointing inward, instead of forward. He took position right under them and tried different view. The thing was, with every point different sight was visible. When his back faced the wall, he could not move, the symbols spoke of something unreadable. When with his right side at the wall, they showed as if three people facing each other -weird enough, appealing enough. When with his left side, as if they were gone - they fit in with the color of the ceiling perfectly. Lastly, facing the wall - indeed arrows. not very crafty, but still, arrows. On closer look, or more of more concentrated attention, he noticed something else - the arrows were not just point at their common center, but they were drawn in such a way that as if they were trying to climb something, not flat position, but ascending. He did something out of curiosity - he lifted his hands trying to represent two of the arrows, and with his head doing the third. FLOP, Slide, small crushing. The moment he heard the noises, he looked ahead of him - the wall was changing its position. He was genuinely, although pleasantly, surprised, at seeing this, so he dropped his hands and smiled widely, and went to the door. But that triggered, or more precisely, made the wall stop whatever it was doing. He felt disappointed. But since his attitude changing, changed what had happened, he immediately recognized the reason. He went back to the position he was in - the hands in the air and his head facing the ceiling, and what followed was that the wall opened to its greatest extent, all the way, until as if there were no more wall. He was about to let his hands fall, when he asked himself what would happen. But he told himself, that even if the wall closes back, he will have enough time to pass through the opening. So, without wasting more time, he reached for the threshold. He passed through it, and only after doing it so, light started revealing what was in front of his eyes. A dark, omening forest. He looked around - the light was coming from... he thought about the moon, but he did not see it, so he did not know from where the light originated. It did not matter. NO MORE corridors. He was out of the library. He breathed the deepest breath he was possible of doing and dropped to the ground, to feel its presence. Right at that moment, everything changed. All his senses became more than alive - they were speaking to him. Not in a human language, but with their own. Oh, how he missed his hearing. He almost completely forgot he had such an ability. He cried of joy. His fingers could feel the softness of the soil, the hardness of some stones. He could see light, even though it was at some point at night - he could not judge properly. He wondered for how long he was inside? But that did not matter - not now. He wanted to enjoy the tranquility of the nature. And there were sounds - many, so many, he missed them all. He even heard a wolf howling, and he shivered, but although he felt slight fear, enjoyment filled his whole body. I CAN HEAR! AT LONG LAST! He screamed. Actually screamed. And he could hear - loud and clear his throat trembling with pleasure. OH, such delight to return to your senses, literally. Or rather, they to return to you. Such long period without his senses, he completely disregarded the task of looking through the books. He realized two things - his life was much more important than any other task that may endanger his own existence; and two, sometimes sacrifices are necessary so that a bigger goal can be achieved. Now, he had a good amount of books in his bag, and with enough air to breath as usual. But something was not right. He could feel it, with his instincts. The place was too lifeless, except for the trees. Maybe he was at some remote spot!? Even though. Shouldn’t there be some animals, especially nocturnal ones!? No owls, no crickets, no life could be felt. Hell, not even from the trees. He stood up, and approach one. He touched it, and did not feel anything but its roughness - no surprise there. He tried to grab the closest branch, some leaves. Nothing unusual. He knew that there was no way of determining whether they are alive or not. But it was not the trees that made him nervous. It was the very condition of the forest - lonely. As it the woods themselves, along with the grass, were left to be such at the care of mother nature. And no other living being will disturb the quietness of the place. What he felt tugging in his heart, in his head was something to do with the way it was visible. And how light was possible in here? Where was the moon? Where am I!? he yelled at the skies. No one answered. He did not expect any replies. He started walking. The air was wonderful. Such ecstatic feeling he had never felt, not even in the forest of ... The thought of his kingdom brought something to his mind, he could not but wonder - am I still in my kingdom!? By the inner senses of his, he judged that it was definitely not the realm of his king. Or, either he was at some outskirts, or he was in a place that what could be expected was unknown. So, he was careful. He could not be otherwise. The land was so different from his kingdom that smells were so new, his nose became full with aromas he never taken before. And not just that. There were so many that he almost fainted in too much intake. The light did not change a bit, not did he find its source. But really, he asked, where is its origin!? It was not from above, because only certain things were visible. Others, were completely covered in darkness. He became sick and tired of darkness. One thing was the darkness of the night, quite different the black view of an enclosed space. What is with this darkness? Suddenly, an answer came, or at least he took it as such. On of the trees waved his crown, even though the wind was not very strong. And the way it did it, made him think that it was not the night breeze the cause of the movement. He approached he tree. Nothing. He touched it. Nothing. He looked up and all along its height, and saw something that he did not know whether it was another illusion or not - there was a tree. He shook his head. What!? How is that ... possible, one more time? The view he was seeing was how the very tree was making another tree with its own structure, starting fro the crown. What was more - it was not stable, it wavered. He did not dare go up. But his desire told different response. He actually started climbing it, curiosity again. The tree was tall, alright. But he had never problem with such procedure. What happened - the same thing as with the stairs - vision of like infinity, once he was at the top. Now even his deepest yearn told him not to venture further, so he was about to go down, when he looked ahead, and his eyes caught an amazing view - a new world. Dark, indeed, but such beautifully dark that at once he fell in love with the panorama. So elegant beauty that did not meant either bluntness, or extravagant bareness. Simple and pure openness to the world of darkness. He realized he had stopped breathing, so he took another breath, and another. He was so mesmerized, that he felt suck in that place, literally not knowing what to do. He moved a little down, and immediately the whole picture disappeared. It only worked from the very top - looking in any direction. No, this is for much later, he told himself, I cannot do this right now. So, he descended with mind full of images he himself could not comprehend. His thoughts were so scrambled that that almost caused him to fell on the ground, and a possible breaking of something, but he managed to regain clear sight and held on to a healthy branch until he was sure he will not meet the grass so soon and in an unpleasant way. Now, down, with is own legs supporting him he tried to come up with solution of what do to next. What direction he should take? Shouldn’t he wait for the morning to come, for clear sight? One part of him wished to take some sleep, while different part of him ached for more adventure, and actually to find something while still could not be seen. He decided on the latter, for now at least. No change in direction, straight ahead. At the direction where he did not know what he could meet or not meet. Again, that sensation that told him something was wrong about this place. He was annoyed because he did not understand the feeling and what had provoked it. He took another look around, and decided to do something that he hadn’t expected until the tree - he climbed another one. As if clearly expecting something, he saw it when he got on the top of it. Another sight - green one. Everything was so meadow-like that he wished he could breathe the air in that place. But he realized that was not possible. He tried touching it with his hands, but it was as if trying to catch the very air. He descended the tree with deep disappointment. But, although he was not able to reach the view directly, he began to understand pieces of the puzzle. To verify it, he started climbing another tree. And what he saw at its top confirmed his thinking - the vision of blue was spreading on every direction, with the specific level. The thing was, the color of blue was so deep and clear that no other color was visible, just hues and shades. Of course, some looked similar to the green, others to some other colors. But they were not exactly those colors. Then he tried another tree - yellow on its top. And another - red. And another - brown, and another - purple. And more trees, more colors. Such colors, which he did not even know what they were. At some point he was so excited of what he had becoming the witness, that he completely ignored the exhaustion of his legs. But soon, they started screaming so loud, that he could not more not pay attention to them. He sat at the base of the last tree he had the strength to climb and gave his legs a big rest. He certainly promised himself this time - that was the final decision - he will sleep here. Tomorrow morning, well, ... that is for tomorrow, he told himself. But, no matter how much out of juice he was, he could not fall asleep. He felt as if he was not a bit soporific in his eyes, or his mind. The heaviness in his body was only in his limbs. Well, if not sleeping, he thought, at last let’s do the thinking part. So, these trees are not exactly trees. Like I almost supposed. They carry some sort of magic that is divided into colors - I guess all of them. He looked around and he realized that if one tried to count them, he may will not be able to do it. Again, the effect he was observing was the same as with the stairs, and what he saw when he was at the top of the trees - the more you go into it, the farther it looked - like infinite. But, he reminded himself, after all, I GOT to the end of the tunnel. So there IS some ending. He nodded to himself. He tried to drift into dreamworld, by closing his eyes and not thinking about intense things, and he almost did it, but something woke him up. Breathing. He shook his head. Really!? Someone is here, and is breathing!? He looked around - nothing besides the trees. Then what in the name of .... and then he felt it - the source of the breathing, or rather what sounded like breathing - the very tree he was leaning on. Is that its lifeforce!? he wondered. It must be, what else!? He placed his head on one side and touched the balk of the tree with his right ear and pressed it slightly. Indeed, he could hear some movement inside. But it was more of wind talking, rather than breathing, although close enough. It was not unpleasant, but it was strange enough to make you wonder, what is that. He knocked on the tree - nothing happened. He did it again. Still nothing. Then he gently stroked it. There it became warm - the very tree. And what was more stunningly beautiful - it started glowing with the color he had shown earlier - the problem was, Yondy did not know what that color was. Right now, it did not matter to him. He could see the very tree become the fullness of the color. He could not believe what he was seeing. He rubbed his eyes. But when he opened them again, it was gone. All the magic like flew away in the blink of the eye. He looked around. Nothing. He got near the tree. Nothing. He touched it with his hand. Nothing. No warmness, no vibration, not even the sound was heard anymore. Had I imagined all this!? he was baffled. He could not find the answer to the question. Unless, he tried it with another tree. He went to some random one. He stroked it. Nothing. He knocked on it. There! The tree started changing its color, but the thing was, its color was brown, so not much of a change. Yondy shook his head, he could not expect more. Yet, he went to another tree. He stroked it. Nothing. He knocked on it. Nothing. What!? Really? He scratched his head in wonderment. He embraced the tree with his hands and tried to shake it. Nothing. Then he leaned on it. He waited like that for a while, but the only thing that happened was that finally he was slowly getting on the side of the magic in his head. He was gradually falling into the depths of his own dreams. The first thing he faced was a black door - all shiny and welcoming. He get near it and pushed it open. The door did not opposed the effort, and grew ajar, wider by the moment. When it became fully extendable, it revealed a sight that made Yondy first lose his breath, then quickly regaining it with stuttering takings in and out. He just could not believe his eyes - colors giving birth, dying, changing, becoming filled with intensity, and then embracing themselves into an ominous and mysterious look, but then fading in order to emerge into something that he could now explain what he was seeing - not just rainbow, not just many colors, but speaking, conversing colors. They, the colors, were talking to him. Unfortunately, he did not understand their language. OH, how he wished he could have been able to. Noises were audible enough. There were tremblings, lots of movements. There was what one could consider joy, sadness, frivolity, seriousness, threat, comfort, disaster, peace, love, hate, friendship, enmity, too intimate emotions and feels, too distant behavior. Like the colors were representing the liveness that every creature has in itself. They were able to catch even the tiniest, the slightest contrast, difference between both - too similar expressions, and completely opposite ones. It was so literally magical, that he forgot to speak. He was them. His mind was full with so many thoughts of anythingness that his head start getting dizzy which made him shook his head, close his eyes, rub his face, and when he was already done, he opened his eyes to see that the view became dark again.

He could not observe anything, but blank, black emptiness. No matter at which direction his eyes went, he was not able to discern anything but pure and simple darkness. No contours, no shades, no shadows, not a single light or light-emitting thing. Such darkness that only what he saw in the library could be compared. He was frantic. He tried to move - nothing. Tried to scream - nothing, in the meaning of no reply. I heard my scream, alright, he assured himself. He tried to feel if he could touch anything, but only the floor was palpable. Smells? Nothing. Noises? Absolutely not. Then what am I supposed to search for!? He were about to say ‘look for’, but realized he could NOT SEE anything. At times he thought he was blind. This question he kept asking himself for a while - have I lost my sight, have I done something to hurt my eyes? So many crazy feelings and thoughts were flying in his mind, he actually thought he was going to get literally crazy, almost mad. At the period, he started realizing the true value of having sight, eyes, and as a whole, the ability to see, watch, to use his vehicles for ... Then he suddenly thought of something. To see.... To watch... To observe... The main method with which one could do it is the eyes. But. They are not the only ones, are they!? He come to the conclusion that even though the eyes were the most precious thing, in the sense of senses, other senses should not be devalued. Not at all. So he started paying them much more attention than he thought he could exercise. He decided to forget that he had eyes completely, for while at least. Anyway, it does not matter. Even if I try harder, nothing will happen. I will probably just hurt the more. So, here comes .... whatever it may. He opened widely his arms, so he could use their whole span. Like that, he started walking, slowly. In search for some object, some obstacle that may orient him to ... anywhere. He took some steps in one direction, then more, and more. But nothing impeded his short advancements, which even grew into strides. Then he changed direction. Nothing. He took longer amount of distance. Nothing. How LARGE is this place? he wondered. No answer came. The strolling continued, and that was as if his life became into - an infinite progression of proceeding first with the one leg then with the other. He asked himself, would would be like if the entire life was spend in just like this - walking, with no stop!? That did not make him feel comfortable. And even more unsettling was the situation in which he was - endless space. Or at least it was so enormous that he could not think of it. But the strange thing was, he did not feel tired even a little bit. In fact, he grew more curious - annoyed, yes, as well - but his mind began exploring chances, mental ones, of what he would do if he finds a way out!? He did not know. He will scream. He will be jubilant. He will cry tears. But most importantly, he will taste the flavor of freedom. Then it came to him the questions which gave him goosebumps - will I be free? Come to think of it, even right now, that I am surrounded by only darkness, complete and full, i am not shackled to anything. My movements are so free that the only thing I can hit is the ground. I have changed directions so many times, that it does not seem like there is any boundary in here. No warmth; neither coldness. No wind, but deep silence. Then he felt something - he could not tell what was that, but it touched his skin, somehow. He stopped moving. He waited. But nothing. He warily kept going, and nothing follow. Perhaps I imagined it, he told himself, and went in another direction. But just when he did it, again that sensation - something between a prickle and stroke. What was peculiar about this thing, was that it could be felt only its ending power, only its result. He could not sense any body, any object, or anything that can produce such a thing. Only the sensation itself. Usually, when you feel something on your skin, you can tell the origin of the felt thing, you had felt the pressure of the source, no matter how much small, it is a matter of attention. But this was nothing like that. As if his own skin was playing games with him. He touched where the sensation on his arm occurred - right above his right elbow. Was someone trying to grab his arm, but could not hold it in the right way!? The very touch was instantaneous, but palpable enough to be registered fully by the sense. It was like something really strong to hit you in the blink of the eye, but the impact is enormous. He continued with the walking, and a little after renewing the steps, he thought of it differently. It happens only if I am distracted and definitely not focused, he surmised. Let’s see - he was ready. But something surprised him this time. Because he became very concentrated on being... non-concentrated, a warm whiff of something passed through his body. His senses, even his eyes, felt it like his body received a quick and good amount of first high and then low temperature change. As if hot water, and then with cold water to be poured over your head. His whole body felt like shocked. Like, literally this thing got through his wholeness and then ... then what? He did not know. Is it still in me? No. Cannot be. He thought that the thing was no more in him. Now, he felt better. No shakes, no sweat, only being unaware and to be unbeknownst of what had occurred. The problem was, he could not find out what the thing was. He went straight in the direction from where it came. But that was another problem. He did not know from where it came. He tried left, but no. Then right. Wrong. Ahead, probably, but... no. Behind. Definitely no. Wait! Up? Uh... not sure. Well, then, down is ... the only choice left. And that is when he discovered something he only now could make out. He was not on any ground. There was no surface below him. But how is that possible, he could not comprehend. I saw that earlier, he told himself, there was floor. I am sure... OR, ... now hesitation overwhelmed him. How can you be sure, when you cannot see anything!? Well, then, how can I NOW know that it is a groundless thing, WITHOUT me being able to see it!? He realized that he was not actually seeing anything. It was more of ‘having the sense of it’, or whatever could that be called. The realm of non-seeing, but feeling. He stopped staring at the floor, not only because no answer came from there, but also because he could literally see nothing. Now he understood why going in any direction was pointless. How can you touch anything if you are flying, floating in the air!? You just cannot. But.. then again, WHY am I in the air? Let alone, HOW am I being able to do it!? Then it dawned on him. I am dead, am I not!? But, how is it that I know I am dead? Is it the afterlife!? The panic was so punching that he started crying. But the very him sensing this, answered the question. Am I crying? But,... that means, I am not dead. The... what!? There is something wrong here, he decided. But nothing seemed wrong - well, except the darkness, the floating in the air, the thing that touched him, the thing that almost made him lose his mind, and...what else is to come!? So many questions, and no, no, not on single answer. That made him angry and miserable. He decided not walk for a while. And that is when happened the most non-being-able-to-be-explained-in-words thing that he could experience. At that moment, he was in such trance that only that thing existed in his head. What IS this!? He just cannot find the proper way, he was not capable of finding ANY way of describing, of conceiving what he was feeling. He could feel everything, and nothing, at the same time. Noises, colors, smells, tastes, visions, touches, and by the time he tried to figure them out, all became such complexity that it vanished with such sudden manner that he stopped breathing at all, for a very long period. He could feel that he was losing his life, but soon he discovered that somehow that was no possible. Why? Because I am dead, he told himself, THAT is why. Only that, whatever the things he had experienced, and may continue to experience, they were too agile for him to make out anything of what was the deal. Confusion swept through his mind - to be stubborn enough to find out what was going on, or just sit there and wait for something!? The latter, was the choice, for now. The decision was made easily, mainly because he was too much exhausted of the long, long walk. He sighed and got himself in a position, in some way so that he can somehow be as if lying on the ground. And he succeeded, to his own surprise. He rested his head comfortably on the first plane of air that could take him, then slowly and with a fear that was almost lifted from his face he closed his eyes. That triggered something he expected the least - he could see. What? he could not believe it. Am I literally seeing right now!? He turned his head on all directions - YES. Dear heavens, he whispered, I can see. I can actually see... But his enthusiasm was diminished by something that hit him so hard in the head, he thought he was going to lose it from his shoulders. And it was not like if some person hits, but rather something. But what happened afterward was not going unconscious, rather started seeing something different - something not-moving. A giant pasture that was full with animals of all sorts. The creepy thing was - they were all of the same color - he patted his forehead due to tiredness. Not again! Still this!? He almost yelled. There was no other presence of anything but blackness. For how long am I going to be surrounded by this!? He asked himself, knowing that no answer will come. Instead, something else happened that brought him to a different realm - of thoughts. The seeing still lacking, but everything else could be senses so well, so perfect, so fine, so delicate, so palpably deep and incredibly intense, that his whole being was taking the whole of the conversation that was occurring around him. He was being a witness to an enormous amount of complexity between what was the combination of earlier hit, only now it was much more friendly - noises, smells, tastes, touches - and not just that, they were talking with each other, but not to him and not with him - he was only the audience. He was enrapted in this indescribable event. At that time, it was about what he could feel with his other senses. The eyes were completely ignored, or rather forgotten. Now, there was only ‘seeing’ in the manner of perceiving with the mind, through all the senses, except one. The sensation was so wonderful, magical, and sublime that no matter what sort of description he tried to come up with, failed ignominiously. What was he feeling was so much beyond any words, that it was explaining itself out. Like when you perceive directly, at first sight something, you know what that is exactly, with your senses and mind, even though your human language cannot touch it. A world where words meant absolutely nothing. A reality that contained nothing but presentations, no representations at all. That meant only thing - what was IS reality itself, whatever all there was, shows itself as such. No formality was needed, only appearing and doing was enough for communication. Even more, no communication was needed. Everything was so connected and intertwined that with the very ‘sending of the signal’ from any source, the one to whom it was meant was ‘receiving it’ immediately, as if they were one thing, with many branches and furications. In actuality, you needed to focus on anything, to look for something, to be careful, to tune in, then to perceive it somehow, sometimes some mistake may be caught, then you interpret that as something, then think about it, then you may or may not say something, then time passes and passes. To many things happening, at the same time and separately. To much time taking for anything to happen. But not here. There was no step one, then two, then three. Here, only infinity was playing. There was no such thing as intervals. Well, may be you could have called the difference in the signals ‘intervals’, but they were so flowing into each other you were not able to draw the line between them. You just could not indicate the exact point at which they were combined. There was no clear seam. The ending of one thing was the beginning of another, literally. And in all the mixture was literally everything he was aware of existing, along with things he did not have the slightest idea of being in the real world. So h took them as surreal. As things only his imagination could create. But something suddenly happened. Well, not exactly suddenly, as if in quick and fast, but more of in an unexpected fashion. All of them, all of the ‘communicating things’, stopped, but it was not exactly stop, more of such synchronization that became so large that it took the whole of the space his body could senses, so to shake it at once. It was not violent, but intruding enough to made him scream. And by doing it so, the shakings stopped. Everything now stopped completely. The whole theater became a silent spectacle that hit him painfully in the heart. He began crying again. This time he could not contain himself. He wept for so long, that he did not care even if he be left with no water in his eyes. Then something came to him. At first, he was irritated of anything disturbing his private moment, but then that thing felt so comforting that he actually started paying him attention. What that was, he did not know. Only that it was soft, comfortably cold, and the characteristic that hit him most amazingly was that it felt as if a human was touching him. Not just human - a female. That reminded him of Stalia. The only girl with whom he could confided anything. The girl that ... was gone due to... He wiped his tears and concentrated on the new ‘guest’ into his environment. Then he realized something, it was not a human, but the human feeling of soothness. The one that comforts your in the hardest of moments. What treats you well when you are in despair, sorrow, loneliness, or any other occasion where you had lost something, or someone. He delved into the gentle cradle of its power. And gentle was very underratedly said. It was something was way over the sense of delicateness. It was gentleness itself, or more depictionately, it was a sensation that made possible for gentleness to be felt as such. The realm he was in felt like THE SENSATIONS themselves. Not just what where they about, but them, themselves. As if you were to become one with literally everything you can feel, sense, think, imagine, say, hear, and it had nothing to do with what you feel, but how you feel. One thing was to feel coldness, quite another is to be coldness itself, or part of it, as such. Not coldness in the negative way, but in the soothing, comforting, relaxing, freshening way. And because of the becoming one with the source of sensation itself, and what, and how it makes it such, there was no communication in the sense he knew. No TRYING to understand, and any interpretation at all. Pure and simple, basic, fundamental, primal perception of the whatever was that got in touch with him. Although he realized what was happening, he could not compare it to anything else. Unless you pass through it, or rather IT, THEM to pass through you, he told himself, no one can understand even the slightest bit of explanation. So, he tried to at least enjoy the moment, while figuring out WHY was it happening. Because that question slipped away, till now. The exact thing he could not comprehend in all of this was how was it possible that he is able to participate!? He understood what the sensations were telling him, but no words could be put to express it in a proper way. He tried to say something. It turned out, he could not. At last in the human way. What appeared instead of sounds coming from his mouth, resulted in colors - such that he had never seen before. He named them colors because they were moving around, and he could see them with his eyes. But he could not see anything around them. Only them. The more strange, and confusing thing was, not one but at least two every time he opened his mouth to utter anything. A funny predicament for him, which made him angry, was that he did not know what to name them. Such visible specter was unfamiliar to him. His eyes were getting the vision, but his mind was stuck. Then something happened, in his head, that made him move to yet another level, or rather realm. That of flying. His imagination, or he judged it to be it, started soaring so high in wherever that was, that he was out of any way to stop it. He realized that the reason for that was very simple - trying to use human language. The moment he stopped thinking in words, even screaming with words, but only crying exclamations that instinctual, the movement ceased right away. He suddenly asked himself, why was I going up instead of down, or in any other direction!? Of course, no answer came. This new place was so dark, that his mind started wondering, how many different types of darkness there were!? And the thing was, this darkness WAS indeed much more different than any so far. The one thing he thought he could connect it to, even remotely, was the frock of a priest, but only if you could think of it without the priest. It was not so much about the color itself, but how it stood, or more precisely what effect it has on your feelings. Like there was someone there even if you see no one. He did not dare ask anything, nor did he hear or take anything into his bodily sensation. Emptiness that means to spit on you, after if had swallowed you. The very thought of someone eating him, made him shiver, and at that moment he heard a laughter. At first, he thought he imagined it, but when he turned around, he saw someone standing in front of him, very far from him, but still, there was some person. And just when he was about to approach him with walking, the person, or what he thought was so, disappeared. Again emptiness was full. He sighed from exhaustion and annoyance. He thought, what next!? And an answer came. Not audible, but with the touch of his skin. He felt as if a a growing amount of hands were touching his whole body. He got so much panic in his mind, that he could not but scream “GET OFF ME!!!“. And the soar set into motion. But this time it was more cozy. The smoothness of it made him in fact light in the mood and the result was the most pleasant journey he could experience. He even forgot he was moving. His whole body felt like nothing, like he did not have any such, but only mind. That both relaxed him and made him nervous. With that, the lifting became a little bumpy. He tried to look around. Tried, because the moment he realized his eyes were wide open, a blinding light hit him in the face. This time, it was not only for a short period. It grew so bigger and in great degree. Everywhere around him became nothing but complete whiteness. Not a single other color. It was barely bearable. Not only because of the lack of another color, but because his eyes adapted to the darkness for way too long. Now, they hurt. And hurt with pain that did not leave him to adjust to the sudden opposite of blackness. Slowly he tried to calm his eyes down, in hope that may be the whiteness will dim a little. But it only grew whiter. How is that possible!? Was the only thing he could wonder. That was his problem now - he could not look at all. It was too much of strength and his eyes could not take it. Then he decided to let them be closed for a while. It was not very good, but it was better than tried through the pain. What passed like quite some alleviation, he decided to attempt to open them. But it turned out he could not do that either. As if something heavy was put on his lids. One more try, and he realized that what bothered his eyes was the very light. Finally I get some different from black, he told himself, and I cannot even open my own eyes to see. Such irony. Now even if he wanted, he could not do it. So he waited, as hard as it was. During the period, the light did not feel neither to diminish nor to increase, as if waiting for his response. But what am I supposed to do? he wondered. And again, he slowly moved the muscles of his eyes and what he saw when they opened, finally, was something that made him feel like rejuvenation of his life, or more than that - like he just died, and being reborn. So much depth in the color of white that he could it like swallowing him, but in the most amazing and breathable way. He thought darker colors had real depth. But to see the brightest color of all in such pleasant intensity, without the slightest bit of agony in the viewer profoundly stepped into his mind as something that could not be uttered. Even an “AH!” would not do the result. It was so vast and compact at the same time - the feeling of swimming, especially when you are the only living thing in the body of water. Every single motion is detected by a motion on the whiteness. But what took his senses, was that exactly them, the senses, were the ones detectable by the surrounding, by the white color. The color was more than a color, it was the substance in which he was. Literally everything around him was white - like being enveloped in a bedsheet. No other color, indeed. Then he thought, WAIT A SECOND!, I am not completely white, I have other colors as well. Then he looked at himself. Or more precisely, he TRIED to do so. He failed. He did not how and why, but he could not see himself. as if either he was not there in body but only in mind, or whiteness completely was all over him. He looked around. And what he realized after uttering a sound of wonderment, made him twitch at once. No sound. The made him try touch the whiteness. Nothing. In slight panic, he took a breath, which triggered intake of what one usually does when smelling something without intending to do so. Nothing. All his senses were switched off, except his eyes. The reverse of what was till now. And there was not a single movement in the place. Just whiteness being there and doing nothing but being bright. He found himself bored. Intrigued to his heart and mind, but honestly bored. But this boredom quickly turned into anger and then into repugnance. He knew he could not nothing about it, and that made him even more annoyed. And he was about to made some gestures with his hands, when he started falling, at least at first, and than such soar commenced that he felt as if he could lose his breathing ability and be left with no such. But during the voyage, he realized that this condition was only due to the suddenness of the happening. So he calmed himself down, and waited patiently to see what was going to happen. Only ‘see’, was again not in literal play. The rising became very pleasant, he almost started loving it, when it started becoming uneven, which distracted him, but that distraction in itself, again brought back the glide of the movement, and even more, it changed into something of less inconvenience. Now he knew he was moving up, but it was done in such a way, that could be barely felt. When that settled as good speed, he began wondering, what could come next. At that moment he thought the answer may come. But it did not. Well, at least for now, he told himself, I can relax and enjoy what is now, but unfortunately, I cannot be prepared for what may appear. And so it went, and it went, he really drifted so deeply into some thoughts that he even lost track what he was thinking about. Dangers, love, conquering, being a king, being an animal. Of death. Of new life. Of what he had passed through. OF what the future holds. Of the people he knew. His mind was going in so many different directions that just when he was on one, that one lead him to anther, and just like that for like eternity. And not single one being repeated. As if his whole life, including his wishes, were passing through his senses - all of them. He remembered all the delicious fruits and meals he had eaten. The incredible smells he was enjoying, while passing through the ladies. And thinking of that reminded him of the touch of Ralia, his only girl, who he had the honor to know and with whom he shared a lot of stories. The noises of children screaming and laughing, accompanied by the reproach of their moms and dads. The incomparable sounds of the lutes, the stringy instruments, the air instruments, all those tools with which masterful people of whose names he did not know, were singing their talented songs, inspired by history and romance, and inspiring people of all ages and stance. But most of all, he could not forget the beautiful, the lush, the giver of everything with which the man could live - nature. The mountains, the meadows, the grass, the animals, the people you knew and those you did not, the secret places nobody, or few knew about. And that was only the beginning. The strangeness of it all. What was before that, can I dare to walk in? he asked himself. What will be after it? another question. A beginning which was actually marking the ending of something, which came with the same force that had given it in the first place. Now, what was being born, that moment of birth, meant only one thing - countdown till death. And the uncomfortable feeling he got from that thought made him realize that he had stopped moving. What he was seeing, hearing, and sensing with his skin, was so insurmountable by even thought that he could not hold himself and fainted - just dizziness swept all over him and left him in a wave of unawareness and unknownness. Now his mind became blank. Not thinking of anything, as if he just could not think even if he wanted. Then something started shoving him in the back. It was so rough and edge that his opened his eyes and saw that he was sitting, leaning on a tree in the forest he found after he got out of the library. And the shoves he was receiving were coming from the very tree. It, the tree, did not speak, but apparently was not very glad that Yondy was using him as a place for sleeping. Alive tree, obviously, Yondy thought, but the other obvious thing was that he could not speak. Was I expecting something else? he wondered. He got up and he saw how the tree stopped with the motions. But what really surprised him was when he actually starting focusing his eyes - darkness. What!? He could not believe in his eyes. Yes, he was seeing, but it was all at darkness. He realized that he what he had been doing so far was being asleep. But he thought that he will get through the night, and wake up catching the sun either arising or already up. But it was still at night. He felt his head. It felt well. He was relaxed with new and fresh strength, but also with hungry stomach. But how am I supposed to find anything in here!? he asked himself. And that thought quickly disappeared when he suddenly remembered the dream, or the dreams he had. He had never had such in his life. And what confounded him most was that he had not the slightest idea of what it meant. He heard the familiar sound from his belly and he refocused on finding something to at least fill his body with new energy, to calm the rumbling down. The direction he took was the one he had intended to take before he went to sleep. At last, he hoped that he could find some good people who can help him with some food, and in return he could help them with anything they want in exchange. But before that, he did not know IF he could find anyone in the nearness, he started looking around for something eatable. Were he a herbivorous animal, plenty of food. But h could not find even a single rabbit, or any sort of bird. Even stranger thing - he could not hear any animal sound at all. Then he remembered something else - the trees, the forest was not ordinary. There was something in that trees that he could not explain, but something told him they were not the usual trees of which he knew about. They were more than alive. And most likely, he thought, they had some magic. But, then again, he told himself, what do I know about it!? The lush of the forest became more and more scarce. Now no animal could be living here, even a sloth, beaver or anything other rodent that lives under the ground. But, who am I to say!? The walk became really long. And that started reminded him of what he had passed through the library, including what he dreamed about. It was not about complaining about the walking. But not finding any clues, not knowing the right direction at which he had to go. He noticed something - instead of getting brighter, the surrounding, the whole forest, became dimmer the more he was distancing himself from the place he was before. He looked up - no stars, no moon, and not even a trait of any eventual sun rays coming up soon. So far, just keep going, he told himself. Walk until your body gives up, he was ready for another long walk. But he did not need to. Just when he was about to prepare himself to give to his legs the necessary amount of strength, the forest ended and an incredibly tiny hut at the distance was very visible nevertheless. And he was able to see it only because the plants which were surrounding it were bright. As if they were like torches. His heart started pounding. Finally, he told himself, someone else. He quickly got near it and with careful gesture he knocked on the door. No one answered. OF course not, he replied, in the middle of the night what can I expect!? And he was about to knock again, when somebody opened it. That startled him a little bit, so his hand was like frozen in front of the door. But, the interesting thing was, there was no one that got out of it. Just an opened door. No head appeared, or any limb. Or even voice asking ‘who it is?’ or to yell at him for waking him at this time of the night. No human presence at all, except for Yondy. He swallowed. He did not know what to do. Should I.....enter.... uninvited? Uninvited? Really? The door just got opened. But what if I had accidentally opened it with my own knocking!? Then he himself asked tentatively ‘Hello!?’, he swallowed again, ‘Anybody here?’, he was trying to think of something pleasant to say. ’I am sorry if I am disturbing you, but could you.... He did not had the chance to finish it - if he WERE at such a stance, of finishing it, at all.

“You can come, young man. Allowance you have.” A voice came out of nowhere. But when he looked around, he saw nothing. He thought he imagined it. “Do not hesitate. You are welcome.” Such pleasant tone he could not resist.

“Who is talking?” But by the time he finished the question, the answer came to his eyes.

“The house is the who. Now come, and stop wasting valuable time instead of spending it properly!” The house replied in an encouraging way, with slight tinge of reproach.

“How do I know it is safe?”

“The same way I know you are not going to harm me either.” The answer came and it shut him up.

“And how do you know that?” He stood akimbo.

“All answers will come, Yondy. Now, for the goodness’ sake, enter inside!” It was not a threat, nor warning. It was more of a friendly advice, and it could be felt due to the warmth coming. He went slowly inside, and the moment he was already on the other side of the threshold, and started inspecting with his eyes the interior of the house, the door went into its default position quietly. But it was enough to be seen and felt. He was a little bit startled, but he figured it was usual for closing a door to be followed after entering. But being done on itself, with no wind, especially looking stable enough, was kind of weird, only that stopped bothering him, after the initial talking. He got used to it so fast, it amazed him.

“Who are you!? Or, should I ask how is it you can speak?” Finally the question that was nagging him was spilled out.

“I am as any regular house as the ones you had been in. The only difference is that the owner of this house put magic on me, so that in his absence someone can talk and do things instead of him.”

“Where is he now? And who is he?”

“Unfortunately, i do not know the answer to that question, Yondy.” The house barely finished, when he could not hold his curiosity for long.

“How do you know my name?”

“To that will be arrived soon. Now, first, it is a she, not a he. And all I know is that she is alive, but I am not aware of her location.”

“How do you know of her being alive?”

“Because I am a talking house, am I not!?” A silence felt for a while, and no words were exchange. “If a time comes when I stop being a talking house, that will mean he is no more among the livings.”

“What is her name?”

“Avorcelia. And she is one of the greatest unknown to people magicians who are alive in this days, so far.”

“What do you mean ‘unknown’?”

“That she is very good of making her look ordinary and having no true talents when she is among them. Only few, very few are aware of her existence.”

“Wait a second! Are there more!?”

“Indeed. Too many to be counted. But I do not know of any of their places where they live. i am only instructed to be in help in regard with my master.”

“But why did you let me enter then!?”

“Because she had made me recognize special persons like you, young man.”

“And, now is the time for my name, ....“, he was thinking of how to call the house, “...you, house.”

“That’s alright, I wasn’t put a name. House is good. About your name. I read it in your senses, Yondy.”

“You can read senses!?” His face became the mixture of astonishment, anger, embarrassment and annoyance.

“Only of those who come near me. Once they enter, I become aware of their whole content in their heads.” Now all those feelings he had sank so deeply into his heart, he did not know what to do.

“Can you hear me thinking as well!?” He hoped the answer would be NO.

“Reading, hearing your thoughts is not part of the spell.”

“How many people had come before me?”

“No one. You are the first.”

“What do you mean? Hasn’t anyone come here for anything!?” He was in confusion.

“This house was visible only to you, Yondy.” Yondy looked at no point in particular with opened eyes. “Even if someone else passes, they will not be able to see the house, unless either they are looking for me, or they have magic.”

“What!?” He suddenly squeaked. “Do you mean, I have magic!?”

“I am only a house with a spell. I cannot answer the question to that. What I can tell you is that you had found me, because you were looking for something. And because I am magic...”

“... that means, you already know that I am here for it.” Yondy finished before the house had the chance to. “But, how is it that no one before me, with magic or looking for you, had not come, yet!?”

“Another question of which I do not have the answer.”

“What if I hadn’t come here!?”

“Then somebody would have done it instead of you, and who knows on which side that soul might be.” The house did not put it as a question, but it had the nuance of such.

“For how long your master had intended to keep your like this?”

“Her return. Of which I do not know when that is.”

“How much time had passed since she has been gone?”

“Two full moons ago. I have not received any signs of her since the last quarter. But no signs means only she is not able, somehow, to send them. Which means ....”

“...she is in trouble, or in a land where magic is either different or lacking.”

“You are smarter than you look, young man.”

“And you know more than you are telling me, house.” He smiled provocatively. “But then, that is your task.”

“I can share only so much as I am being allowed to.”

“What is that you had seen in me that made you think I am ‘special’? I don’t feel like one. More to it, I feel like I am the most miserable man.”

“If you were miserable, then why are you here!?” Yondy did not know what to say to that.

“Because I am desperate for answers, for solution.”

“To what, Yondy? To magic?”

“It turns out, house, that it is my only key to my problems and the problems of the kingdom in which I live.”

“Do you know what magic is?”

“No. Unfortunately, I do not know the road. Only know that it is about putting spells and incantations, and having specific power over things.”

“That is what the ‘special’ thing is about you.”

“I... do not understand.” He only managed to say.

“Precisely, Yondy. I have no way to where you can take the burden and continue. You are free of magic. Am I correct!?”

“Yes, indeed. I am of no value. I do not possess the talent of having magic.” He sounded so much disappointed, that he sat on the floor and let his tears being shed.

“And that, Yondy, is your greatest true gift - not having any magic in you.”

“W-wh-wha-what!?” His throat croaked too much emotions.

“You have the best advantage of all mages, magicians, sorcerers and the kinds of spell-casters that can be masterful in their art.”

“House, I really do not understand what you are saying.”

“Imagine being the most, not one of the most, but THE MOST powerful wizard that no one can beat. What would you do?”

“Help myself, help my king. Be in the ruling of the most powerful weapon I am aware of existing.”

“Who told you it is the most powerful?”

“No one. I surmised that since it can do things. Without magic your are powerless. Those who have it, can do anything.”

“Have you ever met someone with magic?”

“No. I have only heard and read about it.”

“So, you have no clue of what magic is about?”

“Then what is magic, house? What do you know about it?”

“Look at me, Yondy. What do you see!?”

“A house, very beautiful, cozy and comfortable, and bespelled.”

“So, in your description of me, what did you notice?”

“That you have certain attributes.”


“That’s it.”

“How is it that I have them?”

“Because you have been built.”

“And if I weren’t?”

“Oh!” Yondy’s face lit. “You mean.... if there is nothing on which you can put something, this something is worthless, even more - will not exist.”

“You said it yourself - weapon. The part with the ‘most powerful’, can be argued. But it is definitely a weapon. And I do not need any great knowledge to know it. You can just look around me, hear me, and everything will come to you.”

“But, nevertheless, with magic you can do unthinkable things.”

“How and why?”

“How - by having the specific knowledge and talent. Why - some need.”

“What if I tell you that magic is nothing like what you think it is, but only the way you apply certain actions on things!?”

“I think I am starting to understand what you mean. It’s like with a knife. You can use it either in the kitchen, or to kill someone.”

“Precisely, Yondy. It is not about the weapon, the tool, but the person who is using it. Magic is not a something, but rather a doing, a performance of actions over something.”

“Can tell me everything you know about it?”

“Unfortunately, I cannot. I am only a passage through which magic stays for a certain period. Nothing else.”

“Then how do you know so much?”

“I do not know. I guess, I have taken some sort of information from my master. But the content is too limited. Even I am not aware of what I am aware. I did not even know some of the things you asked me until you had done so.”

“But that means that I only need to keep asking, until...”

“Help, Yondy. You are here for help, not for questions.”

“Actually, I do not know why I am here, in this house. But I am on the outside for both.”

“Then you must seek further. My master did not left any magic here, except putting it on me.”


“The realm of lost.”

“What? What is that? It sounds everything but pleasant.”

“That is the most important information left to me by Avorcelia.”

“And where is it?”

“Follow the darkness. You will never see any light from now on. This place is the last. Thanks to my master. But it is dying.”

“Why? What is happening?”

“Someone is plundering magic. That is why my master had left what is the remaining of her most inconspicuous part of her magic in me. That is why this house is what it had become.”

“Who is it?”

“That is what her mission is. To find the man, or woman, who is doing this crave thing.”

“But if she is so powerful, can’t she just find him with some spell and beat him easily!?”

“I said ONE of the most powerful. Apparently, there is someone who either IS more powerful, or pretends to be.”

“I still do not understand why I am here? Why she had mad this, like for me to come here and ... I do not know....”

“Perhaps she was waiting either specifically for you, but did not have the time to find you, or she was expecting someone like you. Either way, that is why I am put on spells.”

“But if you do not know about magic, how can you even help me!?”

“Because it is not about me giving you magic, but only me using magic, or rather my master using it to guide you. Take it like this, Yondy - I am a map. My knowledge is there but it is limited.”

“So what now? How am I supposed to find this lost place?”

“It is not lost, Yondy.”

“But you said....”

“I said it is a realm, THE realm of lost. Not that the very place is lost.”

“Nevertheless, how can I find it? How do you follow that track of darkness?”

“By using your senses, dear young man.”

“So, from now on, I should disregard any help from my eyes?”

“Not only that. You will learn, through the trip, that you have more in yourself that you know or are aware of.”

“And what is that?”

“I have no idea WHAT that is, but only that I know that you have SOMETHING else in you. You just have to wait to emerge at the right moment, to form, to reveal itself.”

“But it is nothing like magic, is it!?”

“Your magic, Yondy, is YOU yourself. Use that in you which nature had given to you. You will never regret it. Nature does nothing in vain. Follow her, always.”

“I have one ore question. Why is it still dark outside?”

“The same reason. Someone is stealing magic. Somehow, someone had managed to find a way to get the whole of magic for himself or to eliminate it.”

“But how is that possible? How can magic affect light?”

“I do not know. My master has not provided me with such information.”

“How darkness is supposed to be followed even with the senses?”

“Well, Yondy, since I am not human, but only a house enchanted with magic, I have no clue, no single answer to that question.”

“Can’t I stay here!?” He asked the question tentatively.

“By the way you put that, I judge you yourself do not wish to do it so. What are you afraid of, young man?”

“Magic itself. I have learned nothing good and positive about it.”

“Well, look at me! I am the product, I talk to you thanks to the thing toward which you have this feeling.”

“OK. I guess, I am more mad at the fact that some people are using it for bad things, and that I do not have it in me.”

“Dear Yondy, I advise you to not be taken down by the fact that you do not have it. Look for the things you DO have, not for those which you wish you had.”

“So, lesson number one - do not get distracted.” He scratched his chin. “I think I have read that somewhere.” He started thinking about it.

“The only lesson for me to tell you is - do not judge too quickly. Reaction is not always what there is to be taken. You are a human being. Use what you do best - think.”

“Is that it, for now, house!?” He put frown on his face.

“I do not know. It all depends on my master.”

“House! How can I find her? Is there a way to look for her somehow? Isn’t there some sort of thingness which can lead me to her?”

“The only lead for me to you is - follow your instincts. Whatever your senses are telling you, listen to them. But be careful. The addition is - do not act on them, just think and listen to what they say.”

“So long, house! I hope we can talk in the future more.”

“Have a good voyage, young man. And watch your steps warily. Do not let be fooled by anything.”

“What if I have some problems? What if I stumble upon some trouble? Who or what can help me in difficult situations?”

“I can tell you only thing to this, Yondy - whan the moment comes, you will know what to do. Speak to the nature, she never refuses to give an answer. Even she is quiet, that is enough a reply.”

“Now I am sure something will happen. You said WHEN, not IF. Which means... I do not want even to think about it. Goodbye, house!” And no more words were exchanged between them. The house opened the door, he passed through the threshold, and after he was out of it, the door got closed. And darkness swept slowly back. Now even the plants could not be guides anymore. Nothing to be seen, even if one tried his best. And the interesting thing was, it settled this way step by step, instead of suddenly. Like making it comfortable to his eyes. But unfortunately, that meant only one thing to him - from now on, my eyes will not do me much favor. So he let his other senses lead him on the path. For now he just kept straight walking, no turning left or right. No smells. His ears could not detect any sound, not even wind. The only thing he could feel with his skin was how cold had become the outside. But the thing was, this very coldness was very strange. Not just strange, but more than necessary, as if ... Yes. It was something of a signal. Or at least he thought he was. He did not want to dismiss it. His left arm felt colder than his right. But what does that mean? he asked himself. Should I go left or right!? Well, told himself, let’s go toward the one direction. If it turns out not the correct, switching. If I do not live up to it, then I am not for it. Then something happened to his skin that made the answer for him. His own skin started dragging him to the left, every limb, his whole body was pointing to the left. How can I disregard such thing!? he wondered. So, my senses, or the parts of my body that use the senses are literally leading me!? he was befuddled. The drag was so urging that did not let him the chance to check if the road taken was safe to be walked on. In that moment only one thought was in his mind - whatever happens, I am my own fault. He tried to resist a little bit of the pull, and as a result slight pain surged through his head. Suddenly, a thought, very sweaty thought occurred to him. What if this is magic of the one stealing it? What if I am lead toward the one who is doing this whole havoc? Well, the good news is, I will see who that is. The bad news, I may not be alive after it. Since he did not have much of a choice of what to do, he took the leash. At least it is not in a hurry, he noticed. Another strange thing - was my skin talking? No, NO. That is absolutely impossible. He looked.... OH! Right. I cannot look at it. But neither can I hear it. Then why am I feeling as if my own skin is talking to me!? WAIT! The talking is not directed at me, but.... at what!? OR at whom? He decided to be patient for while. Not that anything else would be of use. He did not have to wait for long. No, walking was still in play, but the talking was not talking. OF course not. What were you thinking!? he asked himself mockingly. It was reacting to the magic or whatever was causing it to pull Yondy in that direction. The very pull was the reason. As if either the skin was very happy or in great pain at being subjugated to such control. I guess, I will find out soon, he concluded. He felt it very deeply around him - the darkness. It was actually getting more and more dark, like it does not seem to get any end to its thickness. At some point he could feel it practically touching his skin. Every movement became as if ALLOWED by the very darkness. As if space itself fused into darkness to become one and the same thing. So dense and overwhelming it became that he did not know anymore whether he was with opened or closed eyes, unless he flapped his eyelids. But the most astonishing part of the situation was that his breathing came more and more easily to be done. Like he was receiving extra air from somewhere. More than that, his senses got so delicate that they felt like alive. Like they were trying to say something, but he could not understand their language, or they were not able to produce any signs. It became such with him that he was all senses, they were enveloping his mind. Even if he was able to give birth to any thoughts, they became extinguished by emotions and feelings. He felt completely trapped. And he had nowhere to go, no way to fight. So the walking kept continuing. AT some point he was ready to give up. He just could not think anymore. The very effort of forming even the tiniest thinking, resulted in pain. But if he let be controlled by his emotions and feelings, like bliss poured over his body. And as if that gave him the clue - he stopped thinking overall. Now, he was entirely in the possession of his senses. Whatever they were telling him to do, or whatever signs they were catching, no consideration - he will just act the way he felt about it. Not just because of no other option, but he had tucked a miniscule plan in his heart, right before the last dose of pain washed his mind. In the place where he could be able to cheat on his own self, his own body. You can make you body think several things even if you knew they were not true. The feelings and emotions do not understand such considerations. They only act. So he put the stake on the very action. Now he just had to wait and hope for this strategy to work. Now his head was full with ... He did not know what. He stopped knowing anything. Just perceiving whatever passed through his senses. No words attached to them. He was in the state of oblivious and unawareness. A condition in which for him, his mind did not exist. For him only sensations were there - from the simplest ones that any child experiences and learns about, to the most ravaging, promiscuous, adulterated, vicious, wicked, demonic, passionate, sublime, surreal, mixed, energetic, chaotic, destructive, burning, giving birth, giving death, giving pleasure, giving pain, giving feelings which he had never felt before. At one moment he was seeing wonderful pasture full with beautiful flower of all kind and taking great excitement in seeing them feeling like never seen such thing before, just like a child does. And just when he was about to enjoy the picture, he was snatched away by some force that sent him to a great falling into a bottomless abyss, just so to face plunging into water of no getting out. He felt like drowning. He felt as if the very life was pulled out of his body in the most slow, excruciating and agonizing way there could be. The feeling was so deep that his screams deafened all his senses, which were actually the source of the very screams and feelings. Such irony - the one things that bring you something, to deliver you what can overcloud them in such a way that only the cursed gift taken was all that was palpable, all because of the feelings themselves, all because a living thing can feel at all. And really, at that travail, he wished with his body to die. He preferred to be death rather than to felt all that he was going through. And suddenly, something awakened in him. The compartment of his heart, which was hiding the most extreme feelings a human can take into his body, so to be on the verge of desperate and need to get out at all costs. And exactly this - at all cost - set him straight - WITH THOUGHT. Slight and short, but for enough amount to be valuable. If it was at all costs, then what about sacrificing your own body? Death itself. Isn’t that what he wished!? But death means not just end of pain and suffering, but also of everything else. He realized, for this tiny spectrum of time, that he just wanted to get rid of the pain and not of life itself. Pain was just part of life - big or small. While life is more than pain. Life has its value more than what one could wish for or wish not. That miniature moment of sudden thought, which came from he did not where, brought him the best cure of his current position - to not pay attention to the weakness, but to focus on the neutrality. Turn the weakness into nothingness, or into something that can be strengthen. How he had managed to get all that into his head, he had not idea what was it, but it seemed as the best solution so his senses could not deny it - he jumped at it with the greatest energy and enthusiasm he could muster in his veins. With all his human might he pushed the force that was beating him so hard, that he actually created a door, through which he could escape. He immediately stepped over its boundary, and the right after that the whole hurt was gone. He felt like burning and aching. But when he checked his body with his hands, he found out that it had happened only in his head. He could no more judge anything at all. His senses were so confused and jumbled that he thought he could do everything with his skin. As if his senses were falling apart. He was getting broken. He could feel his whole body losing strength like being literally drain out of his life juice. Slowly by slowly, he felt he would faint. But still did not. He actually did not know what has happening. He just tried to figure out things he did not know whether he could even figure out. He tried to think. That succeeded only so far as it exhausted the little force he had left. He was in condition with no more physical ability to control his body. He fell on the ground. He breathed so heavily, he did not think he will be able to do it ever again. The thought of death this time came as the biggest friend he could have. Not the eliminator of pain, but the helper of better experience - a short and compact, but enough for ever, with just a period of a moment. He really started thinking about dying. He remembered he that exact thought helped him get out of the madness his mind had faced. The images were gone, but their effect was deeply ingrained in his memory, in his feelings. And that was the strangest thing. He did not recall a single moment of what he saw, but only of how he felt about it. Like those moments, those periods when you feel something, you can sense it, but you cannot explain it. You just have to go through it, in order to get the idea. And even then may not be enough for comprehension. Nothing actually connected with understanding or thought - just simple, pure, raw and elemental force of nature that flowed in your body for a split second, causing you such damage that it is unforgettable. He tried to compare it with all the pleasant things he had seen and feel in his life so far, and even if he could combine them together and multiply them, will not match a single physical memory that could recalled the horror of whatever one can go through. He did not think that even time could heal the mental afflictions that had already branded in his mind. He suddenly felt a very pleasant smell. But such fragrance he never experienced with his nose. He wanted it so strong that he immediately forgot all that had happened so far, so he told himself such thing. Although, this desire to get to know this amazing aroma, was for the reason to subdue the uncalled for pain in his mental capacity. The smell was coming from only one direction, it was not all around him. A clear and straight ahead. So he followed the trail. But before that, he checked with his legs and arms whether he was going to meet some obstacle on the way. And like this - checking and forwarding - he was getting closer and more comfortable with the smell he still could not recognize. May be I cannot think of it because that is the first time I smell such thing, he told himself. Another strange thing - no matter how much he advanced with his steps, the smell did not grow stronger - it just was the same strength at the beginning. But the moment he was about to ask himself why, he realized the answer - it was happening in his head only. So he stopped walking. But that was when the smell stopped as well. Then something happened that he almost forgot he had the need to - his stomach growled. Ah! Of course! He hit himself in the forehead. I was about to look for something to eat, when I saw the house. But the weird part was - his was not hungry. The gurgling sound, which was coming from his abdomen, was not one of hunger, but of pointing at direction. How? It was not a noise that was all over his stomach, but only on his right side. One single spot. What the heck!? He wondered, and went into the direction pointed. The farther he walked the fainter it became, until it died completely, so he stopped. Now, with increasing palpability, literally, his skin started getting warmer by the second. It grew so much that it was becoming hot. NOW WHAT!? He screamed in desperation and frustration. The heat became so pulsating and strong that he thought he would burst out. Well, at least when I die no more of this, he comforted himself. And again, the thought of death made him remember a lot of things that were valuable in his life. Was it worth it anything? he wondered. He checked himself, touching his hands with each other on the palms, on the wrist, on the elbows - but nothing. While he was thinking about many other things, the heat were disappearing. IF it were there at all, he pointed out to himself. Everything that happens here is ONLY happening in my head. But I cannot help it, he was on the verge of crying, when the most welcoming wind blew his face, with such pleasant coldness that sent him to some realm that knew no pain at all - he forgot all suffering, mental or physical. The feeling he had started perceiving were so soothing and relaxing, refreshing and relieving, that let himself completely to be controlled by that thing whatever was it. He stopped doing anything, and allowed the cool of the surrounding to cover him completely. He needed that more than anything else right now. The only color he could se was the deep blue. Not something dark and ominous, but the view of the sea when you were on its surface. The peaceful nature when there are no storms or anyone else around. The only sensation he was taking into his body was absorption of the whole energy, cold energy that this force had in itself. He wanted that moment to never stop. He started imagining what would his life be with just like that!? He suddenly startled himself. He thought about, what this stops just when it gets most enjoyable. And the answer came, as if waiting for him to do just that. The coldness became colder and colder. IT was not more pleasant. It was biting. He shivered. Then he started shaking his every limb. He lost control over his body. The coldness was no more cold - it was freezing. He screamed. And screamed. But of course no one answered his begging. He was just on the thought of reminding himself that it was solely in his head, when something happened that surprised him like a slap in the face. He emerged, were being pushed so, out of some body of water. Lake, sea or else. And when his head got out of the water surface, he tried his all efforts to remove, to push away the water in his nose, mouth, so he can take the necessary amount of air in his lungs. Both the feeling of drowning and being saved from certain death washed over his mind, as if the very water was doing pun in his face, or double pun. His whole body wanted to most precious thing for living sustenance - fresh air, and to be able to breath it in and out. And he received a good dosage of it while trying to regain his composure. When he finally managed to breathe more moderately. He looked around - darkness, but strangely so, from the pleasant type. The one that massaged your eyes, did not make you feel scared, and you can see what was happening. All his senses were working in synchronization again. But there was nothing to be seen, anyway, except, of course, for water, sky, and some clouds, which were drifting in some farther place. I am in the middle of nowhere, am I not, he asked himself. But it was strange, no sun. Yes, it was not just darkness. But only the effect of not having the sun to shin, the night. So he tried to see whether this sight was all around. He turned around, and what he saw opened his eyes wide, and his jaw dropped, touching the surface of the water. A castle. Not very large, but still. An intact, very well-built, not very good-looking, but it was .... in .... a ... He stumbled with his words. He was about to say that the castle was placed very strategically, in a very good place, when he noticed something. It was not on some land, at least not completely what he had in mind. Like some shore, or large island, or similar larger thing. Nothing at all. The castle itself WAS the very island-like ting. The only dry thing around him. He could not say for sure that it was in the middle of the sea, ocean or whatever, because he could not see beyond it. Nothing was visible behind the castle. The castle itself was surrounded by water. And he did not want to waste any more time. He started swimming, somehow, with his almost exhausted limbs. But he discovered that in the water, they were not so powerless. Whether was the help from the very water, he did not know, but the movement he was doing were east enough so not to cause problems while reaching the castle. When he got close enough to get his hands on its base, he realized that this was only part of the castle. What he saw at the distance had been only one tower of many others. How many? He could not count. And that was why he could not anything else but the castle. Again, he tried to understand what exactly he was seeing, but his efforts failing, he slowly jumped out of the water, propping himself with his arms, and when his legs were safely on some hard surface he breathed with slight smile. Finally, he whispered. He tried to look again, but nothing. Later, he told himself. When he took enough of air again and felt like ready to stand and walk, he found himself more tired than ever. And soon he discovered that he was getting heavy everywhere by every single movement. IT was not just being exhausted and out of strength, but something more than that, as if he was feeling physical more heavy and he could barely move. He had the desire and the wish, but as if his body was defying him, was on a riot. He told himself, last effort, to at least get inside and find someone that could help him, or he will put himself to sleep, once he is in a more convenient place. But his body had different plan. It did not give in to any wanting of his mind. He felt like separated between his physical nature and his mental abilities. What am I going to do with myself!? he almost cried. He tried with final attempt to make his body listen to him, but it was already asleep. Well, what I can do? he wondered. He had no other choice. He no more did anything else, so he let his body has his sleep. His mind was not so much tired so he continued looking around, but soon his eyelids stopped allowing him any more views, which made him close them with no more opening, which lead to falling into deep sleep. A blank space where nothing was in it, in which not even he could see himself. As if the very surrounding, and the inside were himself. He tried to protract his arm, but no limb came out of his vision. He tried a leg. The same result. He tried to talk - nothing. To walk. Nothing. He was a bystander of .... what, he did not know. Another thing to notice was no pain. And coming to that realization, there was no sensation about anything at all. Not just the senses. He could not perceive anything. Only the thinking was there, or at least what processing of anything could be called. But the thing was, there was nothing to be taken in. Complete and total emptiness. Wait! He hold his thought. Then why everything is so green and blue!? Where was he? What was the last thing he remembered? Yes. Water. Being on the about of drowning, swimming, surviving. Then what? Blankness, nothingness. He knew, he could tell that something had happened after that but could not determine what exactly. He waited for something to change. But nothing did. Waited more. And for his surprise, he did not get either impatience or angry. He felt like a god that has no power over anything. The waiting continued, which made him realize something further - he did not have any other choice but to wait. Even if he wanted to do something, anything, he could not do it. No action, or the what he was thinking for action, did not produce anything. Like material things no more were around him. Yes, except for the strange presence of blue and green. They were not moving. He tried to touch anything, to feel anything. His desire was there, but only in his head, and not like any sensation. The was like the best condition from the physical point of view - no pain, and no gain. Only the mind was working, or more of processing anything. But now, without the physical part, he felt more than weak. He felt miserable. Maybe that is why god created stuff!? he told himself. He has no corporeality, he was bored, so he needed entertainment. And because he cannot interfere into anything, he sends his soldiers to do this and that for him. No wonder he punishes bodily things. It was both comically-paradoxical and truthful enough for him, at that restricted moment. Why do I feel so unable to do anything!? Nothing before that made him feel like this. Suddenly his mind started considering too much awful thoughts - among which the prevalent idea was about the valuable combination of body and mind. He tried to imagine his life without either. It was so unbearable that he immediately switched to another. Their power separately. He admitted to himself that in any cases, removing one ingredient cost way too much. That lead him to even worse idea - what if I never get out of this place? He shook out the thought. What if I get out of here and go to a worse place. He was about to dismiss this one too, but told himself that each next experience was worse than the previous. How much more can I take!? he looked for answer he could not get, unless passed through more difficulties. But what amazed him next, started melting his heart -he saw something in the place which was not there before. Or at least he thought he did not notice it until this moment. He could change the amount of space with his thoughts. Or more precisely, his thoughts were getting stronger with every time he looked at specific way at the place itself. And what was strange, now that he particularly focused on it, was that it was only expanding, not a bit of collapse. And with such extension, the colors were not more blue and green, but rather shades of darkness, visible darkness, darkness with shine. And with this realization, he came to the understanding that all what he was seeing, was his thoughts, or their power of being such. The colors were simply symbolic values. He tried to smile, but it did not work. He knew why. The effort was honest, but the smile itself was not. He felt incredible down, miserable and cast. No wonder I am seeing gloomy colors, he told himself. The whole space was reflecting his own self, depending on the condition he was in. And since he could feel not emotions or feelings, no body things, but only mind and thinking - such horrible separation - he could not figure a way out of this empty maze. And then something hit him, although he was not sure whether it was like that, so he decided to check it out. He started thinking about very pleasant things. Nothing happened to the space, but only at the beginning. In a moment it started showing purple, which turned into crimson, then bright red, then almost pink, then his eyes could take it no longer, so he started feeling slight pain, which triggered green, blue, dark, blue, brown, dark brown, and darkness again. So, he tried to judge, this space is like my own body, isn’t’ it!? He tried to imagine walking, and right away the darkness started as if vibrating. He imagined jumping, the black color turned into gray. He imagine sitting down, blue and green came. But there was something missing. How and why colors could reflex his body functions? Why only his thoughts did nothing? He tried to think of nothing, but did not succeed, he was still fighting the question. He imagined crying, to think about very sad things. Now the space was like started melting. That surprised him and he thought that perhaps he has to feel some devastating feeling which can make him think of life itself, or what would be if there was no life. And just like that, thinking, he drifted in that direction. He no more paid attention to the space. His mind was directed at a scene which depicted the destruction of life as such. Strangely enough, he was not so badly disposed. He found it interesting. Imagine, he told himself, a world where all the negative influence is gone. All those people who always wish to do harm to others to be gone, so that new ones, better than them can be born. But now, come to think of it, what would be like if there were no such people? Why do they exist in the first place? But he could not find the answer, he just got stuck into that series of thoughts and contemplated all those things that did not make sense to him. What else stopped making sense was that the space he was is, was no more an enclosed place. In front of his eyes was a vast body of water. So enormous and spacious that nothing else, literally was anywhere the eyes could look. And he - he was floating in the air. No darkness this time. Only the color of moving water below him - calm and mysteriously welcoming. He tried to touch it, and something happened that he expect the least. The water itself started reaching for his hand. That startled him, so he pulled his hand away. The water went back to the rest of from it came. And again tranquility. He reached slowly, much slowly now, and the water did the same, it as well in the same gradual manner. He did not pull this time, and let the water touch him. The water did it. It felt like water, nothing strange, except for her lifenessness. He wondered what he could do with it? And it turned out it followed each gesture he did with his hand. He reached with his other hand. The same thing happened, except for the pulling away. He could play with the water. He could throw it, make curves, stood it still, make circles, flow all around him, raise it above him. But one thing h could not do, and he tried it several times - make her give some sign, to speak somehow. It was like having magical powers, without being able to communicate with them in a human way. But that’s it! he told himself. It is not a human, it is water. Perhaps, you can only command her but nothing else. Was that not enough!? But another question popped up. Why am I floating? Why I am not IN the water? So he tried to step into the water. But he could not do it. Why? Then the most obvious thought occurred to him - am I imagining all this!? The answer whispered in his ears - you are dreaming of something you wish you could have. That brought sorrow in his eyes, which became full with tears. He could not stop himself. It was too disappointing. And he heard drops falling. He looked beneath, and so how his tears were joining the water. So, it IS real!? he asked himself not believing it. He did not know what to do next. He decided to get into horizontal position, and that made him look up. And what he saw made him ask himself, why I haven’t thought of that before? How can I missed to look up!? A rainbow. It contained all colors he was aware of. But something stood up most of all - it was not circular. It was spreading all throughout the sky. Not that he looked all around and up. He understood, or so he thought he did, that the whole sky WAS the rainbow itself. Rainbow of sky, or sky of rainbow. Was it always there or did it just appear!? He could not know. He was staring, admiring, and not comprehending what was happening anywhere. What is all this!? Is there no one to answer any question!? Even with so much brightness around him, he did not feel at ease at all. He felt trapped and nothing more. He was getting tired of the whole thing. Hadn’t I seen enough!? And THEN the answer came. He fell into the water, ploppingly, with no warning whatsoever. He did not have the moment to think about it, to prepare himself. He tried to command that water something, but, apparently, his powers were no more there. He submerged, with his whole body. He screamed, or so he tried. The only thing that came out of his mouth were bubbles. Now am I really going to die, he told himself, without actually speaking it out loud. Then his eyes went blank. His whole mind reeled into something more than darkness. And that happened only so that he would find himself being tried to be awakened by someone. He could hear in the distance like two voices arguing about something. Was it about him!? He could barely make out their words.

“Hey, buddy! Wake up! Can you hear me!? Can you feel my hand on yours!?” The man tried to be as comforting as possible, not wanting to cause some unnecessary damage to Yondy.

“He cannot hear you, Tance.” Another man near him told him like it was obvious enough. “I told you not to try it too soon. Now he either is going to be extremely startled and die, or he will never wake up. Is that what you want!?”

“Phan, stop it.” Tance said it reproachfully. “I am not trying to hurt him, but to make him feel alive. And water is the best medicine for life.” He tried to smile but failed.

“Oh, YEAH!??” Phan felt annoyed. “How about water can kill you as well? HUH!? HUH!?” Now he smiled, but not in joy, but of gaining the upperhand.

“That can only happen if you do it too much” Tance started explaining. “Everything has it negative side when used overly. Imagine if you do not have any water, then what!?”

“What about air, OH CLEVER ONE!?” Phan dared him.

Tance was about to say something, when Yondy opened his eyes, and with a sudden muscle tension he stood up from the bed he was lying.

“Huhhh, Uhuhh,” He took several deep breaths as if rally drowning. “What!?” He tried to scream, but only came as bare whisper. “What happened?” Now his voice started gaining some strength. “Where am I?” He shook his head, noticing the two man in front of him. Both thin, with long hairs. The one wore green upper clothing, and blue pants. The other, all in black, except for his purple shoes and hat. The one had an expression of amazement, the other - pleasant smile. “Who are you!?” Yondy asked them, looking first at the one, then at the other. They both were so fixated on him, that they forgot for a moment that they could speak.

“Uhhmm..” Phan tried, but no words formed in his mouth.

“I am Tance. Nice to meet. We have tried for a whole day to wake you up. I am so glad we succeeded. Or rather that you finally came back from whatever land you were inhabiting.” His smile did not wane for even a little bit. “This man, next to me, is Phan. Do not mind much of him. He is little confused, just maybe you might be yourself in such state as well.” He realized he started talking a little bit faster, so he shut up. “But enough about us. Tell about you, young fellow. What is your name!?” “Yondy. And who are you? And what are you doing here? And what am I doing here?” He still frantically searched the room with his eyes.

“Uh. We already...” Tance began but was cut.

“No, no. Not the names. What is your work? What you are doing with me?”

“We were trying to sustain your life force. And then we tried to wake you up. And here you are for the joy.”

“What do you mean sustain my life?”

“We felt we started losing you, friend. That is why we soaked you into water. You were seeming as if in need for water, so we provided it to you.” No wonder the dream, Yondy thought.

“Was I asleep for long?”

“Not very long.”

“A day? Two? More?”

“Let me help you stand on your legs. Can you do that?”

“Yes. I think so.” He made the effort and with not much problem he was on his feet. “But why did you try to wake me up? Was something wrong with me?”

“Yes, indeed. At first, you were trying to speak with no clear words, then you felt like drowning with only my watering your face. This swift change from one state to the other, made me take the action of waking you up. I am sorry if I had disturbed your sleep, but I considered it necessary. If you wish, you could go back to ... the place you were.”

“Place?” He raised his eyebrow. “Yes. What is this place? Where am I?”

“Do you want some tea, or other liquid to refresh yourself, and you must be hungry.”

“Now that you say it, yes, I AM thirsty and hungry.”

“So, let’s go fill our bodies with what nature calls, then we can relax and enjoy what we have.” With that another man entered the room and brought meal, which smelled so good that all thoughts of Yondy went into that direction. Whatever the food was, it seemed delicious enough. “I hope you like it.”

“How many people are in this ... place?” He wondered, looking at the third man, who left the room after delivering the dish and closed the door.

“Perhaps you would want some new clothes as well?” Tance continued with the cordiality.

“That will be great.” He started eating with such delight like he had never seen food before, but not in the same manner as if some wild animal. Then he drank and drank and drank. He was so much enjoying the moment that he completely became oblivious that they left him alone in the room. When he finished, he brushed his mouth, face and hands and touched his stomach to feel how it became full with something that would give him new strength to... Then it dawn on him. Why were they avoiding answering any questions by making basic proposals!? He had a lot of questions. Were they afraid? Were they ignorant? Were they... dangerous? He had to find out. And then the door got opened.

“How was the treat, Yondy?”

“Excellent. The cook knows what he does.” He took a relaxed breath and directed his eyes toward Tance. “Tell me something...” He began.

“What would you wish to know?”

“What is this place?” Then he started remembering the tower he stopped, but it became too vague. “Is this a castle?”

“Yes, it is. But it is more than that.”

“What do you mean?”

“It is a rejuvenating place. Serves the purpose of healing, providing help for people in need, and many other things. I do not know if you had noticed, but we are like in the middle nowhere.”

“Then how do you help anyone?”

“We are those who heed the need, and bring whatever is necessary from the place itself.”

“But how do you do that? From where the provisions? How did you make the meal?”

“First, Yondy, let me ask you, why you are here? What brought you here?”

“Magic.” He made a pause trying to be careful but friendly as well. “I need to find what is happening to magic. My kingdom needs it to help pass through the difficulties, and I have no other choice but to look for it.” He deliberately missed out the part with the house.

“Well, Yondy, this place is the last trait of it. What you may have seen, is the remnant of what was connected with magic. Soon it will be gone. And we...”

“What? Finish the thought? Disappear? Die?”

“Not exactly. We... are not exactly alive.”

“WHAT!? What do you mean? Am I dead? Are we in heaven or ...?” He was so shocked and taken aback he did not know what to say. “WAIT! I just ate. Which means...”

“No. You are not dead. And we...”

“You are angels? Demons? Other kinds of creatures?”

“You can say, we are healers. We are helpers. We are soothers. We watch for the need.”

“Are you alive or not?”

“It is difficult to explain, Yondy. Human perception is hard to pass through this idea.”

“Try it, Tance! I will take everything you say.” He was ready to listen.

“This place, here, has no name... because ... it is not entirely real. You may be used to concrete and full things. But this is not the case. It is not always about dead or alive, sick or healthy, and all those opposites which split the human soul. They are only extremes from which one can switch easily from on to the other. But there are many other things BETWEEN them. Those things, are difficult for any person to understand, because unless it is cut in a way of clearness, no human comprehends it fully. Humans very rarely make distinction between things. The human way is to make everything alike. This place is the very example of what a human cannot explain in words. It has to be passed through the mind and the body. And then it is quite hard to be perceived the way it is. This place, Yondy, is the receptacle of what could be left after any damage had occurred. Whether physical or mental.” “Which means there is really something wrong with everything. Falling apart. Losing itself.”

“We do not know of anything else. We are just the welcoming party that receives what is .... damaged in some way. We can only heal physical with what is not physical. And like I said, that will be possible for only short time. When magic stopping having its power as it is, we will never be able to do anything. And soon, we will be gone.”

“And you cannot find a way to fight, to look for remedy!?”

“We do not have any powers. We only use what we have in disposition.”

“Do you know where the realm of the lost is?”

“Yes. That is the where things go if we fail to save them.”

“So, you are the realm of the find?”

“Anyway you wish. How do you know about it?”

“I have been told to look for that place. But I do not know where to find it.”

“You cannot just find it. You have to be lost, to lose something, or everything, to go there. There is not pathway. It is about action and its result.”

“Sacrifice? How dangerous it is?”

“If you lose something in there, or you are to sacrifice something FOR that place, you will never get it back. A real sacrifice, Yondy.”

“And none of you had been there!?”

“We have only seen its consequence. Those of my people who had been there, did not come back.”

“How many were? How many are you now?”

“Five - I, Phan, the man you saw, and two more helpers. The rest... to many to be counted, are gone.”

“I am sorry, but HOW!?”

“All of them had families. And they thought that by sacrificing themselves, their progenies will be saved, but they were mistaken.”

“What can you tell me about magic?”

“That we only can use it for healing. But we are not aware of how exactly the magic is working.”

“You do not know its source.”

“Yes. Indeed. We only use what we can find. We do not know from where it stems. And just the same way, it is starting to disappear.”

“For how long you have been using it?”

“Too much time had passed. For me, it is been my whole life. For the others, no idea.”

“So, where should I go? What should I do to find the realm of the lost?”

“I do not think you are willing to sacrifice anything you have or possess, for the sake of ... magic.”

“I have lost all the people I loved to magic. And now I want to ....”

“...bring them back, Yondy? Is that what this is really about?”

“Only partly. The rest is for other people, my kingdom. The ones that will live after me.”

“What is life without magic?”

“Peaceful but difficult. When you see no solution to a problem....”

“The higher the wish, the higher the price. That is the way with magic.”

“Well, since I have nothing left to lose. Yes. I am willing enough. I have gotten this far, I am not going to give up now. So, tell me more about this realm of lost!”

“Unfortunately, I cannot tell you much. Rather, we cannot tell you anything, not just because we have not been there, but also because we do not delve into things outside of this place. We cannot give you something we do not have. If you are so willing to participate in the madness of it, you have to search for the tree without roots.”

“Huh!? What did you say!?”

“In a forest way beyond this place is a dense amount of many different trees, among which all sorts of valuable things you can get from them. All of them have something the others do not have. And you have to look for the one with no roots. Once you find it, your journey toward ... that realm will take the necessary course, depending on you.”

“How do you know this? Have you been there?”

“No. Another negative answer, Yondy.” Tance paused. “That is where all of ... my people went.... before ... they got lost.”

“And in what direction it is?”

“Do you know the size this castle is?”

“No. But I can guess it is not very small.”

“It is so enormous that is shrinking.”

“What do you mean?”

“It suits the amount of people living. Since we have become so few, the space in it got smaller.”

“How is that poss...” He shut up. “Magic?”

“Indeed. We did not know it until that happened.” He paused again, Yondy did not attempt to interrupt his break. “Your only way is by water.”

“And I suppose you have something on which I can be put?”

“Yes, plenty. But you have to be careful, the waters are not always very friendly. They can feel the soul of the ones who are moving on the surface.”

“Is there anything in here that is not connected with magic?”

“No. Everything is. And when magic be gone...”

“So which direction should I take?”

“Where the sky is getting darker.”

“Anything to tell me more?”

“Do not make any futile sacrifices. Do not let your mind and your body be in conflict. Make them understand each other. Thus no health will be lost.” While Tance was telling him last words, Phan sent another man to deliver something with which Yondy could travel over the surface. Tance and Yondy got out of the room, walked down a short corridor, which had nothing interesting to be observed. Then descended some circular stairs, and soon were out of the castle. “There you are, Yondy. I hope you be more than careful.” “And I hope that we see each other again.”

“That is a very highly unlikely to happen.”

“Why do you say that? If I succeed,...”

“Exactly! ‘IF’, and not when. You cannot be sure of the outcome. Just because you wish something to happen the way you want it to, does not mean it will happen that way.”

“Why don’t you come with me!? Together we can accomplish more.”

“I cannot abandon my place. It is my home. It is like betraying it.”

“But if, yes, IF, we manage to do it, you will be HELPING your people.”

“I have lost too much and too many people, to lose those who are left as well. We are few. But at least it is something. Such journeys are not meant for us. You seem to be young and agile enough to be engaging this important adventure on your own. I wish I could give you something that can help you, or someone to be with you, but too many risks were taken here. I cannot do this anymore. So long!” “I thank you greatly for the help you have provided me, and .... I just do not know what else to say!?”

“You do not need to, Yondy. Just watch your way, and do not let any distractions take you away.”

“Good bye, and let this be not our last conversation.” Yondy smiled, Tance returned the smile. Then they parted with hands waving. The waters were calm, and Yondy noticed how really different did the castle had change since he remembered it the when he arrived here. He thought he was seeing enormous palace that nothing can surmount it, and now, a row of towers, which ended with the motion of the head. A long horizon was waiting for him, and when he turned his had back to look at the first tower, no one was there anymore. Soon, the towers were not more visible, Vast body of water, was all around him. It was so creepy and quiet that he could hear his own thoughts. No winds, barely waves on the surface, but most of them were due to the boat in which he was. The motions forward were steady, not a bit trait of being about of turnover. He did not stop to look around no matter how farther he got, to the extent that his neck started aching, so he stopped and placed himself in lying position inside the boat, his eyes caught slightly the faintness of the sky getting darker and darker, and then he closed his eyes for a while. Was that just real? he wondered while feeling the slight motions of up and down of the boat. A castle, people, water - all of them magic. WAIT! Were the people magic as well? He told me they did not have it in themselves, but only used it from the place itself. But, but, HOW!? And why was he so furtive about many questions? Why I did not ask him that!? The answer he felt deeply in his heart - it had happened only in his head, like everything else so far. Except maybe for the house. Or... was that illusion also!? How else could you explain the inexplicable? He grew tired of lying in the boat, so he stood up. And was disappointed because he expected to see at least some sort of sign of any land approaching, but only water was around him. He felt the greatest fear of his life. What he had passed till now was about being in one position feeling this or that. Now. He could go anywhere he wished, but it seemed pointless. He felt as if losing direction, even though the boat did not stop even for a while with its motions. Such view at the beginning was interesting to be observed, but now became terrifying, unbecoming, and he felt naked. He wanted to do so many things, right at that moment, but faced only swimming and sleeping. Oh, and screaming. And realized that no matter what he will do, no one will hear him. The whole horizon, on all sides was nothing but water. A thought occurred to him. What if I was not able to see anything? Would I be still afraid and not knowing what is going to happen? Again, he looked around. He tipped his hand in the water. Nothing happened. He did not know what to do. No ideas came in his head. To sleep? Well, for now, it seemed the only good option. But I am not either exhausted or bored, he told himself, just in anticipation. He went back to the lying position he was in earlier. But what if I miss a land around me, while I am like this, and no one is available to warn me? he asked himself. He decided against staying in horizontal posture. I will watch till I am out of strength, he told himself. Should I use the paddles? he wondered. The boat was floating with good speed without any additional push, but he wanted to try something different. He took two them. There were four. He slowly put the one on the right side of the boat, propping it carefully, then did the same with the other on the left side of the boat. He took a deep breath and started rowing. At least something to do, he smiled. He thought about the songs he had learned from some books about people travelling and long being absent from the kingdom. One came to his head clear as a bright day.

At the glory of the sun that rises and shines

will be the moment I see the wonders together

even if it is only for a couple of days

I will never allow me to not remember

Whenever my journey is always on a boat

I will sing this song so to not get bored

Alone or with with someone else will be the best occasion

to entertain myself or the other companion

Not a day will pass without such treasure

especially with so many memories that can be told

whether they be ridiculous or bold

for as long as they do not have any measure

Floating around in the water of life

my heart and my mind will be expectful of treat

no matter how difficult or easy will be

nature is the help I need most of all

Such trip deserves a good song

and this is one of them

because it will make you feel strong

even if you are not part of a team

Singing along with the air or not

should not worry no matter the count

the people in one, or only you

if you have the courage to be in the mood

If you want to get your body at work

teach it a beat, and even some more

until it is ready to fly like a stork

at the end it will not be chore

The end is always at reach

whether for song or for travel

so prepare yourself to teach

what the outcome may unravel

His mind was completely enmeshed not only with the lyrics but with sound of his voice. He could not sing so well, but it did the job anyway. And he became like on a roll. He thought of another one. He did not hesitate and started the next.

Boat, boat, all is one

paddles, raddles, the fun is gone

it went down to he river

so get ready to do some shiver

Drowning or not you will get into the water

sooner or later you will feel the need

to see more than what you know from your father

most of all, so that you will really heed

But don’t worry

the water is not the trouble

what lies ahead is the real deal

it fills the hear with sudden startle

so relax and enjoy what comes ahead

even if that is not to be concealed

Your fear of anything is only good

because if you are not, you will be fool

who thinks that the world is small

and all around you is tall

Mountains and lakes, trees and water

your life is bound to face any feat

with horizon around don’t even bother

to think that this is the end of any treat

And now he remembered the one, which in the end became as grave as anything he could think of.

Drop by drop, either you or the rain

will fall down on the water you see

because everything is part of the chain

which could not exist if there was not a sea

Thunder and lightning, storm or else

you and your boat should not be around

when the weather is all but a race

let your thoughts be only on the ground

After all, isn’t water amazing

when thinking of her strength and width

how can without her we cannot live a day

and the nights are terrible dreams

He could not but add his favorite one. But why did not I think of it at first? he wondered. Shouldn’t that song be on top of my head? Or have I left it on purpose!? Last for the best, I guess.

Dreaming and wondering where will all go

Right and left, up and down, back or ahead

All comes to the only solution for the more

when the heart desires it as much as the head

Walking or floating, the path should be traveled

because no one else is brave enough

to even begin with the thought of to be marveled

when the task at hand is too tough

Disappointment is there when the hopes are too high

that’s why the expectations should be removed at once

because nothing hurts the way when hope is tight

when falls it hurts like ball being bounced

The solution to all mistakes

is to be taken not as such

but to continue with whatever it takes

so the end will be never too much

He thought of more and more. He did not realize how many were in his head. One after the other, all came out of his mouth, he drifted completely in that direction. Not last at all...

All the way

through the maze

of many

who can only guess

One, two, more

the rest is easy

when the song is chored

and isn’t cheesy

On the board

with them all

can afford

not to fall

We don’t fear

any risk

we only cheer

and we are very brisk

Our hearts

are full with power

no shards

will see the water

Our minds

are on the course

whatever finds

we have some force

Our souls

are strong enough

if any ghouls

they’ll see us tough

Our efforts

will not be in vain

and our shadows

will be like stain

over the places

where we inhabit

until our faces

seize some rabbits

or maybe animal

that is not with fur

not being small

and that’s for sure

Our stories

will never end

all the peoples

will crave them bad

even those

who are easily bored

they will need a horse

that’s been fed

to take the journey

to unknown lands

where any furnishing

will make amends

the travel is long

short is not a thing

so do the song

be free to sing

The floating over the surface of the darkness was getting more and more pleasant, to the level of forgetfulness about any worries. His excitement turn into jubilation and relaxation. He thought about many things that the songs were referring, or what they were leaving untold.

Mystery amazes

Shadows creeps

but a brave faces

what he sees

even if it is trouble

he will not retreat

he will make it double

all he strength at blink

many creatures, many things

the man will come upon

so far as he thinks

that he is not alone

all his life he had dreamed of this

all his dreams did not make it full

all his making did not turn into bliss

all his turns made him fool

but when he took the boat on water

the hopes for findings brought him joy

no matter how was he scattered

he will make ploy after ploy

from rise to set of the sun

his adventure will never cease

’coz his heart will always run

so that his yearn will be pleased

He decided to change the scene into his head, and to put words to the feeling.

Day after day, night after night

a sailor will not forget his home

because his land is never right

when it comes to be alone

Fish are fish, but man is only such

when another is around

preferably a woman in touch

who can care, share and not mess the sound

with her own singing is on the rush

Man and woman are the perfect match

but the sea is for the male kind

like the woman is for touch, hatch and other such

where both are part of the beautiful mind

He got slightly chilly, and immediately that affected his singing as well.

Coldness and bareness

are the deepest things known

but once in the heart is warmness

nothing is needed to be blown or thrown

Whether at night

when the stars are shining

or at sky full of might

when rain is falling

the best cure for those times

and such bad moods

are to think of rhymes

and watch the moon

because when you see the light

even a little bit

you will forget about the fright

and all will finely fit

For the good times, say prepare

for the bad times, ready to dare

for the unknown, be at eye

for the known, don’t be shy

Everything has its beginning and end

that’s why do not cry or complain

but think of how the bad will stand

when you are at hand to le it be slain

Then you say, evil may stop

when it always stays at top

then the good will never come

and it will be drown into foam

To be done with bad presence

fill your soul with all you can

because the evil has its essence

and is not afraid of any man

only those who sees in it

the true nature of its falseness

only they will conquer with a hit

what fakeness was its boldness

then triumph will prevail

and doubt will perish

as long as no one sails

into waters he does not wish

And then he became amazed. It felt like there was always something more and more that can open his eyes wide and not being able to say a thing. Wonders kept coming. In front of his eyes was a vast expanse of land. So deep, so wide, so tall that nothing else could be seen around it - like it became one with everything else. On one hand, he became satisfied that the sea voyage was about to end. But on the other hand, he shivered from the thought of what might happen in there. The boat slowly closed the distance to the shore, and with steady gradual stopping, it ceased movements once it got firm touch with the land. But that was no simple land. It was a place where even though had neither seen it before, nor knew about it at all, he felt like it was the best spot in which he could be. Instead of being filled with fright and distress, his heart was at complete rest. But also, he was feeling how it nevertheless grew hungry for what was coming up. Total silence. And now that he was able to step on something stable and not shaking that became the only noise he could hear - his walking. He tried with ’hello’s and asking for any presence, but of course nothing answered. He wondered whether the place was inhabited by someone!? But, what if there is not someone but SOMETHING in there? And for the surprised of his mind, he did not get scared. On the contrary, desire for adventure pumped through his whole body. He was ready. Or am I!? he was somewhat uncertain, but not because of fear, rather what may appear. Trees everywhere, small too, but most of them were so tall that he could not see their crowns. This time he did not wish to climb any. Unless necessary. And the forest looked so dense that he thought even pointing at it would make his finger disappear from view. It seemed like the darkness started bonding with him. It was not more threatening but friendly. Or too much friendly!? he wondered. So far, nothing. He got into the forest, while looking around him all the time. He was careful enough of where his feet were stepping, onto what his hand will grab, whether he will bump his head, and was giving his ears the best chances of hearing anything. At some point it became slightly uncomfortable, because apparently he was the only one who was making noise. As if the whole world was in a deep and peaceful sleep, and he was the one the was trying to disturb the convenience it had been in the place. He tried to walk more quietly, but the ground, or rather the things which were on the ground did not allow him to be inaudible. Now, seeing himself in the middle of this forest, he did not dare utter a sound. Now there were two noises, besides the crush and trush - his breathing. Not the very walking, but the efforts he was applying to be as careful as possible, started to exhaust him too much too fast. Finally, he could stand, and could not stand it anymore. He stopped, and decided to take a break. The moment he did that, such silence fell all around him, that as if whatever alive may have been there was afraid of Yondy noticing it that anything was there at all. The strangest thing was that not even the trees were producing any noise. Not a single trait of wind was present. No birds that could be heard, no crickets. No predators, so far, or so he thought, for now. And again he realized that despite the darkness around him, but visible enough, he had began to actually like it, instead of filling him with insecurity. Next questions Yondy, he told himself - what do you do know!!? Stand and continue walking till you see some place where you can make a temporary spot for sleeping, or just stay here and do the business now, and tomorrow... you know... The same answer as the previous forest - walking a little bit more than will see what’s what. Said, done. Now he did not even bother being cautious of not being heard. He was too tired to care about that. He was just moving his legs, one after the other, and just wanted to find something, some house, some hut, anything, any spot into which he could stay for the night and take new strength. The steps grew in amount, but the chances of his eyes falling onto something cozy were diminishing. Alright, he told himself, a hundred more steps. If I do not see even the slightest sign of help, I am done. He started counting. Dear goodness, he whispered, not even insects, fireflies, or any flying things. He did not even feel crawling animals. What kind of land IS this!? he asked in confusion and apprehension. He could not help it this time. It was way too spooky. Comfortable and peaceful, but way too much. As if it were the land of the dead.... And suddenly he stopped, gulped air, swallowed his empty breath and wondered, What if I AM ALREADY in the realm of lost!? He shivered, so palpable that he almost fell to the ground. But..., he told himself, what about the .... tree... with no.... roots. Have I..., he wondered, have I missed somehow the place? Have I gotten in the wrong direction!? It could not be, he told himself. All around was water. And then it dawned on him. I am surrounded by trees. And I have a task to do concerned WITH trees. He continued the conversation in his head, And I... will do it tomorrow. Not strength left, his head slouched down. Who knows how many trees, how large this forest is!? And with no roots!? He realized how difficult this work will be. He said nothing in return. Not even a complain. Just on something to sleep.... What about the very ground? A little more... ten steps, twenty, thirty,... it all started to become a blur. Forty, he understood that he was no more looking around so focusedly. Fifty, and still nothing. At sixty, he wondered whether the situation was getting worse, actually. Seventy brought such disorientation that he felt slightly dizzy. Eighty steps felt like dragging some pile of stones, or a rock. Ninety reminded him that only ten were left, so he braced himself and did on last effort. But the hundredth step did not provide the need to see anything of use. He simply collapsed on the ground, disappointed and beaten, he did not care anymore whether he was going to sleep on bare earth, inside some pit, or anywhere else. He just needed to rest, to get some sleep and be over with it. And so he quickly stepped over another realm in his head where no efforts were necessary. Well, unless the dream was not from the pleasant sort. He was floating. WHAT!? Why am I floating!? He looked around and his became deeply disappointed of seeing the water in all directions. So, was that forest just a dream!? he wondered. He could not believe it. It ached him so much that he was still being carried by the current of the sea, which was very slow, although steady, and he noticed that he was left with only two paddles. He tried to look for them, perhaps he could see them around him, but not a single object was in anywhere. Complete and total loneliness. As if he were literally the only living thing, the only creature that existed. But then something that took all of himself - his breath, his heart, his mind, and almost his physical nature. The water started circling around him. Going not just in one straight direction, but going around him. And that made the boat stopped moving, but instead of only wobbling. This means nothing good, he told himself. And soon, his fears turned into more than guessing. The water raised its liquidity around him, like a wall, and the next moment he was swallowed within its depth. He disappeared from the surface of the water - now no one was there, only the water itself. His lungs felt as if he had them no more. He could not breathe. The more he tried to get some control the more difficult and painful it became.

’Do not fight it, young man.” A whisper touched his ears. But he thought he imagined it, so he dismissed it.

‘Let it flow within you, young man.’ The voice came back. He still could not believe it that someone was actually HERE under the surface of the water, talking to him. My head is playing games with me, he told himself. More magic, he thought. Darn it! He became really angry. But that only delivered more painful experience throughout his whole body - from his forehead to his feet.

‘Do not be afraid.’ The voice was actually very soothing.

‘Help is coming. Do not resist.’ The voice did not have the slightest tinge of command or order - just plain advice, friendly although distant. Yes. Why it is so distant?

‘Questions can wait, young man.’ The voice answered.

‘For now, be still and let me help you. Feel everything, disregard nothing.’ The thing was, he had no other choice but to do as told, because the pain was really increasing, and he could not longer take it. He allowed his body to be at the will of the whirlpool and his mind became entirely immersed into a sensation he had never felt before. So pure, as in unmixed, so perfect and gentle, that he was as if finding a new life, a new way of living. Such amount of flush rushed through his whole body that he no more felt of having any body at all - just immortal soul.

‘Now take a deep breath, and open your eyes.’ The voice gently told him. And with the voice mentioning the opening of eyes, he realized that while all this experience was happening, his eyes were closed. And not just that, his every senses were closed, shut off - gone. But then what is the point of me opening my eyes? he wondered. Nevertheless he did it, slowly and cautiously. But first, he took the deepest breath he was capable of inhaling. His eyes became so amazed that he forgot for a while that he left them open. Like he was seeing what he was seeing not with his eyes, but with his mind. It was the place itself that looked like alive and talking; or rather whispering. ‘why are you whispering?’ Yondy asked. And the moment he thought he uttered it, he realized he could not actually speak - he was ‘talking’ with his mentalness. That made him touch his neck and then he found out that he could not do that either. What the hell is going on here!? he was angry and desperate.

‘You are where there is only the thinking, young man. No senses.’ The place answered him. How is that possible? he thought.

‘You do not need body in order to do that. That is why your body is not here.’ How this thing was managing to remain with the same tone of voice? he wondered.

‘Because we are in the deepest of waters. There is nothing below us. The whole world is above us. All sounds are deafened, or almost deafened here. What you hear is only mental images which are product of speech.’ The voice was very informative, which made Yondy gulp two times. What are you? Who are you!? he asked. He wanted to ask more but waited for at least those questions to be answered.

‘I am you.’ The only thing that the voice replied. Yondy waited, thinking that perhaps the voice will continue. But when nothing came, he asked, What do you mean?

‘What you feel you think you see as myself, is you, yourself.’ Another gulp in Yondy’ throat. But he managed to ask, What does that mean?

‘It means that here, you face yourself as you are.’ Now he felt powerless. He did not know what to say. The silence was filled with his thinking, which was nothing but thoughts fighting each other, and at the end producing nothing. It grew so wide and deep that his head started hurting. He gave up, he just decided to utter the first thing that came to his mind. Explain everything.

‘You are the only one who can explain anything.’ Suddenly anger surged into his whatever presence and he yelled, Then how do you say those things without me being aware that they are such. If you were me, then why I did not know that? If all this is true, than why nothing is clear to me? How is that possible!?

‘When you want to know the answer, look for questions. Answers alone will give you only more pain. Questions are those that decided what will follow.’ But, he barely begun when he gulped again, if we do not look for the answers, how are we ever going to find out about anything!?

‘By going backward, instead of forward. Do not mind what is the answer of something, but who put the question, and why was the question put in first place.’ What if I never reach that answer. Suddenly he felt as if he jumped. Wait a second. No matter in what direction or what way you choose to go, it is ALWAYS an answer that you look for. So, how about that!?

‘I did not say do not seek answers. I only said do not rely solely on answers. You have to put the right questions, and why you are putting them.’ What if I do not find any answers?

‘Then you do not ask for the proper question. Different questions, different kinds of questions give different answers.’ Again, Yondy almost screamed, how is it that you are me, when I do not know about any of this!?

‘Because you have never delved into such matters. Now you have the chance to understand, to find out more about yourself.’ What about things OUTSIDE of me?

‘That, young man, I cannot help.’ But how do you know so many things?

‘The same way you do - with experience, observation and thinking. The difference is - I am that part of you that is not paid much attention, the disregarded part. The fact that you are in a way seeing me in your head, means that you have problem with me.’ Does that mean all this is not real?

‘It is real but only in your head. Outside of it - impossible.’ What about magic?

‘What about it?’ What do you know of it?

‘What I certainly DO know about it, is that I do NOT know anything about it.’ So, you are in a mist?

‘More than that, young man. Who can tell what magic exactly is? Different people say different things.’ Oh, oh. OH! Yondy screamed. Do you .... do I.... do we have it?

‘To answer such question I need the understanding of the question, WHICH I do not have.’ So, why am I here? Why am I talking with you?

‘Do you have some struggles within you, with yourself?’ Always, but I don’t think they ever stop.

‘How about a current one?’ Why I do not have magic?

‘Because you do not know what magic is. And neither do I.’ How can I tell what is real and what is not?

‘Everything is real, young man. But what is actually happening is different story.’ Why at the bottom of the sea?

‘This is where nothing else can catch us.’ What is this ‘nothing’, you say?

‘No one lives here. Nothing is here. This is a realm of loneliness.’ But what if many people come here and get dragged down here?

‘They will not be able to find each other, and each will face his or hers own self, like with you.’ Are you afraid of magic?

‘What I am afraid of is my lack of knowledge about it.’ How to leave this place?

‘Do you want to?’ Well, now, maybe not. But when I wan to, CAN I?

‘No one is keeping you against your wishes. This is not a dungeon, but a temporary place for conversing with yourself.’ I do not have questions about myself, but about things outside of me. But this place is somewhat pleasant, and it feels like you do not want to leave it...

‘Why somewhat?’ It is too quiet and lonely. No human can live like this.

‘How do you want to live?’ With everything life can offer. To be able to do many things without other people stopping you from doing them. To be more free than any bird. To be more flowing than any fish. To be more adept to create many things. No monotony. Keep going forward and use what you have learned to help you move ahead and up. And last, but not least, to be capable of eliminating bad things with the necessary tool. To live a life where everything is taken valuable.

‘Young man, you wishing these things, does it mean you never had them, or that you lost them?’ I have a question, voice, how is it that you ask me question, when you are me? Why the need? Why bother?

‘I am not doing it for myself, but for you. I do not need any answers, nor do I need any questions. YOU are the important here.’ What if I do not think of myself as important?

‘Then you have just broken a rule of your own. Rule that you already mentioned - everything taken valuable.’ My value is as far as making sure that things happen the way they have to be.

‘Why are you burdening yourself with such responsibility?’ The king gave it to me.

‘Is that everything to it?’ No, not everything. But his telling me this, was the reason I started doing it again. If it weren’t for him what he said to me, I do not think I would have taking the task anymore.

‘And you had found a reason outside yourself to do it?’ Well, not entirely. I combined the survival of my people, with the tragedies I have seen.

‘Do you think you act on emotions rather than on anything else?’ Sometimes yes. But that cannot be escaped. Otherwise, what kind of human am I?

‘Think of all the doing you commit, and why you do them. Then compare them with what would have been if you do them out of whim?’ Then I would have been reckless.

‘Would have you?’ When you act without thought the result is not always very pleasant.

‘You said it, “not always”, which means there are some times when it works.’ But how am I supposed to know what those times are? I cannot risk.

‘But life itself is risk. Do you think that all you wish to have can happen with no effort? All things we desire we can get them with try and see what it will be.’ So, what exactly are you trying to tell me? RISK?

‘It is not so much about to risk, to sacrifice something, to do something extreme for the sake of something else, but more of to see whether something can be done in the intended way or something it is what appears such to us.’ How do I judge when what?

‘Do not let fear stop you from achieving anything. You may listen to it with caution, but the fact that you fear something, should not mean you should refrain from doing it.’ But if it is dangerous, very dangerous?

‘If you see it as such, then there will be no wondering about it, and you simply will stay away from it.’ But what if this dangerous thing HAS to be done, for the good of ....

‘Then you can simply do the most horrible thing for the sake of the most precious thing. If that is worthy to you, then you judge it the way you wish.’ Voice, I have one last question, and then I wish to be no more here.

‘Do you know the answer, and you just want to check out whether it will be the same as you think it will be; or you really want to know the reply?’ Actually, both. I can make a guess what the answer could be, but also I am ready to hear something different and to listen to the explanation.

‘Hmm. Very well, young man. What is your question?’ Why was I chosen for this mission?

‘You weren’t.’ What? What do you mean?

‘Nobody chose you. YOU yourself had chosen it so.’ No I did not.

‘On the contrary, I think that if you had found out that someone is being doing what you are doing, you would have wished to participate in the quest. Your desire for adventure is bigger than the desire for whatever you are looking for. Your yearning for to explore and learn drives you no matter the purpose. You are after the very experience not of what you have been sent, or of what you have sent yourself.’ You say, that... I am my own reason?

‘If it were otherwise, you would have find an excuse not to do it. Also, on the way toward wherever you are headed, on the first problem you would have turned away. But the more you see and pass through, the more you are willing to continue. You wouldn’t have minded if that was the way of your life.’ I need to think about what you told me, voice. But, now, I wish to be back to surface of the water.

‘Young man, you will soon learn that what you see is not always what we think we see. So long.’ And in that moment Yondy wished to say something, but did not have the chance. The water pushed him with great force up toward the surface, strangely not hurting him at all. He could feel the energy that was keeping him alive surging through his whole body as if it was the life itself that was moving through his veins. Like the air he breathed. But suddenly, seeing actually the surface he tried to open his mouth, which resulted in a drowning condition. Coughing, trying to breathe, trying to find something to hold on, he could only move around, not being able to even open his eyes. The coughs intensified, he thought the feeling was as if dying, but he did not think now would be the time, he just needed to find composure, but that was still slipping through his fingers. His chest was growing impatient because of the lack of air. His head started hurting, stronger by the second. He screamed, he could not longer take it. Without air in his lungs, and no clear mind, the idea of dying came like a remedy for it all. He gave up with a last attempt at breathing in. Which resulted in him waking up, startled, finding himself, choking on his own breath. He realized he was surrounded by trees. TREES!? Where....? Oh, dear, goodness. I am in the forest! So... , he looked around and soon his body became relieved from all the pain and the inability to breath was over; so.... I have been dreaming all this!?? Why the idea of dying is always so close to me? As if it soon will happen for real. That thought both frightened him and gave him strength to get up and think of what he should do now. Also, he noticed that darkness was still present. The kind of darkness that although did not allow clear visibility, make it possible for at least something to be seen. Okay, he began, I need to find the tree with no roots. Right!? And where the hell am I supposed to find it!? There are SO MANY trees. He held his head in amazement. Not just everywhere trees, but no matter how deep in the forest he looked there seemed to be no visible end to it. So, with bated breath, he held his chest, which now felt normal again, he started checking out trees. The first tree he began was the one he was sleeping closest to. He knocked on it, stroke it, even climbed. Nothing that can strike him as odd. It seemed to Yondy as normal tree. ‘What you see is not always what we think we see,’ was echoing in his head. But no matter what he did to the tree - not that he could do much to it - nothing happened. And what do I need to do in order to check for lacking of roots!? He felt so lacking of powers and ideas that he actually did not know how to proceed except for digging around the trees themselves. But with WHAT!? he yelled at the forest, and at himself. With my own bare hands? he wondered. That would take too long, and I do not think the soil is soft enough to be ploughed with only simple digging with fingers. Nevertheless he tried. And that was when something happened that turn his blood hot - he felt the earth like a very alive. Almost like feeling the heartbeat of a human or when you can feel the approaching animal. The liveness of the earth was so full with energy that was as if she were talking to him in her own way. He was so transfixed that his hands were acting on their own. As if he had no more control over them. But the moment the heat became hotter than at first, he cringed and tried to pull them away. The first attempt was not successful, and that scared him a lot. What if the earth does not let go off my hands!? he thought frighteningly. But that thought alone as if heard and felt by the earth, made it free his hands with sudden release, instead of slowly, as if understanding his pain. He was so confused - both relaxed and taken aback by what the earth had done to him. That curiosity took the best of him - he did it again. He tried to convey a message through his hand - a feeling, of some sort - that he did not want any heat; warmth maybe, but not heat. His hands were demonstrating to the earth that he wanted careful approach. And she observed his wanting. He gulped in surprise. Now he waited to see what was going to happen. He could hear the forest conversing - the trees with each other, and all of them with the earth onto which they were grounded. It was nothing intelligible to him, but he marked it as such - talking. Waves of different strength and intervals, warmth that was getting colder and than warmer again, and sounds as if mixture of echoes and distant noise of heavy walking. At one point Yondy that as if his hands were going to be lost in that maze, so he pulled the again. All of what he was the witness, went away. Silence continued. He wanted to do that again, but realized that no matter for how long he tried that, he will not understand a thing they were saying. As much as amazing and thrilling was what he heard and felt, he had to begin checking for the tree with no roots. He approached the next. Touched it, knocked on it several times, and climbed it - nothing unusual. Next tree - it was more pleasant to touch, nevertheless sturdy. From the outside they did not make much difference - besides height, thickness and smell. He check two more, and when the result came the same, he breathed heavily, angry at himself and at the whole situation because there was no easier and shorter way of doing it. He leaned on the last he checked and tried to think about what else he could come up with. He felt that the longer he was standing like that, the fewer ideas were coming in his head. He sat down on the ground. After a while, he felt very comfortable and at ease, but no solution came. He could not imagine checking every tree literally. And not just that, he did not know how exactly should he be doing it. Suddenly, an idea, a very simple one stuck him. What if just walk around the whole forest, no matter how big, at least it will be something exciting to do!? And the first thing that seems to me as strange and out of place, stop and check. With out of options, he warmed his legs up and started marching with enjoyful beginning. He decided no specific direction - just walking in random manner. But of course one thing should be careful about, if possible - no passing through the same place twice - for now. And so the little adventure began. Although the darkness was completely present everywhere, that did not bother him anymore. His steps were confident, and started to become almost bordering frivolity. As if the very thought of his that he was alone, brought some sort of comfort in his heart. He even started singing.

All in all, what is left

is all there it to be

but if your heart is not content

then, let’s see

What if the thing that lies ahead

is full of what you fear

then one thought will keep your head

and that it is not for tears

Man or not you should be ready

at any cost to fight

because you know that your belly

will cringe if not tight

At the end you will succeed

that you can be sure

even if you fail with deed

your quest is your treasure

Slowly by slowly, heartbeat after heartbeat, he did not feel trouble with the task at all. More to it, that was the most interesting boring and exhausting thing he had ever done. Even if he was not able to bring it to the end, the experience was reloading his body to such extent that he will remember till his own end. And that was actually the value - the learned thing.

Whoever thinks of falling

even before jumping

is bound to see the whip

of the giant ship

Only those who fight with passion

are the ones rewarded with fashion

that is suitable to their needs

and not unnecessary feats

Who dares to come and act

like a man that is still intact

and face the trouble or the win

instead of making futile din

There are no heroes or villains

only those who fight and those who think

those who do both are soon in chains

for the ones that do not do a thing

Victorious are all that share

one simple and great trait

to be on the top of the stairs

the one with the highest rate

The forest got so dense that the only think palpable to Yondy was his own steps and the noise they were making. The rest became blank. That, nevertheless, did not stop him, or discourage him. As if the still nothing or no one hurting him, gave him the enough strength to proceed with no fear. He almost forgot what fear was. He started comparing the long walk in the library, and sighed then laughed at remembering the toil and the inabilities he faced during the travail. Now, he was almost as free as a bird. At least, he told himself, my senses are not impeded with anything. Well, of course, except that I cannot see thing. But that is just because of the darkness. Now that I think of it, he noticed himself, I do not think it is that uncomfortable at all. Yes, he admitted, with the eyes is the best thing you can get fro the world, but without seeing anything, you can relax. Yes, another admission of his made by hand gestures and head motions, yes, now I have to use overly my other senses, but at least is not painful. So much tension goes to the eyes, that it feels like the other organs of sensation are been disregarded. But he knew that it was not just about fear or pain. There was something more to the darkness. Much more. For now, he could not figure it out. So, walking, singing, thinking, and occasional stops. He changed directions several times, changed the speed, changed the mood, changed even his attitude toward the working. He was no more in the desperate need of finding the tree, but became interested of how a tree could have no roots. Ah! The thought that probably gave him the biggest clue - the tree is either non-real, or... its lackness of roots is due to not being a tree at all. The moment he uttered it, he realized how ridiculous that sounded. He waved it away. What was I thinking? he asked himself. Of course it is not just a tree. He paused. But... without roots? Why does this intrigue me so much? he kept wondering. He knew he could not cover the whole forest; it would take him enormous amounts of efforts and clear direction. And this place was unfamiliar to him, that is to say, he had never been here, obviously. Yet he felt good in it, on it, being temporary the inhabitant of this peculiar wooden island, or whatever it was. None of the trees he had seen, touched or else, were of any strangeness. Nothing out of the ordinary about their looks, stance or else. Which meant only one thing. Another thought. Either he had to personally check every single one of them, which made his head dizzy, about to faint; OR the first strange tree there is will make good difference to his senses. Well, that was the initial doing, but for now, nothing was working. Well, imagine, he told himself, how much large is the forest, and you covered what? one tiny part of it? Although now he could breathe and his senses were not obstructed by anything, the task in the library was much easier. There, inside that maze, at least the checking of the books was not such burden, even though the huge number of books. But now, that was completely different work to be done. Now a terrible thought occurred to him. What if I get stuck, well, okay, not exactly stuck, but still,... what if it takes me so long that my whole life be lost in the task!? He decided he will start running - here, there, everywhere, with pauses. Go as farther is he could. And if still nothing, then he will start the toiling drudgery of seeing of any tree has no roots. He did not want to be doing that, but... what else is there? he wondered. ‘What we see is not always what we think we see...’ That last sentence keep reminding him of his meeting with the voice. Okay, he told himself, some things are not that obvious to tell what is what, or whether it is actual thing, but ... is that all to it!? he could not answer that. The running started. He did not want to be distracted, he remembered the men in the tower. He started with steps that were faster than pacing, he did not want to just rush into the running state. Then slowly, with every taken foot ahead, he increased the speed, faster with every the progress of every leg. Until he reached the point where he could not even keep count on the numbers of strides. He went so quick in the doing that he began losing track the position of his own legs. What!? he was baffled by the view. But soon his focused shifted to the trees ahead rather than where was the ground. The fastness of the running became so intense and gaining more and more quickness of alternating left and right leg that the very thin turned as if into just floating in the air without touch the ground. His mind was so engrossed with what was in front of him, that the moment he realized he was going in any direction with immense speed, he started panic and wanted to slow down. But that did not happen at first. As if to spite him, whatever was carrying him, because it was not entirely his legs that was doing it, was getting even faster with his wish to decrease the speed. He felt as if his heart will burst. He thought that his head will get short amount of thinking and his last view will be of crushing onto some tree, and then been torn apart. Then he did not know what else he could do, and the moment he let his body on the wave of non-thinking, he collapsed. But was strange - he did not fell on the ground. He did not even touch it. He was no more on the ground. And when he looked around himself, this quick realization brought his consciousness with the same speed, he saw that he was being carried by some force that he could not understand. He now could see things clearly, except for the thing that was carrying him. The speed was slowly decreasing, and that began, as far as he thought, after the quick faint. He utter one ‘STOP!’, to see if the moving force will cease the doing. But it did not. He tried to physical show that he wanted to stop. That did not work either. He tried jumping. But the force did not allow him to do that. It was just carrying him in various directions without pain experience - so far. He gave up all efforts in that side, and tried to focus on the trees. All were seemingly the same. But he kind of felt that none was like the others. All through the way the force that was holding him was able to dodge every single thing, no matter the speed. As if the very force was the path itself between the very trees. Like the very flying-like-running experience was with the aim of not meeting any tree. He thought he was going to get sick in his head of so swift and sudden motions, but the moment he became distracted by the quick passing by the trees, the very thing that was carrying him as if feeling the state in which he was, decreased its speed right away. There was almost no straight direction with the whole thing. Just when he was thinking the movement went into one side, and immediately, and later more elegantly changed side. From left to right, back to left again, with occasional straight, but not for long. Nevertheless, he could feel that the whole forest was so enormous that even with this magic-like thing he would not be able to achieve much. And he noticed something very specific about the motions of the force - it was random all the time. No repetition, at least from what he could remember. No single tree did he see twice. That was why every tree, every direction, the path itself, the air itself, the ground itself, literally everything was completely new to his eyes, well, as much as his yes could catch, due to the darkness. How can I even be sure when I cannot even see properly!? he wondered. How can I stop this? was another question that slowly creeped in his head. For so long the above-the-ground travel was going on, that he started forgetting what was like to BE on the ground and walking on your own feet. That thought both scared him and excited him. The excitement was due to his thinking about being like that, like a bird. I liked birds. No! he told himself. I LOVE birds. What would it feel to be.... But that although clear enough, did not mange to get finished in words. The flight stopped, the force vanished as if never been part of the journey and he found himself on the ground. He was feeling it with his whole body. He looked around. What the hell happened? He tried to adjusted to the new situation. It was scary at the beginning, but since he got used to the pleasant feeling of not exerting your legs, he was highly disappointed that it was over. WHY?! he yelled at no one in particular. Why does it always happen like this every time I am feeling some amazingly pleasant experience!? He thought that that was just another question withouth answer, but it actually came. It were not just the pleasant things he had been through, but the bad ones as well. The thing was, he much more appreciated the experience from the pleasant things, rather than the bad ones, obviously. He remembered clearly the so far unpleasant things and how he got out of them. Something right in front of him stopped his scattered thoughts and focused his eyes and mind on the new target. He was so distracted by what was before, that he forgot to pay any attention to the current things. He was not sure what exactly was he seeing. It was definitely not a tree, but not made by any man either. It was tall, all right. Yondy could not see its top. It had engravings on it. Some lines which did not follow any particular directions, much like what he was doing so far... Is this a MAP!? he wondered, opening his eyes wide. He looked carefully at it, but it only became more confusing. There were no other indications or markings whatsoever. He thought of doing something that was not strange to him - climbing it. But the problem was there were hardly any spaces for his legs and arms to held them onto the things without falling. Nevertheless he gave it a try. It turned out he did not need to find any uneven parts of the surface to get him hanging. The very surface of whatever the thing was allowed him to be clambered, somehow. For now, Yondy did not care how. All he cared was if he be able to get at the top of the thing, or at least high enough to see where was he. The task was not hard at all. It gave him some thoughts of carefulness, but there was not difficulties on the road up. Even with that in mind, he kept a watchful eye on the thing itself, and the thought of maybe falling. It was like the very idea of losing balance or strength to be attached to anything, could make you more focused on staying away from such possibility. Of course, on the other hand that could very easily discourage you from anything, and give you the faint which would lead you to.... Suddenly something stopped his ascent. As if had hit an invisible, impenetrable ceiling. He could go no more up, even though the very thing continued further. He did not try more. And he did not need to. The view that had been revealed in front of him, or rather below him, was so confusing that he literally almost faint, but he hardened the grip on both his hands on the thing he was. Not just many trees, not just giant forest was what he was seeing. NOTHING but that, nothing but trees, and trees, and more and more trees. No other thing but them. He now came to the understanding that he will never be able to cover the whole forest. No ending was visible, and the distance from which he was observing it, and looking it around gave him the opportunity of vast view, and even that opened to more and more trees. And that brought back the thought of what was above him. Why cannot I go more up!? he was puzzled. That drove him to try once more. To his surprise and almost shock, because out of excitement he was on the verge of falling again, but get the hold of himself at the last moment, the whatever was keeping him to continue up, did it no more. He was able to keep going. And so he went. But soon he found out that that was a very bad idea, almost costing him his life. The moment he passed his head through the line of where there was an obstacle before, his breathing was cut short immediately. He want to take in more breath, but it was impossible. There was no air in that new level. He felt an enormous amount of pain surging all over his body starting from his lungs and throat, he barely was able to pull himself out of the whatever the thing was. With no more his head in there, and regaining his breaths, Yondy realized through how many mysterious and amazingly puzzling things he had passed, which he could neither understand them nor name them in any way. All were just things that do this or that. He had never before seen, read, or experienced such ... things. Right away he decided to go down to the ground and continued with some more safe method of checking whether some tree has no roots. And when he stepped firmly on the pleasantly feeling earth, he looked around in complete and utter unbelievable stare. All trees had colors on them. Every single one. At least from where he was standing. Regions of blue. Regions of red, of green, of yellow, of brown, pink, purple, all colors - but two, white and black, or at least their fullness. He did not know what to make of them. He went to the closest one which was in dark green. He touched it, and the moment he did it the color went away, and the vision of the tree became normal again. He was stunned for a moment, did not know how to react. But then he shook his head to snap out of the confusion and went to the next tree, which was in light red. He touched it, and the same thing repeated - the color gone, the normalcy returned. He became angry. He was about to get to the next tree but stopped himself. He looked around and decided to choose a more distant one. He picked up a brown one. But this time he did not touch it. And as expected the color staid there. He wondered what did that mean? Again he looked around. And noticed that the colors themselves were as if glowing with different strength. And he noticed something else - by accident, by looking at the ground. The more intense the color was, the more clear its roots were visible. Those who had faint shine, their roots were so under the ground that were as if not present. So, of course he started searching for the most feeble shimmer. He passed through so much intenseness of colors and their division that his head became confused and disoriented. He stopped to get his mind clear and focused on the task. That was probably the best chance he had, and he did not plan to ruin it. And he just had that thought so strong in him that no other was allow to be in distraction. So many trees did he check and measured with his concentrated eyes, that at some point he started thinking that his eyes were losing their own strength and might delude him, so he decided to make breaks on every ten trees. But then he noticed something very peculiar about the situation - no pattern, no equality. Just when you were in front of a blue shining tree, near it was a pink one. Then a yellow, and nearby a purple. Then green, then blue, then brown, then darker of yellow. Some were brighter than others even thought those which were not the bright ones were bright colors themselves. It was not about the color itself, but its intensity. Okay, correction, he told himself, the color matters but only about the size of the tree. But then the visibility of the roots - intensity. He was not moving with very large amount of steps, but the motions about jumping from one tree to the next, and from one group of ten to the next group, he was like on a game. And to make it more efficient, as if unbeknownst of himself doing it, he started taking it as such. Like that, he became less and less prone to distraction. How can you be distracted by something that is fun!? When you are to serious and focused on the execution of some task, you are very easily attracted to something that can take the concentration out of your thinking. But the way he was playing this game was so swift and proficient that he was like a camouflaged animal that was looking for a hunt or something that he had lost. Some groups of trees were so interesting that they formed a picture of a rainbow. Others were so confusely looking that you were to think they were trying to create new colors. He was more of amazed and perplexed rather than distracted and losing focus. Somehow it even gave him additional direction, clue and drive. Even the speed itself became barely palpable. Like his whole was living in that manner. Suddenly something caught not his eyes, but his nose - a smell. Water. Or more precisely the wind that was connected with being, living near water. And then he realized something, but that came at the same moment at which he made another jump to see the next group of trees, when he found himself out of the forest, watching the still water in front of him. He lost all his enthusiasm. What? Why? How? Questions mixed with desperation and sorrow wrapped around his head, and as a result he screamed as loud as he could do it. NO!!! Whyyy?? What the .... HELL!?? He raised his hands in the airs wide and high, then dropped them slowly on his head, he ruffled his hair, then brushed his face with them, then fall with his knees on the ground and felt like starting to weep. No, he could not contain it anymore. The crying was inevitable. That was the only sound that was present for a while. When he became all wet of his tears, he began slowly to drift away from the horrible, yet soothing place in which his mind was so far. He looked around himself and saw the small puddle of water he had made. He brushed his eyes, and even forced a laughter. Although he could not believe he shed so much amount, he felt relieved. As if his thinking cleared. He started having better seeing, like some burden was lifted from his shoulders. I have to find the wretched tree, he told himself. No matter what. I have to. So he got up, stretched his muscles and went back in the bosom of the forest. The colors were no more there. His shoulders were just sank down, when something caught his ears. So bare sound, very unpleasant. That was the reason it caught his hearing so well - it was slight, but annoying. He tried to figure out its origin, because it felt like spreading. He caught it, then started following it. First with slow and careful walking, then when he got the hang of it, turn into pace, then trot, then a run. The whole doing became so blindfoldedly progressive that he did not know in which directions he were heading, nor was he aware of anything but being focused to not loose the track of the increasing intensity of the noise. He slalomed through so many trees, he almost hit ten or more. Like his reflexes were on such edge that he relied completely on his senses to guide. No other choice left for him. Apparently his mind was not helping him much. He could not tell for sure, because he was not paying much attention to the path, but he felt as if the track he was taking was no familiar to him - a new one. His pulse were going high that he almost felt like he was going to explode. But even for that there was not need nor space. He stopped. But not because the noise stopped. It was due to what he was seeing in front of him. He laughed out loud. He could not believe it in his eyes. The thing that he climbed earlier. He screamed in frustration. He yelled some unintelligible noises. Then he patted his head. WHAT NOW!!??? he asked no one in particular. But actually, the answer revealed right before his senses. The source of the noise, just like maybe the force that was carrying him above the ground before, was coming from this thing. Some very tall thing that continued beyond some barrier. But what it was he did not know. He listened. The noise was not more audible. Is it because I am near it!? he wondered. But what am I supposed to ....? The question hanging. He just shrugged his shoulders in completely lack of understanding. Where is this cursed tree, oh dear sky!? he begged for some answer. And when he looked up, right at where the tree was losing visibility, all the way to its base, and then focusing on from where it was coming, he gasped in surprise. Traces of uprooting. Oh, my! he exclaimed. What!? No! He slapped his face, as if trying to wake up. But he realized he was not dreaming. He was standing right in front of...of.... he was not sure, but guessed that it was probably the infamous tree. And the way the uprooting looked like. It was like a digging, but not quite so. It was more of a substituting one thing for another. No forceful traits, but careful taking out. Even though all the visible ‘damage’, it was done in a very good way. But..., he began, does that mean... he realized something, which he did not want to take in. Does it mean it is gone!? he cried in mental agony. Did someone take it? Did something terrible happen to it? Why there is always no one to ask? He did not know what else to do. So he sat on the ground, leaning on the thing and decided to take a break to contemplate about what he is to do from here on. The strange thing was - the thing was warm, not hot, not cold, not lukewarm, but warm. The other strangeness - it was changing, from more to less warm. But still it was warm. As if something was giving it energy or else. Now his mind became mixed up with two different thoughts, so he decided to deal with his next task, and then think about the warmth of the thing. He slowly tried to calmed himself down but could not. His mind could not let go off the new situation. What is inside it? he kept wondering. His thoughts now were completely gone from looking for any tree. But when the very thought came for the split moment, he answered with a shrug. He realized that he could do nothing about it for now. So, his focused returned back to the slight heat from the whatever that was. He put his hands on it. They did not get burn or else. But he noticed something else. The warmth was not moving in horizontal direction, like left, right, back and forth, but in vertical - up and down. He tried to catch the way it moved but it was to random to pick up any character. Then he saw something on the ground. He did not know what that was but it looked like triangle with a dot near one of the sides. He touched it, the dot. Nothing happened. Then he touched the triangle. Then happened something which made his heart started thumping with great speed, increasing by the moment. The triangle started rotating - first slowly and carefully, then gaining fastness so much that it almost began to look like a circle. He wanted to remove his hand off it, but could not - he was too fixated on it, to even been able to think about what was happening. Then something else happened which made him laugh. He saw another triangle with two dots and two sides of it. It was laid not far from him but almost across the thing. He finally separated himself from the first triangle, which after this did not stop rotating. But the moment he got near the second triangle and put his hands on it, the first started glowing pink color, completely pink. And he could not haven missed that even if he wanted. It became a beam of pink light that was going up along the thing touching its side surface, to the top where the eyes of Yondy could not reach. Then he felt familiar touch under his hands, although a bit different. He looked at it. It was rotating, but in the opposite direction of the first one. The two dots were positioned near the thing. And he just lifted his head for the second time, when he saw another triangle near the other edge of the thing. It had dots near each side of it. He did not hesitate. He stood up and went toward it. And the moment he started walking, and going nearer the new triangle, the second one began emitting dark blue light. IT was soothing and mysterious at the same time. When he arrived at the third triangle, he sat down, put his hands over it, and waited to start rotating. But it did not. He pulled his hands and head quickly in surprise of what was happening, or what was NOT happening. He did it again - and again nothing. What now? he wondered. He looked around and was watching how the two lights, passing gently over the sides of the thing, combining together at some point at the top, and ... he could not see their result, it was too distant to make it out. He looked down again to the third triangle and saw something very strange - this triangle was kind of engraved in the surface of the thing, and not on the ground itself like the other two. He touched it again. Nothing. He touched only the dots. Nothing. He tried touching with one hand the dots, and with the other hand the triangle. Nothing. He even switched hands. Nothing. He did not know what to do. Another puzzle unsolved. Then a thought suddenly occurred to him. With a foot. He stepped on it. Nothing. Disappointment and anger surged through his head. What!? WHAT!? WHAAAT!? he screamed in madness. That made hit with an open hand the triangle and the moment he gave a cry of pain the passed through his whole hand, the thing started moving. Not the triangle itself, but the big thing itself. Moving. Not rotating, but moving. In direction which he did not wish to go. He shivered. He just watched how the whole thing started losing his grandness and getting smaller and shorter. The two lights along with it. Until they were gone, and the thing leveled with the ground. The eyes of Yondy were so wide open he could not believe what he just saw. He was like frozen, unmoving, not even breathing. That was it. He was looking straight at it, first transfixed but then slowly wondering what was going to happen. Now only waiting was present. Anticipation. But nothing happened. He waited, and waited. But his patient started getting out of his nerves. He started moving around it. Nothing. He got his head near it. Nothing. He touched the thing, or what was left of it, with his hands. Nothing. Then he decided to step on it. Nothing. Well. At least at first. He stood for a moment or two and when nothing happened, again, he was about to step aside, when slight shaking stopped his thinking. His heart stopped beating and at the immediately split the moment with very fast increasing pumping. He felt as if his whole body will explode. What is happening!? he wondered. But by the end of that thought the ground switched to more palpable tremblings. He kind of expected more of this unbalancing, but for what he was not ready was the direction at which he will be pushed. So he fell on the ground. Now in direct touch with the ground he could practically feel its wrath. As if awaken from some very long slumber. And is if to answer all his current questions, which were all pretty similar to each other, the quakes became so violent and fierce, that they were able to play with his body like a clown when juggling. To the left, to the right, up and down, in circles, in all possible directions. He lost complete control of himself, and only screamings, yellings, utterings that were not clearly understood, which were either coming from out of pain, or were the cause of fear, fright or horror. He suddenly felt as if his life became both extremely meaningless, and at the same time the most valuable thing at the moment. He tried to stay alive, somehow. And simultaneously he wanted to die, so all this horrible experience could be done with. And his prayers got answered. The swaying of the ground grew so uncontrollable and unpredictable that it started forming cracks and all sorts of lines along its surface, that soon became larger by the shakes. Openings all around him. Nowhere to go. The whole forest screamed as if tormented by pain and pleasure. Incomprehensibility ruled for a very excruciating amount of perception. Like the whole land, island or whatever he was in was trying to tell Yondy the suffering it was going through. And Yondy could feel it all. Yondy told about the same pain to the forest. As if wordless conversation which had no result anyhow. The trees had started falling. If he attempted to escape their field of grasp, he would be swallowed inside of any of the cracks. Then the very ground decided in his stead. Where the tall thing that was leveled down was, it began to sink even more, and it started to drag everything that was around it. Soon that became Yondy. And he had no choice in the situation. Either be smashed by some tree ... or .... dive into the depths of the earth. Even for wondering there was no period of waiting for him. The moment he began considering his options, after which he saw there were none, he got already caught by the unstoppable crumbling ground. The next moment, no more trees was he able to see. Just falling and descending into what, he did not know. The lower he went, the darker the situation turn. Until absolutely nothing was visible. Sounds he could hear. He could feel his body screaming for everything. Nothing was left for him to do. He gave up. He felt the end as the closest thing of which he could think. Never he had experienced such a terrible thing that could speak of anything so palpable as death itself, the way he was in while falling more and more down. The most weak, strengthless, and surrendering position in which he was. And the biggest companion he had during that state was the combination of his senses, his body, that he could feel anything at all. Well, except he could see nothing. So dark was that whether closed or opened eyes, did not matter. The going down prolonged for such amount, that he had at his disposal all the necessary to really think about anything at all. He was in a weightless situation. It was a great deal of scary and unimaginable, but nothing and no one was touching him. No contact with anything. Such isolation that for the first time he actually experienced what it was like to be absolutely alone, lonely, with only himself and nothing and no one else around him. IT was unspeakable condition, which he did not know what to thin of. He tried to figure something out, but nothing came. He was able to think of so many things, that his head felt like heavy. But every attempt at reaching some different thought from where he was, the situation dragged him back to what he was doing, and ... emptiness. Nothing to say. Once, twice, thrice, more and more. And at some point he started wondering whether he was actually moving!? He became sure he was not floating. His body was not being pushed or pulled at any directions at all. The only movements, at least he had them, were he voluntary - every part of his body. He just could not get out or understand the place in which he was or... anything at all. He could do practically every movement, even rotate himself upside down, or left to right, up and down. But he could not move from the single spot, the single area in which he was ... hanging? It was like being on the surface of some thing, but not able to go in any directions. Only think he could think of was to ask if anyone was there. And when no one and nothing replied after too many tries, he gave up. Hopeless situations. He did not know what else to do. He really thought he was dead and he was waiting for some judgment. But nothing appeared, nor talked, nor did anything else but keep him in that position. Then the falling restarted again, just when he was ready to take a nap. He got so startled that he panicked, and that increased the dizziness and as a result the fall kept increasing and at the end muffled his voice of screaming. Down and down, still and yet, no surface came. He was exhausted of yelling so he decided to accept anything that was coming toward him. Or rather at what he was heading. But nothing. He could really feel the sensation of falling, and amazingly nothing else. Just falling, and the pressure one feels when falling - air pushing at your body, especially your face, and not being able to either take a breath or speak. You just waited for something to stop the fall. But in his case, nothing did it. So he began asking himself whether he was actually falling, or that was another one of the tricks of magic he had been through so far!? And after that thought came to him, that answered his question. The falling, or at least the feeling of falling stopped immediately. What is happening? he asked himself. Why is it happening? Why my senses always get tested in such ways? he was on the verge of crying out of anger of not understanding anything he kept seeing, feeling, hearing, or else, or the lack of those things. Then slowly he gave in to his utmost, deepest sadness, weakness and the most basic thing he could feel as a human being - need for filling in the emptiness. He was crying, but did not have the strength to scream. He was in great mental pain, but not physical. His heart was throbbing alternating fast and non-fast beatings, so did his breathing. He felt like a child, and the strongest men facing the most whopping amount of nothingness who could do nothing about it. His misery was so palpable that he did not want to try anything anymore. But just the fact that he could still feel and do other things, because maybe he was alive, he like did not have any other choice but to conform with the situation. He thought of death again, but that did nothing either. He not just did not have the slightest clue of what was going on, but did not know from where to begin. No matter what he did, nothing gave him any answer of his current state. And just when he thought the whole thing could not get any worse, something came to him with the most terrifying vision. And that became the only thing that could be seen. Even more. It could be perceived in all ways, through all his senses. It was out of any expectation he could have. Even the most painful and horrible thing could not compare to what was approaching him. Slowly and with closer view, everything came to his sight of vision. Lots of people who where not moving, who were .... He barely swallowed when he realized what exactly was he seeing. He was almost sick at his chest and stomach, when he saw that there other people who were still alive, but on a closer look he noticed their empty expression. Out of misery, out of strength, out of hope. And that made him look on another side where all the living things were so much suffering that he just closed his eyes. He could stand it no longer. He wanted to cry, but saw that he was not able to, not just because so far he was doing it, and as if he was out of water in his eyes, but it was something of weariness. He felt pain and sympathy for them, but those feelings were stronger even for tears. The view left him speechless, unable to utter even a single sound, and only twitch with his muscles very time he heard a cry or a punishment being applied. Punishment? he cocked his head. He was surprised, It was like watching slavery in action. But it was more than that. The slaving work was indeed a prisonment. Whatever they were doing was not for survival, but for no other thing than being put to it. And he knew, or so he thought that, the reason for that. He was in the realm, or at least he was looking at the realm of the lost. All those people, some of that already long gone, have lost something precious enough to cast them here. He started wondering what could those things be like - those sacrifices. What could push a man to risk something or everything for .... THIS. He looked at all around him once again and disgusted and pity filled his heart and covered his face. But what about...? he began saying something, but a voice came from behind him interrupting his thoughts.

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Novembersnow : Love love love it!!! You did a great job like always. I can’t wait for the next one!!!

halsteaddawn1960: Wonderfully written. It's hard to put down.

Rachel: Oh my stars!!! This story was amazing!!! Very few grammar mistakes and gloriously detailed! I couldn't put it down!

Serenity Choi: I know you said that this isn't the end of their story, but man how i wish it was still going. Writer, you did a magnificent job telling this story. Now I'm going to read more of your work and wait for book 14.

Anna_Bentoumi: Alles super spannend prickelnde Erlebnis super weiter so

Estera: Still too much drama for me, i stopped reading this book at some point because it was too stressful for me

nzamanokuzola840: I loved every moment of it plz continue to be the great writer you. Thank you so much for taking us on this magical journey.

Frannette Lungu: This is so sad

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Maria: Das ist mein drittes Buch was ich jetzt von dir lese .Ich mag es wie du schreibst. Mit Liebe , Emotionen und Feingefühl , Personenbeschreibung.

marilyn: Wow....I can't believe everything that has happened so far. It's so interesting and intriguing

Mharms: I like the storyline following in the numbered books. This makes an interesting narrative. All adults would enjoy reading.

Mharms: I liked that the story line is in continuous book to book form. It makes a compelling history to follow. Very interesting.

marilyn: It's awesome to hear about all these shifters finding their fated mates. I can't wait to hear more about them. I also want to hear about the cubs. And for Daryl to find his mate.

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