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Chasing Love (A Clean Romance Novella) On Okada Books / THE MARKED - White Sight: The Inbetween -- Sneak Peek / Ndidi And The Telekinesis Man (A Fantasy Romance Novella By Kayode Odusanya) (2) (3) (4)
|Re: The Marked: In The Spectral Existence (A Stand-alone Fantasy Fiction Novella) by tunjilomo(m): 9:42am On Jun 26, 2019|
I am not commenting until Saturday.
|Re: The Marked: In The Spectral Existence (A Stand-alone Fantasy Fiction Novella) by Tuhndhay(m): 12:46pm On Jun 26, 2019|
Nebud seeing those sights and getting baffled by it makes me "wonder
1. What thoughts would be running through Musa's mind seeing his master acting this way
2. Brings to mind, how much Nebud had fallen away from the original things he ought to know 3. He certainly has a lot of catching up to do if he intends to take his rightful position (I see hints of that). Pansophy certainly looks appealing perhaps I can learn little in my lifeform.
4) Those glasses made of uspec scales....... "that must be one hell of harvesting from the massacres or how did they get the uspec scales in that quantity.
I think a fight is brewing somewhere, now that Nebud is spoiling for a fight and something seems to whisper to me that Musa might sell off Nebud..
Something looks out of place in this set up... Guess we would soon know.
|Re: The Marked: In The Spectral Existence (A Stand-alone Fantasy Fiction Novella) by phoenixchap: 7:14pm On Jun 26, 2019|
See who I caught reading up and I guess may be an update is brewing somewhere... I'm trying to catch up
|Re: The Marked: In The Spectral Existence (A Stand-alone Fantasy Fiction Novella) by Fazemood(m): 8:33pm On Jun 26, 2019|
Nebud is experiencing what it means to be rich and it should enjoy it while it lasts.
I think Obehid that we are going into too many detailing in this tale than the main thing and that is quite tiring. What is to note is the activities happening around Nebud not the colours of the buildings and the designs and the colours of the okuns.
At this moment what is most important to us (readers) or maybe I should say myself, is what happens to Nebud not what is around it.
This two episodes have so far been just filled with too many details and less activities. It is tiring like I have said earlier. I propose that you try and minimise this and go straight to the main thing we are following this story for.
Unless this explorations have some kind important roles in Nebud's life in the future please kindly reduce the unnevessary details ( my apology if that sounds rude).
I have never criticised your work before but I have to state my observation and displeasure, please consider this and do something about it.
Your most loyal fan
|Re: The Marked: In The Spectral Existence (A Stand-alone Fantasy Fiction Novella) by obehiD(f): 4:15am On Jun 28, 2019|
Lol @popeshemoo don't worry, I'm running
@tunjilomo okay, I'm not responding to your comment until Saturday
@Tuhndhay all your points are very very valid. And you're right, we will know soon about the nature of their relationship . I really like your observation of Nebud spoiling for a fight and Musa appearing smart enough to sell Nebud (can uspecs be sold...note to self, figure that out ) before Nebud can sell it.
@phoenixchap nah, no update yet, but there is definitely one brewing somewhere. Lol, hope you enjoy catching up
@Fazemood thanks for the criticism, like I've said before I like to know what you guys are thinking, good and bad. So, with the details, I guess it comes down to conflicting definitions of 'necessary' (or unnecessary). I guess, when I'm writing this, I find every detail that I include to be necessary in defining some point. Some of the details I think are necessary to introduce, and help lay the foundations for, pansophy. But I think, most of the details go to the authenticity of the story. This is all new to Nebud, so, it goes over the details, it fixates on every little thing, because it's never seen it before. As it gets more and more used to things like this, its attention to the little details will probably go down, because it will have some reference for it, but till then, it just observes its surroundings. I should also probably state that, if you don't like the details, then you probably won't like the next part, which is also going to be a lot of details of Nebud's new and exciting surroundings. Are they necessary for the story, I think so, you may not, I'll let you be the judge of that. But since I know that you don't enjoy the details as much, I'll post two parts on Saturday, one will be very detail heavy, the other dialogue heavy (no details of surroundings). And I will definitely bear your critique in mind as I continue with the writing. Again, thank you so much for sharing your POV, I really appreciate it
|Re: The Marked: In The Spectral Existence (A Stand-alone Fantasy Fiction Novella) by Peaceyw(m): 10:18am On Jun 28, 2019|
Patiently waiting for tomorrow's update.
|Re: The Marked: In The Spectral Existence (A Stand-alone Fantasy Fiction Novella) by Nobody: 4:45pm On Jun 28, 2019|
obehiD:obehiD please let tomorrow's update be a long one it's my birthday so I wanna read it while celebrating I've been following this thread for a long time
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|Re: The Marked: In The Spectral Existence (A Stand-alone Fantasy Fiction Novella) by obehiD(f): 1:57am On Jun 29, 2019|
@Peaceyw the update is ready oh, come and read
@dragonstar14 HAPPY BIRTHDAY!!! I'll eat a piece of cake for you today I'm truly humbled that you want to read this while celebrating your special day, thank you!
EVERYONE, thanks to Fazemood (sorry for the details) and dragonstar14 the update today is going to be very LOOONG, probably the most I've posted in a single day, so grab your popcorn and drink and come and read! I really hope you all enjoy it
|Re: The Marked: In The Spectral Existence (A Stand-alone Fantasy Fiction Novella) by obehiD(f): 2:09am On Jun 29, 2019|
The first thing I noticed when I woke was the darkness. It was much darker than I recalled it being the previous night. At least then the light had been sufficient to make out the bed. Now, I could see nothing. I turned to my right, intending to lay on my side on the bed, but was immediately cut short by the feel of a smooth surface making contact with my ailerons. It took me a while to remember that the bed I laid on was strange. Like the bed I had slept in in the sickroom in the pits, this bed had holes cut out for my ailerons. It allowed for a much more comfortable sleep, resting my back on the bed, instead of on my ailerons.
I sat up then, allowing my ailerons to rise from the slot in the bed. As soon as I rose, I heard a scuffling sound coming from the right of the room.
“Who is it?” I demanded.
“Just me master.” Came the immediate response. How had I forgotten about Musa?
The scuffling got louder as, I assumed, Musa moved around in that side of the room. I heard nothing for a while, and then the room was suddenly flooded with orange light. I had to blink numerous times to allow my eyes to adjust to the bright lighting. Once my eyes adjusted though, I got my first real look at the room.
The bed I sat on was large. It was wide enough to take two uspecs my size, without our ailerons touching. But I could tell from the double aileron-slots, that the bed was only meant to take one. On the head of the bed, there was a long plump pillow, and behind it, an empty gap. I had to stand to see what was in that gap. I sidled forward and stepped down, off the bed. In front of me, was the brown fog entrance to the room, and by it, extending from a rod in the wall, a hoop which held the sword key.
The walls in the room were like nothing I had ever seen. Unlike the previous vertical pond with the standing bank of liquid okun, which made up the walls in the main lobby, the walls in my room had running pink liquid. Somehow, the liquid was kept running down in a constant stream from the ceiling, all the way to the narrow canal at the foot of the wall. I walked over to that canal and stepped inside it. I was shocked to find that the liquid in the canal was cool. I had never been in a cool okun. I turned around, and found that the canal was wide enough that I could stand sideways in it. Trapped in stunned excitement, I rose my hands and placed them flat against the wall of liquid. The temperature of the liquid running down the walls appeared the same as that in the canal. The stream of liquid flowing around my hands was only deep enough to rise slightly above the pads of my finger.
I began walking then. As I walked in the canal, ignoring the feel of my right aileron scraping against the wall of running liquid, I examined the rest of the room. There was a large wooden cupboard to the right of the bed. The cupboard had four doors, two of which were open. The opened doors revealed my black satchel bag hanging from a post, and the imp’s sack bag sitting on a shelf. Even with both of these in it, the revealed portions of the cupboard still had so much empty space. I wondered how many belongings would be required to fill the cupboard.
I kept walking. There was a large gap between the canal and the foot of the bed. With furrowed brows, I bent down to get a closer look at the ground. I had thought I’d been imagining it, but at such close distance, I could tell that I hadn’t. The ground was indeed covered by a ground of red fog. A ground of fog! I could not believe it. I had never seen such.
“What is this?” I muttered the question to myself.
“It is a coffer master, a safe place for storing valuables. The key to the room also serves as key to the coffer.” Musa provided an answer.
I nodded at it, before rising back up. The source of the bright orange light was not far from where I stood. There were only two breaks in the liquid wall. The first was at the front of the room, where the fog door was, and the second, at the light source. I walked over to it and was surprised to see that it was not the light source I had thought it was, but a window, simply allowing the natural light of the day to pass through. Certainly, the illumination from the orange dots could not be so bright, I pondered, as I ran my finger over the smooth surface of the transparent glass. The glass covered the same area as the fog, it ran from the ceiling all the way to the ground. Unlike the ground directly in front of the door, where the canal broke, the ground in front of the window was still canal.
“Is this just glass?” I asked.
Musa was standing behind me now, on the ground behind the canal. “Special glass master.” It said. Then it moved forward into the canal, and stretched its hands, reaching for the ceiling. I stared up, my eyes widening as the imp unfastened a lock in the ceiling, which I had not seen. The imp turned its fingers and a thin sheet fell from the ceiling and covered the window. As soon as the sheet reached the canal, the entire room was dark. “Pansophy master,” the imp explained, “they have both been given growth. The glass grows the light coming in from the outside, making it appear brighter than it is. The sheet grows the darkness from the room, combatting the light amplified by the window.” After saying that, the imp pulled the sheet back up, and locked it back into its easy-to-overlook compartment in the ceiling.
Pansophy. How could magic make so much possible? I felt a sense of pride from knowing that this could also have been part of my ancestors creation. As Musa had said, before my ancestors, none of this was possible. I stared out the window and was shocked by the sites.
I could tell from the world I looked down on, that we were on a higher level. The tops of the wooden walls surrounding the burg were visible from this level. I could also see to the other side of those walls. I saw a clean okun surrounded by more walls. Behind that okun, I saw another which took my breath away. The okun glowed. A hue of pink light rose from the surface of the okun. It reminded me of the okun that the frosted beast had led me to. What had Musa called it? A lit okun. It was breathtaking looking down on it from the higher view. Off to the side of the okun, I could see what, from so far off, appeared to be a bridge, the only one crossing over the lit okun. Behind the lit okun, was a large piece of land with buildings I was too far away to see in much detail.
“That is the Regnant master.” Musa stated, pointing to the lit okun. “They call that bridge, the bridge of nobles. It is the only bridge which connects from the sovereign’s manor, to the rest of the burg.”
“The sovereign’s manor?”
Musa pointed at the piece of land behind the lit okun. “The sovereign of Lastmain, master, that is its manor.”
I nodded. Slowly, my eyes rolled over the view, taking in as much of the burg as I could from my position behind the window. Then, I turned around. Musa stepped out of the canal, and I continued on my survey of the room. On the other side of the room, there was a yellow block. I walked over to it, knocked on the surface and found that it was made of wood. A table I assumed then, although I had never seen a table quite like this. I pushed at it with my leg, and with a minimal effort, it moved. Beside the table, there was a much smaller bed than the one I had slept on. This bed was much closer to the ground, and it did not have any of the slots that mine had. I assumed that it was meant for an imp. Probably were Musa had slept.
Satisfied with my surveillance, I returned to the bed and sat at the foot of it. The bed was high enough that the soles of my feet touched the ground with my thighs and calves at a right angle.
“Would you like to have breakfast first master, or shall we go for a cleaning? The resort imps took me on a tour of the facilities last night, the cleaning room is quite adequate.”
With my arms stretched behind me, my palms resting on the bed, I kicked out my legs and reflected on the imp’s question. The night before, I had been so tired that the moment I climbed into the bed I fell asleep without giving much thought to food or even my surroundings. This morning though, I could feel the slight twitches in my stomach from my hunger pangs. Still, I could not throttle the heart-racing excitement I felt at the prospect of uncovering the cleaning room in this resort which seemed to somehow make a production of even the most mundane places. My initial thought on seeing the canal was that the canal was meant to be the cleaning place, why else have an okun in a room? But now Musa mentioned another cleaning room, one that was ‘quite adequate’. My lips bent slightly, my mouth forming a gentle smile, as I scoffed at the words.
I stood then. “The cleaning room,” I decided.
Musa bowed. It turned around and walked over to the brown fog entrance. Once there, Musa reached for the wooden sword held up by the hoop extending from the wall of streaming liquid. It took the key down and, with the hilt of the wooden sword in its hand, it walked through the opaque fog. I walked through the now translucent fog behind the imp.
The hallway was as I remembered it from the night before. It had the same soft transparent flooring as the lobby. What I had failed to realize the previous night, was that the hallway was arched, not straight. We walked along the bend until we reached a set of thick green curtains. Musa pulled one side of the curtains back, holding it in place as I walked past. It followed behind me.
I had never seen a portal room quite like this. The walls, ceiling and lighting were all as it had been in the lobby, but the ground was different. Instead of the single bed of hardened quicksand I had come to expect in portal rooms, this one had multiple. I counted about ten different large spots of quicksand. Each spot had markings engraved on the rim of the floor surrounding the hardened quicksand. I imagined that each of those markings held a description of where the different portals led to.
Musa walked over to the first spot of quicksand to the right of where I stood. I joined it on the hardened quicksand, just before it turned soft and sucked us in. We were teleported to an empty space with a large wall of green fog on one side. The other walls were bare, as the walls in the hallway in front of our room. With the hilt of the wooden sword in its hand, Musa walked into the opaque green fog and it turned translucent.
I walked in after it.
Sounds of splattering liquid assailed my ears. I heard the sounds before I had the opportunity to look around the room. There was something peaceful about listening to the splash of liquid drops falling against a surface. The sounds caught me unawares, as I had never heard anything of that type before. The sounds of splashing liquid which I had heard in the past, where sounds emerging from a poured drink. This was different. For one, it was continuous, not short lived as that of spilled liquid. It also appeared methodical, as if there was a routine to the spray of liquid. Dazzled by my own introspection on the source of the sound in which I heard, I walked out of the green fog.
Then stopped dead in my tracks.
Surely, I thought, someday I would find sights such as this commonplace. I hoped that the ignorance of a de trop, whose only knowledge of the world was gleamed from the parsimonious tales of passing traders, would not shadow me forever. I dreamed of a day when I was able to walk into the most outrageously designed room unfazed. Sadly, that day was not today.
With a wide eye and a parted mouth, I took in the cleaning room. There were three large ponds in the center of the room. The two ponds closest to me where round ponds. From a measured glance at both, I could tell that they were both larger than the pond I had last cleaned in. They also appeared much cleaner. The round pond to the left had a very light shade of pink fog rising from it. I noted that it was the first drifting fog which I had seen since stepping inside the resort. The pond beside it had the darkest shade of okun which I had ever seen in my life. And behind them both, there was a rectangular pond with gleaming pink liquid. I could not help but notice the multicolored rocks which appeared to be floating on the surface of the liquid. The border of the room was taken up by a canal much wider than the one in my room. The canal appeared to be wide enough for two uspecs my size to swim in. It went all around the edge of the room, only breaking in the spot I stood in, which was the space in front of the wide door of green fog. A stream of falling liquid rained down into the canal. Unlike the walls of my room, this liquid streamed down into the center of the canal and appeared thicker than my hand. I looked up to the ceiling and was unable to locate the source of the liquid. Wide beds filled several spots in the room.
|Re: The Marked: In The Spectral Existence (A Stand-alone Fantasy Fiction Novella) by obehiD(f): 2:10am On Jun 29, 2019|
One at a time, the uspecs seemed to appear in different locations in the room. Two of them swam in the canal along the perimeter of the room. Five appeared huddled together in the dark pink pond to my right. I could barely make out a few green heads through the fog over the pond to my left, and the beds were suddenly filled with lounging uspecs. I realized then that I had phased them out in my eagerness to peruse the room. I heard the voices then. I heard the gentle laughter of the five uspecs in the dark pond. I heard the splashing of the swimming uspecs’ hands as they slapped against the liquid in the canal. Imps also became visible. I caught sight of a few naked ones standing in the ponds. About six of them decked in the brown livery of the resort, stood at various locations in the room.
“Master.” I heard the concern in Musa’s voice and wondered how long it had been trying to get my attention.
I turned to face the imp and my eyes locked on a counter filled with towels, an assortment of corked bottles, stone-like round objects, and various types of long objects, some with sharp ends, the others having bristles. Suddenly, I became overwhelmed by my ignorance. How could I pretend to be a noble if I did not know what to do? Would these uspecs not immediately see through my charade? My heart pounded as I noticed a pair of knowing eyes turn from a pond to stare at me. Would I be asked the question which exposed me to the commoners? I decided then, that it would probably be for the best if I left. I could get clean enough in the canal in my room.
“Master.” Musa prompted again. “I don’t know how you like to clean master, but my old masters were very ordered in their cleaning. They would all start with the heated pond, that pond has bath salts which are best for washing. The salts get into your skin and wash off all the dirt you may have accumulated. Then they would come out and lay on the bed so that I could thoroughly clean and polish their feathers. After that was done, they would go to the long rectangular pond, the one with scented bars, and swim in it, to wash off any remaining salts from the first pond. When they are satisfied, they would go to the last pond, the dark one master, and soak there for long enough for the dark salts to attach to their skin. Those salts prevent dirt from accumulating on the skin. When they are done in the dark pond, they may or may not go for a long swim in the canal or stand under the falling liquid. Then they would come out, and I would dry them with heated towels. Does master clean in a different order?”
I exhaled in relief. “Thank you.” I said in reply. The imp inhaled in shock, its eyelids pulling upwards. I stared at the surprised expression on its face and admitted to myself that I was shocked too. I could count on my fingers the number of times I had ever said those words and meant it. But the imp had saved me from embarrassment, and in the moment after it had described the purpose of each of the ponds, all I had felt was relief. I had not really thought of its status as my slave. I nodded gruffly at the imp and then walked towards the first pond.
“If you’ve never been in it before master, the salts in the heated pool can be very hard to bear.” Musa warned in a whisper.
I nodded without turning around to face it. Then, I walked over to the pool of liquid with the fog floating over it, and stepped in. I regretted my decision as soon as my body was in the liquid. I could not tell which was worse, the burning heat of the liquid in the pond, or the biting sting I assumed came from the salts. The fog made it hard to see, but I could tell that there were at least three other uspecs in the pond, each of which appeared to be perfectly relaxed in this liquid hell. I thought I would look ridiculous if I jumped out of the pond as soon as I had climbed in, and so I tried to distract myself by focusing on other things. I inhaled the strange scents emanating from the pool, and tried to break it down into its sources. When my lack of knowledge of scents turned that into a pointless exercise, I turned my focus to studying the uspecs. Two of them were too far away for me to see, but I could study the one that was closest. I noticed that it had all four of its filled eyes closed. It lay with its back against the side of the pond, and it had enough of its left aileron exposed for me to see that it was almost half-way filled. I wondered if this uspec could fly. I tried to recall the uspecs who’d flown into my slum and how filled their ailerons had been, but then the burning, stinging, pain of the hot liquid and the salts became too much to bear.
I tried swimming then. I took a deep breath, filling my lungs with air, before going to a squat in the liquid. I decided that if I was going to endure the pain of this bath, I might as well make sure that all of me got cleaned. So, I swam the few strokes to the other end of the pond, with all of my body submerged in the liquid. Keeping my attention on moving my body in the okun actually worked in distracting me from the unpleasant sensations for a while. I was able to complete six laps in the small pond, before my mind began to drift. I decided then that I had endured enough. I pulled myself out of the pond.
I sighed, a smile of relief on my face, as the cool air of the cleaning room enveloped me. Unperturbed by the onlookers I assumed watched me with fascination, I simply stood in my spot with my eyes closed and enjoyed the sensations of not feeling as if my skin was being flayed. It wasn’t till I opened my eyes that I noticed Musa standing in front of me. It stretched its hand towards a bed on the far left of the room. I nodded and it began walking.
When we reached the bed, I noticed the basket on the floor by it. The basket was filled with several bottles and a number of the objects I hadn’t been able to place from the counter. I lay on my stomach on the bed, noting the lack of slots in this one. The bed was also much narrower than the bed in my room, but it was wide enough for my ailerons to rest on it.
I felt it when Musa sat on the bed. A cool liquid was spurted onto the back of my ailerons and then I felt Musa rubbing it in. I found it strangely soothing. It started with its fingers, massaging the liquid into the parts of my aileron which were still bare and then finally, onto the feathers in my aileron. Once it was done with its hands, I felt the scrape of a hard object against the rims of my aileron. It worked so gently that I never once felt the object scraping unpleasantly against me. In no time, the hard object was gone and replaced with something strange. I only had to feel it brush against my feathers a few times before I matched it with the object with bristles which I had seen on the counter.
Musa gasped, and then everything stopped.
With a frown, I placed my elbows onto the bed and pushed myself up. Then I turned to face Musa. Its face had contorted into a mask of anguish. It stared at my feathers as if they had somehow brought pain to it. “Musa?” I called, startled by the imp’s reaction.
Musa jumped at the call of its name. It blinked a few times before raising its head up to meet my gaze with its empty sockets. “Forgive me master.” It said. “Your feathers are…” it seemed to hesitate, as if it couldn’t find the right words, and then it said, “exceptional.” Then it bent back to its work of brushing my feathers.
Relaxing my elbows, I couldn’t help but marvel at the imp’s reaction to the feathers. It was true that the first time I had seen them I had also been surprised, but this imp had been with me for days now. Had it not seen my feathers in that time? It wasn’t till Musa begun working on the second aileron that I understood. Years spent cleaning with only a swim must not have been sufficient to wash off the grime which must have accumulated on them.
It took a few moments for me to realize what Musa’s new actions meant, and then a few more moments to react. Immediately, I struck out with my right hand and grasped the ends of the neckcloth which Musa had undone. I rose to a sitting position on the bed, and then I fastened the ends of the cloth, restoring it, before Musa had made the unforgiveable error of taking it off, and exposing the truth of my abomination to this room full of uspecs.
With the neckcloth back in place, I stood to my full height and stared down at Musa who was also now standing. “What was the meaning of that?” I demanded, my eyes searching the imp’s face to see if it had seen the scales.
It still appeared slightly shaken, but that, I decided, could be attributed to its earlier shock at seeing my feathers. If this imp had seen my scales, I had no doubt it would have yelled out, or made some sort of verbal sound to make its shock known.
“Forgive me master.” Musa bowed. “I thought perhaps you would like to clean your neck.”
“Never touch my neckcloth again.” I ordered.
“Yes master.” Musa replied.
I turned around and headed straight for the long rectangular pond. I jumped into this one, and swam the full length of it submerged in the liquid. I only swam a few laps before walking out and going over to the last pond. I realized as I stepped into the dark pond, that I was no longer in the mood for an in-depth exploration of the ponds and the uspecs in them. I did not stop to listen to the group of five huddled in the pool and laughing to themselves. If I wasn’t still shaken by how close Musa had come to exposing my irira identity, I would probably have stopped to stare at the five youths, only one of which had a single outer eye formed, and wonder why they spent so much time in this one pond. I might even have stopped to listen in on their conversation and then decide if it was engaging enough to keep any sane person in a single spot for so much time. Then, I might have hazarded a guess as to their identity, and how they came to have so much money to spend on a resort like this. But I didn’t. I simply swam a few laps in the dark pool of liquid, and then climbed out of it, indifferent to their raised voices and occasional snickers.
I should have left then. Musa stood by the counter, a towel in its hand, ready to dry the bath liquid off me, but I couldn’t resist the urge to swim at least one lap in the canal. I was a kute after all, we were okun people. How could I resist the rain of pink liquid? I decided I could not. So, I walked between the beds to the canal at the edge of the room. While it was much narrower than the other ponds, I discovered when I climbed in, that it was much deeper. In the other ponds I had been able to stand with the surface of the liquid only reaching the middle of my chest. In the canal, the liquid rose all the way to my neck. The liquid was also cool, cooler even than the canal in my room. I walked over to the middle of the canal, where the falling liquid rained down, and found that the bottom of the pool was raised there. After climbing onto the raised platform, the surface of the liquid now reached midway down my chest, the same depth as the other ponds.
I had never felt anything like the streaming liquid falling onto my body. The stream of falling liquid was not wide enough to touch every part of my body. I decided then, that after everything was done, when it was time for me to settle, I would build a canal just like this one in my dwelling. But the stream of falling liquid would be thicker. I decided it would be as thick as the width of the canal. With that decision made, I bent and began swimming in the center of the canal. Instead of submerging myself fully in the liquid, I swam with my head above it, so that I could feel the pounding of the falling liquid against my head and my ailerons.
When I climbed out of the canal, it was with a smile of contentment on my face. Gone was my anger at Musa for its careless attempt at removing my neckcloth. Gone were the feelings of fear at my ineptness and the worry that at any moment an uspec would question me and realize I was not what I claimed to be. All I felt now was relaxed. Musa walked over to me and it began to pat me down with a soft towel. I was so relaxed that I did not even question the uncanny ability the towel had to pull at the wetness. It was most noticeable when it dried the cloth on my neck. The cloth went from wet to dry in a matter of seconds, as if the towel had taken the liquid from the cloth. I had washed with the cloth twice before this, and in those times, it had taken minutes, not seconds, for the cloth to dry.
But I did not focus on this.
We walked out through the green fog, and I could feel my cleanness. It felt as if layers of my skin had been exposed in ways that I had never experienced before. I realized, as the hardened quicksand became soft and sucked us in, that I had never been as clean as I currently was, in my entire life. I recognized the portal room that we were teleported to, and the green curtain which Musa pulled back so that I could walk through. I did not know how Musa was able to tell ours apart from all the other brown fog doors, but it led us to a particular fog door, and it walked through without hesitation. The opaque fog turned translucent and I followed behind.
I had a smile of contentment on my face as I sat on my bed.
“Shall I go and get breakfast for you now master? After you are done eating, I can show you to the slave market.”
Musa’s words appeared so strange, and its tone so much different, that I had to stop and think on its words. “Slave market?” I asked repeating its last words.
“So that you can sell me master.” It replied flatly.
My previous contentment evaporated as all my suspicions of the slave returned. With a severe frown on my face, I stood up from the bed and walked determinedly towards the imp.
“I will get your breakfast now master.” It said with a bow, and then it ran out of the room. It was gone through the fog door before I could get my hands on it.
“So that you can sell me master.”
The imp’s words repeated in my head. It had used pansophy on me! How else would it have known my thoughts? Its own words were the only proof I needed. I would not, NOT, abide my own slave using pansophy on me. Perhaps it was best that the imp had gone before I reached it. I did not know what I would have done to it. But one thing was clear, the slave had to go.
|Re: The Marked: In The Spectral Existence (A Stand-alone Fantasy Fiction Novella) by obehiD(f): 2:11am On Jun 29, 2019|
I found myself pacing around the room as I awaited the imp’s return. A million thoughts flooded my mind, but the most insistent was the imp’s brazen behavior. First, it had dared to bring up the slave market. It was true that I meant to take the slave there to sell it, but it was no right of the imp’s to bring it up. Not only had it done that, but then it had compounded on its wrongdoings by telling me, telling me, that I meant to sell it. Then when that was all done, it had run away. It had walked out of the room without my permission, denying me the opportunity to vent my anger on it. Now the imp was gone, and I found that my anger was gone with it.
I sighed. The sooner I was rid of the slave, the better it would be. I had thought to get directions to Katsoaru from it before selling it, but now, now I just wanted the whole act to be done with.
Resigned to the inevitability of our parting, I walked back to the bed, and sat on it. I was in this position when the imp walked into the room. It placed the key back on the hoop by the door, and stretched its hand out, extending it towards the table.
Two imps dressed in the resort’s brown livery walked in. One of them pushed a cart into the room, the other walked behind the imp with the cart. They walked over to the side of the room with the table in it.
My gaze was fixed on Musa as the imp’s worked. With my outer eyes, I could clearly see them unload the cart and place several large plates, a bowl, a pitcher and a number of glass cups onto the table. Musa stood with its head bowed, its shoulders stooped, and its body turned to face the area of the room where the resort imps worked. It remained at its position, standing just barely inside the room, by the fog door. I couldn’t help wondering what was in its mind. I found myself focusing on the imp. I had thought that it was good, a good slave, one that would never disrespect me. It didn’t matter how much I grew, it seemed like I would always be that de trop, the one that even imps felt they had the right to look down on. But I was uspec, I deserved the respect, didn’t I? And why did it bother me so much more when this imp disrespected me than any other? Again, I felt that strange bond. It was the one that made me want to care about another’s feelings towards me. An imp’s feelings towards me. It could not be countenanced, it would not be. But still, I could not fight it. I could not stop my own reactions to this imp’s disrespect.
Why? I asked myself. Why did it have to bring up the slave market? Why had it so brashly spoken to me, announcing that it knew my intentions? Why had it run out of the room before I could vent my frustrations at it, as was my right? Why had it disrespected me? Why? I wanted to know, I wanted to know what the imp was thinking. I glared at the imp and wanted so badly to be inside its head.
“I don’t know why, but I just don’t want to leave the master. Why does it want to sell me? How did I fail it?”
Musa’s desolate words floated in my head. Startled, I stared at the imp, wondering if it had used its pansophy to hear my thoughts, and had spoken in return. But I knew that was not the case. The imp’s lips had not moved. Had it used pansophy to put its thoughts into my head then? That seemed likely, but even I knew that if a person were to use magic to convey thoughts, it would not be the ones that I heard. So then how had I heard it? I was still reeling from the shock of hearing Musa’s thoughts in my mind, when the resort imps left, rolling the cart with them.
Musa moved from the door and came to kneel in front of me. It leaned back so that it sat on the heel of its feet. Its head remained bowed.
“You left without my command.” I stated.
“Forgive me master…I…forgive me.”
I decided then that it was time to end with this charade. I did not like how this imp made me feel, I did not like the way it used magic to force me to care for it, and I certainly did not like the fact that I cared for the hurt I heard in its voice. The imp was too much of a mystery. I did not need it. “You are right, I am going to sell you.” I pretended not to feel the sinking in my chest. It was insane to think that I cared enough about anybody else to not want to part with them.
“Why?” Musa’s head rose and its empty eye sockets met my gaze. It stayed as it was, staring me in the eye. Its lips formed into a straight line and its shoulders squared. I remembered the imp’s statement in the inn the night before, when it had said it knew how to fight. Now looking at the defiant expression on its face, I was tempted to believe it. I should have been insulted that the imp would dare to question me as forthrightly as it did, but all I felt was respect.
It was that feeling of respect which incensed me. “Why?” I yelled the imp’s question out so loudly that I expected it to flinch, but it did not. This was a version of the imp I had never seen before. I could imagine this imp as an advisor to Kaisers. That thought rose a twinge of guilt in me. This imp that had cried for my sire and progenitor. This imp that I had initially thought it was my duty to protect. Before I could allow myself to doubt my decision to sell it, I reminded myself that the imp had also used pansophy on me. It had as much as confessed it when it had spewed its knowledge of my desire to sell it. I did not care what it had done for my ancestors. I could not trust an imp that would try to control me, and I would not live with an imp that I could not trust. But it had served and wept for my sire and my progenitor. It had served my ancestry for two millennia. Did it really deserve to end up with another owner who treated it like its last two had? Where did this guilt, this sudden desire to rethink my own decisions, arise from? Pansophy.
I took a deep breath, let it out, and then stared sadly at the imp. “Why?” I repeated its question, but this time, even the anger of its use of pansophy on me had faded. I would not forgive any other imp for that crime, but this one, this one that had served my ancestors for so long? “I will not sell you.” I said at last. It had earned at least that much for its centuries of faithful service.
I pretended not to be affected by the imp’s sudden look of joy. It exhaled, as if a weight had been lifted off its shoulders, and then it smiled. I imagined its smile would get larger after I was done telling it what its fate would be.
“You are free.” I said to the imp. I kept talking, ignoring the changes I saw come across its face. “I cannot live with you Musa, but I see now that I cannot risk you going to a place where you will be mistreated. So, you are free. I will give you a bag of worth, fifty pieces at least, to start your own life. You have pansophy, and with my payment, you will have wealth. Make of your life whatever you will.” I gestured then with my hand for the imp to rise.
It remained on its knees. For some reason, its face was not filled with the joy I expected to see there. Instead, its previous smile had faded. “I have only known you for two days master, yet you would set me free and give me fifty pieces of worth as a parting gift?” Its skepticism made me smile.
“Yes Musa. I think you have served long enough.” I did not add that it was only because it had served my ancestry.
“I see.” Was Musa’s only response. Seconds ticked away as the imp remained on its knees, peering at me as though to see into my soul…or into my head. Pansophy, I realized with a sigh, it was using its magic to check if I meant what I had said. Even that thought did not feel me with the rage it should have. “Why?” Musa asked again.
For a moment I was dumbfounded. “Why? Why question it? Why not just take your fortune and leave? Have you been a slave for so long that you have no knowledge of what to do with freedom? Just go!”
“And how will you survive without me?” It replied stubbornly.
“I am a banneret, a noble, I do not need an imp.” I lied.
Musa scoffed. “You are no more banneret than I am, irira.”
For a moment everything froze. I heard the imp call me irira and my first thought was to make it pay. It was a testament to how much magic the imp had used on me, that I did not give into that urge. “What did you call me?” I spat the words out through clenched teeth.
“Irira.” Musa replied unperturbed. “The great fighter of the pits of Hakute. I know who you are.”
“How?” The question came out of me before I recognized its futility. Pansophy. I answered my own question. How else? It was the same way it had known that I wanted to sell it.
“The moment you told me that you would rather sleep on sludge than walk further to find a comfortable resting place, I had my suspicions that you were not the noble you claimed. But when you asked me what a spoon was, I became certain of it. I knew then that you were an imposter. I just did not know exactly who you were, until this morning, in the cleaning room. I was there watching during your first fight. I still belonged to the Custodian of Lahooni at that point and it had taken a few of us with it to observe the match. It was the only time I ever saw you fight, but I could never forget the sight of your feathers and your scales. A majestic one, Fajahromo the offspring of Fajahr, was hosting my master, Salin, as well as some other uspecs, in the upper lodges of the pits. It told them all that it had discovered you, it told them that you had come from a slum, that you were de trop. But I had never seen a de trop with such features, and so I could never forget it. I watched what you did to that imp. I remember Fajahromo laughing when it said that you, like every other barbaric de trop, hated imps. When I cleaned your feathers and saw your scales in the cleaning room, I put that together with the way you treated the runner imp on the shore. That was when I knew who you were.”
Not pansophy, a traitorous voice in the back of my mind said. I shut the voice down, choosing to ignore it. It may not have used pansophy to gain the knowledge of my past, but it had certainly used it to manipulate my emotions, to make me care for it, to learn that I intended to sell it.
“You needn’t worry about my survival. I can take care of myself. I always have.” I replied sourly.
“Perhaps in the pits where all that was required of you was fighting. But how will you survive out here, in a world that would kill you if they ever found out what you really were? You must keep that neckcloth on to cover your scales, but that neckcloth announces you as a noble, and you have no idea how to be that. You cannot even read the common tongue.”
“That is enough.” I warned.
|Re: The Marked: In The Spectral Existence (A Stand-alone Fantasy Fiction Novella) by obehiD(f): 2:12am On Jun 29, 2019|
The imp continued as if I had not spoken. “You say you are headed to Katsoaru, but can you speak the soaru tongue? How will you communicate when you get there? What do you know of nobles? Do you know the orders? You claim to be a banneret, but you do not even dress like one. When asked for your weapon what will you say? What is your epic, your story of how you came to be a banneret? You do not even know what sigil you wear. So, when you are asked what line of Kaisers you served in order to earn your noble status, what will you say? If you hesitate, they will strip you of your cloth and they will kill you. These are very dangerous times to be an irira.”
The imp stopped speaking then. I stared, shocked at its boldness. “And you have all the answers to those questions?”
“Some, and the ones I do not know, I know enough to make up a convincing tale which no one will ever suspect.”
“And you will do this for me?”
It nodded. “If you let me.”
“Why?” I asked.
“Why would you offer to release me and give me part of your fortune?” It asked in reply.
I had an answer for the imp, but I was certain at this point that it knew what that answer was. If it had used pansophy on me, I corrected myself, since it had used pansophy on me, it must already know my ties to the Kaisers it had served. Was that why it wanted to serve me too? Did it feel obligated? “No.” I replied. “I cannot live with you.”
“Why?” It asked. “How have I wronged you?”
“I cannot live with an imp with pansophy.”
“But you always knew that I had pansophy. I did not try to hide it from you.”
“I did not know that you would dare to use it on me!” I yelled back at the imp.
The imp’s mouth hung open. Its eyelids lifted all the way up, and it stared at me in shock, as if my words were crazy. “I would never use pansophy on you against your will.”
“Liar!” I snapped at the imp. “I am offering you a fortune, but if you lie to me, I will keep the money and leave you with nothing but your sack bag. You used pansophy on me! You used it to make me care about your feelings. You used it to find out that I had decided to sell you while we rode on the canoe.”
“I am not lying. Don’t you know anything about pansophy?” It demanded. The blunt question angered me, but it did not stop speaking long enough for me to dwell on my anger. “Pansophy is a contact magic. I cannot use pansophy on you unless I am directly in contact with you, or unless we are both touching a material which serves as a pansophy conduit. I have not touched you before the cleaning today, when I polished your feathers. How could I have used pansophy on you before then?”
The imp’s words forced me to stop and think. I tried to remember what I knew of pansophy, but I realized all I knew was what Gerangi had told me. It had told me that pansophy was a magic only possessed by the pious, but I had seen two imps with an uncanny mastery of it, so I knew that was not true. But it had not told me that it was a contact magic. Why would it not tell me that? The answer was so plain it was as if someone had slapped me upside the head with it.
It did not want me to know.
If I had known that pansophy was a contact magic, I would not have let it touch me. I tried to think back to all the times I was certain that pansophy had been used on me. I believed my first experience with it was in the sickroom in the pits, when the pious one had made me sleep. It had touched me first, I remember thinking that the touch was strange. And when Gerangi put its thoughts in my head in that same room? It had also touched me. One by one, I began to recall every time that pansophy had been used on me. It had always followed the person touching me. With Xavier, the imp from the pits, it was even more clear. It had told me exactly what it had done every time it used pansophy on or around me, and each time it had touched me, or touched the subject of its magic. All of my memories piled up, like evidence in support of Musa’s innocence. One thing in particular stood out, its honesty. It could have been like Gerangi, and kept the truth from me. It would have, if it wanted to keep using its pansophy on me, but it hadn’t. If perhaps I was wrong and it had not used its pansophy to make me care for it, then there was still one point that it had to answer for.
“How did you know I was going to sell you?”
Musa shook its head. “I don’t know. I can’t explain it. It happened when we were sitting in the canoe. I had just seen you strangle that imp, and I had seen the amount of rage you possessed in that moment. So, I had studied you, wanting to know why you did it. Before that I had thought that you were kind, a good uspec, but then you did that and I was startled. I kept asking myself why you would lash out at that imp like that, and then I heard your voice in my head. I heard you saying that I had to go, that you would sell me the first chance you got. But that was all I heard. I did not hear why you wanted to sell me. I swear it was no magic of mine. It just happened.”
“I don’t know why, but I just don’t want to leave the master. Why does it want to sell me? How did I fail it?”
Musa’s words from earlier returned to me. I realized then that I had experienced something similar to what it claimed. I had been asking myself questions about it, wondering why it had acted with so much disrespect and then its thoughts filled my head. I did not have pansophy, and so I could not have used the magic to read its mind. Neither of us were in contact, so it could not have used its magic to put the thoughts there. So, then, what was the explanation?
“Please say you believe me.” Its voice shook slightly. “I did not use pansophy, I swear it. I would never do that to you.”
“I believe you.” I replied. “I believe you.”
The smile returned to its face. “Then will you keep me? I can teach you everything you need to know. I can teach you how to read and write in the common tongue. I can teach you how to speak the soaru tongue, I can teach you how to speak all the tongues! I know whose sigil you wear, and I can help you form a story as to how you were honored with it. I can tell you everything you need to know about money, and magic, and how the world of nobles and commoners work. I spent two millennia teaching imperial ones. It would be my honor to teach you too.”
“I spent two millennia teaching imperial ones. It would be my honor to teach you too.”
If the imp had not used pansophy on me, then it probably did not know of my lineage. Yet it wanted to teach me, me. The feeling of fate returned. It was as if I had been destined to meet this imp, as if whoever it was that had taken me from the green room Gerangi had led me to, and left me in the swamp with a bag of wealth, had set me on this course to meet this imp. Suddenly, all of its previous questions returned to me, and I knew that I did not know nearly enough to pass as a noble. Without this imp’s help, what chance did I have? And it wanted to serve me. It had served my ancestors, and without knowing my lineage, it had found something in me worth turning down freedom and a fortune to help.
“Yes.” I stated. “Yes, I will keep you.”
Musa jumped to its feet with so much energy I was taken aback. “There is so much to do before we leave master!” It spoke loudly in its excitement. I realized I was smiling wider than any self-respecting uspec should at the sight of an imp’s happiness. But I did not care. Whatever bond I felt with this imp, it was now obvious that it felt it as well. “We must start with the adornments. Bannerets are made nobles, so you do not wear golden bands, but you are supposed to wear a silver sleeve over your tail, to match the silver neckcloth. You are also meant to have a silver belt with a sheath for the banneret’s weapon, a cyan cutlass. Don’t worry master, I will teach you how to wield it. You are already a gifted fighter, learning a new weapon shouldn’t be too hard.”
The imp stopped speaking for a moment and then it met my gaze and it smiled. “I will need money master. Shall I go and buy them now?”
I gestured with my head to the cupboard which had my satchel bag. “Take what you need, but we will eat first.”
The imp nodded excitedly. “The walk to Katsoaru will take at least a year. That should be enough time for me to teach you all you need to know to pass muster in a soaru port.” It said as it walked over to the table.
“What?” I stopped in my tracks. “A year?” It had to be joking.
“Is there no faster way?”
“Of course master. There are mobiles we could rent. The journey can be done in hours.”
“Then we will rent.”
Musa chuckled. “You will need more than hours to learn everything you need to know before you present yourself in Katsoaru. Can you imagine walking into a port where you can’t speak the language? If we walk the trail, it will take longer, but by the time we arrive, you will make a very convincing noble, master. I promise, the travel time is necessary.”
I nodded grudgingly in acceptance. A whole year walking on an inter-port trail. I could not imagine a less appealing prospect. But, if Musa said it was necessary, I believed it.
|Re: The Marked: In The Spectral Existence (A Stand-alone Fantasy Fiction Novella) by Tuhndhay(m): 4:34am On Jun 29, 2019|
Happy Birthday Bro, dragonstar14, Praying for you that the new age bring you loads of reasons to rejoice and celebrate. Grow in wisdom and excel greatly.
Obehid.... Now I think I understand why the details were necessary but in my head this pansophy sounds like psychology, I can't wait to see Nebud begin the training of use of pansophy and proper education.
To my question.... Is it Fate that linked Musa with Obehid
Is there a grand scheme somewhere that Nebud is only a tool towards achieving it.
What is that thing speaking to Nebud Magic or what
What happened to Nebud when he took Gerangi's lifeforce?? Or did he not take it? Did things just play out on it's own(to favour Nebud) at that point??
Obehid, I would give anything (but sadly I have little to give so ignore it)literally to sit down with you in the park or eatery, over the cake, drinks(wine) on me(I should be able to afford that) and just discuss or romance your thinking faculty intimately.
Keep up the Good work.
|Re: The Marked: In The Spectral Existence (A Stand-alone Fantasy Fiction Novella) by Nobody: 7:08am On Jun 29, 2019|
|Re: The Marked: In The Spectral Existence (A Stand-alone Fantasy Fiction Novella) by Nobody: 7:15am On Jun 29, 2019|
obehiD:thanks obehiD I cant wait for it
|Re: The Marked: In The Spectral Existence (A Stand-alone Fantasy Fiction Novella) by Nobody: 9:08am On Jun 29, 2019|
|Re: The Marked: In The Spectral Existence (A Stand-alone Fantasy Fiction Novella) by cassbeat(m): 11:13am On Jun 29, 2019|
Hmmmm once again I'm speechless
|Re: The Marked: In The Spectral Existence (A Stand-alone Fantasy Fiction Novella) by tunjilomo(m): 2:54pm On Jun 29, 2019|
The last part was beautiful. Obehid, hadn't this book, move past a novella? Not that I mind though. Keep the good work up.
|Re: The Marked: In The Spectral Existence (A Stand-alone Fantasy Fiction Novella) by enamored1: 8:02pm On Jun 29, 2019|
New commenter/commentator here.
I've been following this story for some time and I must say, it's awesome. You are awesome! Beautifully written!
Ermm, shouldn't Nebud have asked Musa for the answer to Tiyoseriwosin? Or at least what to say?
1 Like 1 Share
|Re: The Marked: In The Spectral Existence (A Stand-alone Fantasy Fiction Novella) by RealLordZeus(m): 8:48pm On Jun 29, 2019|
I don't know, maybe because the theme is not any of this nonsense romance stuff... This story is grossly underrated
This thread supposed to be hitting front page back to back.
Consistency- This is what makes the story superb, consistent updates √√
OP, you are awesome
|Re: The Marked: In The Spectral Existence (A Stand-alone Fantasy Fiction Novella) by Fazemood(m): 9:19pm On Jun 29, 2019|
Happy birthday dragonstar14.
Obehid I love this part, very interesting. I am glad that we are making headway with Nebud's improvement. This is what I have been waiting for all this while. I am pleased.
Now, what I need is Musa's fighting skill. I have a feeling that it can do more than pansophy. In fact that it is capable of killing not just one but at least two good uspec fighters on its own. I sense great entertainment coming on, can't wait. I have purchased my 4k screen TV for perfect 4D view of this show .
Obehid I see someone trying to take you on a date before me, just can't stand it Abeg just know I booked first ;-)
|Re: The Marked: In The Spectral Existence (A Stand-alone Fantasy Fiction Novella) by Botaflica(m): 1:40am On Jun 30, 2019|
How awesome it is to be back. Oh I miss this a lot, so much. I had to take my time to read and assimilate this story and the more I read the more I found out that it looks like a look into the ancestral days. Obeihd. You are one crazy writer. I duff my hat.
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|Re: The Marked: In The Spectral Existence (A Stand-alone Fantasy Fiction Novella) by Nobody: 7:28am On Jun 30, 2019|
enamored1:that's what I've been thinking he should have asked what Tiyoseriwonsin means
|Re: The Marked: In The Spectral Existence (A Stand-alone Fantasy Fiction Novella) by obehiD(f): 2:26am On Jul 01, 2019|
@Tuhndhay hahaha, I like that, 'pansophy sounds like psychology'! Pansophy is definitely a lot of things, but I won't spoil the surprise WOW!!! You are asking ALL the right questions! It's like you're in my mind. Maybe by the time I post the coming parts of the story you'll be able to guess what's going to happen at the end. I hope not though...if not, there won't be anymore suspense for you
@dragonstar14 thank you! Hope you had a great birthday
@cassbeat I'm soo happy to hear this (I'm taking your comment as positive of course)
@tunjilomo You already want it to end? And here I was thinking I was trying small . Anyway, you're right, it has moved past a novella. In my defense though, I said at the start that the story was going to be longer than I thought. Even now, I think it's going to be much much longer than I thought. But I like what I'm thinking, so I hope it will still be good, and maybe then you will forget what it's supposed to be
@enamored1 Welcome! I'm always so happy to see new commenters. Thank you so much, I am very happy that you like it. Ermm...that is a good question oh! Hopefully Nebud hears you before it gets itself into real trouble
@RealLordZeus Nonsense romance two words that just shouldn't go together lol. I've never been called underrated before...I think I like it I'm very happy to see that the story gets a tick mark for all those points. Thank you very much!
@Fazemood Chai, I'm happy you like it oh! I was afraid that because of the details you wouldn't like it. Thank you! I like where your mind is going with Musa's fighting skills... 4k screen for 4D view, well, I'm going to do my best not to disappoint
@Botaflica Welcome back! Yes, I think the writing has some similarities with the ancestry days because of the period it's set in. I can't believe you called me a crazy writer :') (emoticon for tears of joy) Thank you! I've been waiting for someone to appreciate the depths of insanity required for this book. It really means a lot to me that you see it
|Re: The Marked: In The Spectral Existence (A Stand-alone Fantasy Fiction Novella) by obehiD(f): 4:18am On Jul 03, 2019|
(An English word which describes a knighthood given on the battlefield for courage)
On the Inter-port Trail
“You are doing it again master.” Musa whispered.
I glared at the side of the imp’s head. It stared straight ahead, but by the smile which had now formed on its face, I knew that it was aware of my answering look. I did not respond to it. Instead, I followed the advice it had given me while we stood in the resort’s portal room, and tried to stop staring down at myself. I rose my head and forced my gaze to rest on the back of the tallest uspec standing in the line in front of us. Still, I could not help but see the image of myself in my mind.
I looked like a stranger. The dazzled silver sleeve covering my tail, the silver belt around my waist, and the silver hilt of the cyan cutlass in my sheath combined with the silver neckcloth to give me the imposing appearance of a wealthy noble. It was a look which was amplified by the now polished feathers on my ailerons. It had been so long since I’d had a full look at my ailerons, that when I had seen them for the first time since my departure from the pits, I had been stunned. Feathers had grown to cover more than half of my ailerons. Soon, I would have as much feathers as the uspecs who had flown into my slum, which meant that I would soon be able to fly as they had. I could not hide my excitement at the thought.
The line moved slowly.
I looked around the room, feeling slightly jaded by how unimpressive I deemed it to be. Had it really only been a few days ago that I had been stunned by the view of a tent on the road to Lastmain? Now I stood in a room which was much more spectacular than any that I had seen for the majority of my life, and I found it mediocre. I took note of the light fog which drifted around the room, and found myself comparing it to the room in the resort which had been free of fog. There were no windows on the walls in this room, nothing to provide a glimpse of the outside world. I found fault with that lack as well. The ground was made of the soft material which I had come to think of as the common, higher quality, alternative to sludge. It was the foam-like material which formed around my feet as I walked. Yet even as the comfort of the material enfolded me, providing cushioning to my feet, I could not help but compare it to the richer ground in the resort with the okun trapped beneath it. In my estimation, everything in this room was suddenly subpar.
The lined moved again, and I turned my gaze to the front of the room. I counted six uspecs standing behind a long wooden table, and eight imps standing behind them. Six lines formed in the room so that each line was attended to by one of the uspecs. Behind the uspecs, there was the single most distinguishing characteristic of the room, a translucent wall of dark grey fog. The wall of fog was so dense that I could see nothing behind it, but dark, amorphous blobs. White light sources hung from the corners of the walls, to the side of the room, providing lighting to the completely enclosed area.
As we moved further ahead in the line, drawing closer to the wooden table, and the uspecs standing behind it, I studied the other uspecs in the room. I was the only noble standing in the room. It was a fact that had become painstakingly obvious the moment the portal from the resort brought us here. We arrived and the entire room turned around to regard us. Whispers of ‘noble’ and ‘banneret’ had filled the room almost instantly. It was only after the shocked murmurs died down, that we had joined a line. The other uspecs appeared to be commoners. A few of them had up to four outer eye sockets formed, and of those, even fewer had one filled. None of them had nearly as much feathers on their ailerons as I did. But then, from their lean body structures, it was clear that very few of them had known any form of intense physical exertion.
These were the travelers, I thought, as my eyes scanned over them. I counted six other imps in the room, each of those six, carrying at least four obviously heavy and filled bags. Turning my attention to my own imp, I glanced over the two sack bags it had, one hanging from each shoulder. It had returned from its shopping spree with an extra sack bag which it had said contained foodstuff for the trip. I had remarked on the size of the new bag, and shared my doubt that it could contain nearly enough food for an entire year of travelling. Musa had cleared up my confusion by informing me that there were markets on the inter-port trail, and that the food we’d bought would be sufficient for sustenance until we reached a point where we could procure more.
“Salutations noble one.” A deep voice called out, pulling my attention from my haphazard exploration of the room. I turned to find that we had reached the front of our line. The uspec gazed up at me, its single center eye filled with respect, as it bowed slightly. This respect, the one evident in the uspec’s face as it studied me, was new. I had seen flashes of it, from the uspecs who had stared at me the moment I appeared in the room. It was respect which I had not been accorded when I had nothing more than the neckcloth to proclaim my nobility. Now that I was fully garbed in the banneret regalia, I was treated to a whole new degree of respect, one that was embellished by the faint traces of fear in the uspecs’ eyes.
I nodded imperiously at the bowed uspec, my gaze darting to the objects on the table. There were four rows of stacks of paper-like objects lining the front of the table. The back of the table was raised higher than the front. From the actions of an uspec standing farther off, I could tell that the raised portion of the table, contained drawers which opened towards the uspecs standing behind them.
“Where is your destination noble one?” the uspec asked.
“Katsoaru.” I replied.
The uspec nodded. It pulled out one of the drawers which extended from the raised portion of the table. Then, it stuck its hand into the drawer, and brought out the smallest blue can that I had ever seen. It placed the tin on the empty part of the table, in front of us, and said, “this is the thought drop to guide you to Katsoaru, noble one. Will you need a form card during this trip?”
Even though the uspec clearly spoke the kute tongue, I could not have been more confused if it had spoken a foreign one. I turned to Musa, my face a mask of the befuddlement I felt.
“The form cards are for resting places on the trail master. I think we should get some.” Musa stated.
I nodded and turned back to face the uspec. If it thought it startling that I had to consult my imp for this information, it did not let its shock appear on its face.
“We have four tiers of cards. The first and second tier both provide housing in lots with other houses. The third and fourth tier are both secluded houses with gates surrounding them. The fourth tier is the highest quality housing that we have available on the inter port trail. It costs a piece of merit per card, and each card provides shelter for one full day and night.”
“How much is the first tier housing?” I asked immediately.
“First tier noble one?” the uspec spat the question out as if my suggestion of residing in a place like that was offensive.
“Master,” Musa began, speaking slowly, his voice barely above a whisper, “the first and second tier housing are lots, for commoners. They are nowhere near as comfortable as the upper tier, noble, houses.”
I couldn’t help smirking at the strain that Musa put on the word ‘noble’. “Are you suggesting those houses for my status or your comfort?” I mocked.
“I would never make such a suggestion solely for my comfort.” Musa replied with feigned outrage. My lips twitched as it repeated, “Never.”
I turned my gaze back to the uspec and found it regarding me differently than it had when I’d first walked up to the table. The respect was no longer in its gaze. I found myself contemplating the highest tier housing for no other reason than to put that look of respect back into the uspec’s eyes. A piece of merit per day, it had said. It did not take me too long to do the math. According to Musa, walking on the trail, it could take at least a year to reach Katsoaru, so at least four hundred days. If we spent a piece of merit per night, that would be four hundred pieces of merit. I knew enough about money to know that a thousand pieces of value made up a piece of merit, and a thousand pieces of merit, made up a piece of worth. So, four hundred pieces of merit was less than half a piece of worth. I decided then that it would be worth it to buy the highest tier, if for no other reason than to reclaim my credibility as a noble.
I reached for my satchel bag and placed my fingers into the sachet of worth. I pulled out a single gold-fringed piece and let it drop onto the table. Perhaps I imagined it, but as soon as the piece of worth landed on the table, the entire room fell into silence, and every uspec in it, stopped to stare at the fortune. The uspec standing in front of me gulped, staring avariciously at the piece. The respect was back in its eye when it looked up at me.
“The thought drop for the journey from Hakute to Katsoaru costs two hundred pieces of value noble one. However, it is given at no charge when over a hundred pieces of merit is spent on form cards. Which form cards would you like to buy noble one, and how many?”
“Fourth tier.” I stated. “Five hundred cards.”
The uspec made a gesture that appeared to be a combination of a nod and a bow. It reached for the piece of worth on the table, and I could not help but notice the slight tremor in its hand as it picked it up. It gestured with its fingers towards one of the imps standing behind the row of uspecs. An imp came forward. The uspec handed the money to the imp, and the imp went down on its knees on the floor. The table cut off my view of the imp. Moments later, the imp rose. It handed over a stack of cards to the uspec, who proceeded to place it on the table. Then the imp placed ten pouches on the table, before withdrawing.
“Five hundred fourth tier form cards, noble one.” The uspec stated gesturing to the stack of cards the imp had retrieved. I took the cards from the table and placed them in my satchel bag. “Five hundred pieces of merit, noble one, fifty pieces in each pouch.” It added, gesturing to the pouches. I retrieved the white silver-fringed sachet bags from the table, and placed them into my bag, all too aware of the fact that I had not counted the pieces of merit in any one of them. Honest payment, I assumed, was a thing that nobles expected.
|Re: The Marked: In The Spectral Existence (A Stand-alone Fantasy Fiction Novella) by obehiD(f): 4:18am On Jul 03, 2019|
“Gratitude noble one.” The uspec said with a bow. “Hope you have a pleasant trip to Katsoaru.” It stretched out its hand towards the wall of fog behind it.
I responded with a nod, before picking up the blue can from the table, and walking to the fog. I walked through the fog, and stopped dead in my tracks.
We were somehow standing in the middle of a red fogless road. I turned around and found no wall of fog behind me. My confusion increased as my eyes took in the walls marking the boundaries of the straight road. It was like nothing I had ever seen before. There had been no pictures of a place like this in any of the passing traders’ books, and no startling pictorial descriptions in any of their tales. I was standing in a place that appeared, to my shocked gaze, to be literally out of this world.
It was a straight road. The lighting appeared to be a mixture of orange and red, as if the light from the clouds and dots had been combined. The ground, walls, and ceiling all appeared to be made of the same material. It was a material that I had become used to, one that I had even looked down on, while standing on it in the room we had just left. But this ground was different. For starters, it was red. It was all red, the ground, the ceiling and the walls. Yet, the more startling difference was in its softness. In some ways it was exactly like the ground I had come to think of as a second flooring, in other ways, it was much different. This one was softer, it was much smoother, and it somehow swallowed my feet. On the ground I was used to, when I stepped on it, I could see the tops of my feet, but this ground covered all of my feet, leaving me with nothing but the view of the bottom of my legs.
It took me a while to realize what this new material was, but when I did, I was stunned speechless, my mouth hanging open as I stared like a fool at this impossible place.
“Master.” Musa prompted, “people will stare.” Its head moved around, its gaze darting at the uspecs walking around us.
“Musa,” I began, my voice dry, “my mind may be playing tricks on me, but could it be that we are in the clouds.”
Musa smiled. “Very good observation master, most people never realize exactly where this is. Yes master, the inter-port trail is in the clouds.” Musa paused. “Perhaps you would like to take the thought drop now master.”
It took me a while to take my devouring gaze from my surroundings, to the imp. “What?”
“The thought drop master.” It replied, inclining its head towards the tiny blue can pinched between my thumb and forefinger.
“Oh. What is it?”
“It is an edible drop master. Once you ingest it, your mind fills with the direction to our destination, Katsoaru.”
“Pansophy, master. A person with pansophy memorizes the directions and then transfers the thought from their head, to the drop.”
Wow. I thought it, but I was too stunned to say the word. Carefully, I took off the blue lid, and stared at the white drop in the can. Then I turned the bottom over, tossing the white drop into my mouth. The white solid dissolved as soon as I closed my mouth. I swallowed, and my mind was instantly filled with the directions to Katsoaru. I knew how much longer we would have to follow this straight road, and when we would have to bend away from it. This was a magic that I could not have imagined. The passing traders had only told us of spectra, and so when I thought of magic, I thought of the magic of uspec eyes, but not this. This was the real wonder.
I started walking. “Clouds.” I stated bemused. “This is what the foam floor is made of, isn’t it?”
“Yes master.” Musa replied, walking beside me. “The only difference is that more form is put into the clouds on the ground.”
“Form. Pansophy.” I stated.
“I want to know that. I want to know how it is done, how a solid trail can be built in the clouds, how fog can be turned hard and then softened with a key, how directions can be put into an edible pill. I want to know how pansophy works. I want to know how to get it.” It wasn’t till the words were out of my mouth, that I realized how ardently I desired this new form of magic. Musa had said that it had taught others pansophy, it could teach me too.
Musa shook its head. “I can teach you how it’s used, how all of these things are made. I can even show you, but I cannot give it to you. Only a pious one can give the gift of pansophy, only they have the materials.”
I frowned at the imp. “But you told me that anyone with a strong mind could possess it.” Did it think that I would have forgotten?
“There is a special substance which must be ingested first. That substance is controlled by the pious. It is not something that can be bought, only the pious can give it, only they have access to it.”
“And that is where their true power lies, isn’t it?” I asked. I did not wait for the imp to speak before I continued. “I always wondered how pious ones could have so much power, why they garnered so much respect. It is the Kaisers that own the armies and wealth, it is the noble ones who own land. Why then do even the nobles respect the pious? This is the answer. This world of magic and mystique where the impossible is made possible. A city in the clouds, how? Through pansophy. And pansophy is controlled by the pious, and so the pious have a power that the nobles do not.”
“Very good master.” Musa complimented.
I could only manage a distracted smile in response to its praise. A sadness took root in me as I pondered once more at a world that only magic could create. Magic that I could not fathom. Magic which would never be mine.
“This is only one of two compartments of the trail. The second has the mobiles. Oh master, I cannot wait until you ride in a mobile. It is unbelievable, motion, at its peak!” I suspected Musa sensed me withdraw into myself and only spoke to break through to me. When its words did not tempt me into speech, it fell back into silence.
We walked for hours before we reached the first resting place. Every uspec on the trail walked. There were no lanes, just an open trail where uspecs could walk in either direction. I noticed some uspecs travelling in groups. Some of them had contraptions which reminded me of the wheel-stool, I had travelled from the pits on. But these contraptions were different. They looked like boxes on wheels. Wheel-boxes, then? I wondered.
It was strange how, after taking the thought drop, I instantly knew what a resting place was. I did not know how it was created, but I knew how to access it. We had walked past junctions in the trail, past bends, but through it all, there had only been red surrounding us. Now, to the right of where I stood, the red cloud wall had a large strip of brown. I knew that we could walk through that brown even though we could not walk through the red. It was the same way I knew that yellow strips led to social areas with the markets, Musa had spoken about, inns which provided dining, but no accommodation, and small ponds for cleaning.
We walked through the brown strip and were led to an area, much different from the trail. The first thing I saw, was a wooden post, with a placard hanging from it.
“First Tier.” Musa read the words written on the placard out. “Are we stopping for the day master?”
I nodded. “I may not be able to learn pansophy, but I can learn the common tongue. We will spend the rest of the day on that.”
“Master,” Musa’s voice was cautious, “the knowledge of pansophy is not one to thirst for. You already have magic master, two forms of magic is plenty.”
I sighed. “I thirst for more Musa.” Was my weary reply.
Musa did not reply. We walked on the narrow strip of land between the two lots on both sides. The common lots had pools of brown sludge on them. There were no houses, nothing but pools of sludge. But, with my thought drop, I knew what those pools of liquid would become.
We walked through the next two tier spaces, before reaching the last tier. In this space the pools of liquid sludge were much larger than any of the previous three. A thin ring formed around the pools of sludge. I walked into the first pool of sludge. Then, with a feverish excitement I could not contain, I pulled out a form card from the satchel bag, and let it drop into the pool of sludge.
As soon as the card met the sludge, a house formed around us. The ring of sludge which had surrounded the pool, rose as well, forming a wall to enclose the rising house.
I did not want to ask, but I could not stifle the thirst to know. “How?” I asked.
Musa sighed. Even the imp’s voice was not as excited as it usually was when it explained these things. “Pansophy master. The houses are built from baked sludge, then the form is taken out of the solid structures and put into the form card. The form card also has thought, so the house only stays erect for one day, and when it rises, it shifts the design so that it is built around the things standing in the formless sludge.”
I nodded, studying the now-built dwelling.
|Re: The Marked: In The Spectral Existence (A Stand-alone Fantasy Fiction Novella) by cassbeat(m): 9:34am On Jul 03, 2019|
I have been thinking seriously about ur works becoming a movie obehid .. I would really love to see it come to pass... Ride on. By the way no be Nigerian producers go handle am sha ... But it must have all settings as the book's.... Nice update.
|Re: The Marked: In The Spectral Existence (A Stand-alone Fantasy Fiction Novella) by enamored1: 2:34pm On Jul 03, 2019|
Nigerian producers ke, they'll just destroy this masterpiece.
@obehiD I wish I were able to live in your head, understand your thought processes.
In other news, I love pansophy.
|Re: The Marked: In The Spectral Existence (A Stand-alone Fantasy Fiction Novella) by cassbeat(m): 7:56pm On Jul 03, 2019|
enamored1:I pray for it to become a movie bro... Forget Nigerian producers them no reach...
|Re: The Marked: In The Spectral Existence (A Stand-alone Fantasy Fiction Novella) by obehiD(f): 2:43am On Jul 05, 2019|
@cassbeat haha, thank you!!! It would definitely be interesting to see this as a movie, though, it could be pretty had to replicate some of the craziness that I have inflicted on some settings lol.
@enamored1 LOL! In my head? I don't think you want to live in my head oh, it's only interesting for a few hours every week . YAY! I LOVE pansophy too. I think pansophy might, arguably, be one of the best things to come out of this book. I want to ask a favor though, please let me know how you feel about pansophy after the next update
|Re: The Marked: In The Spectral Existence (A Stand-alone Fantasy Fiction Novella) by Tuhndhay(m): 5:55am On Jul 05, 2019|
Don't let me be in your mind biko not sure i will be able to cope for now am contended with the occasional peek. Unless Musa takes me through a pansophy lesson.
I think we are on a long ride with this story, it looks to be an evolving one I mean with each twist it adapts itself and keeps unfolding, I won't want to put you under any physiological pressure. Take your time, the beauty in the story is the suspense and the shape it is taking while the complexity is where you would tie it up.
"Wealth is power" as in see the level of respect it generated but what would be the combination of wealth with pansophy and fighting skills......(let me not imagine it)
"You already have magic master, TWO FORMS OF MAGIC IS PLENTY. ” But Nebud hasn't used it yet or did I miss out on it
“I thirst for more Musa.”??(that was what drove Alexander the Great) .... This thirst is similar to the pit's own.
The name of a pious comes to mind should I say or should I not...... Let me not act as a spoiler...
Obehid, Obehid, kneel, By the power of the fourth existence, the guiding light of menoba, the fervent love of the Ehizokhae, the strength of Eroms..I hereby pronounce you Knight of the Standard Existence.
You making me High like High, am addicted
|Re: The Marked: In The Spectral Existence (A Stand-alone Fantasy Fiction Novella) by obehiD(f): 3:32am On Jul 06, 2019|
Nebud has emotions and spectra. Emotions is the magic that it used in the pits when it was transferring peoples emotions. Remember the first few times it fought it would play with its opponents' anger and pain which allowed it to win. That magic it got from being irira. The spectra it has is the magic of the kute eyes. It gained the ability to use this magic by taking the imp's eyes in the swamp, but it hasn't used this magic yet. I love how much you're enjoying the story. Thank you
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