Chapter 3:

Shell

A Snowed Abode


With all the effort one could muster Pax did indeed try to go upwards to the seer's lair... not that it was not some place that anyone would not want to be in, just to be clear, as it was indeed delightful, but personalities quite contrasted to such an extent that one would not necessarily want to spend much time in the other's company, as it often happens elsewhere too... but then, one supposed, this was more of a 'business' trip, perhaps? Not as in commercial business, but more of a transactional nature... at any rate, Pax did indeed go upwardly, for why not would he? As it happens, also, going though this door to the north does not quite automatically transport one to Pons, no, for abodes are never quite such close quarters...Bookmark here

No, it was instead, what looked like, a castle; not quite the whole smörgåsbord, for Nix was not a place for such affairs, but it was perhaps a bygone relic, a shell that is now stood upon. It was, of course, also snowed upon quite a bit, for any place in this direction suffers such a fate, and this might be the reason why Pons does not exactly reside here, although one knows not if it is just the cold that is intolerable. It was a shell because, if indeed one might presume, in such a situation as Nix is in, with an unstable monarchy nearby, some sort of 'shell' might be useful, although how a seer and his 'lofty plains' could help in a physical war one knows not... unless it is a mystical conflict or such, but even that could not be guaranteed, for as mentioned before, no one actually claims this one seer has any supernatural capabilities, he can merely seem to calculate the odds, although of course most people, even throughout history, seemed to think of them as something other than that.Bookmark here

The outer shell of a fortress, in any case, did exist, for some reason... and although snow might cover it like dust percolates on the insides, the people of Nix thought that, if indeed a conflict did break out, that a bit of snow would not stop them from defending themselves using this structure... and despite the snow, as if to contradict its very existence, fires existed here and there too, and like before they seemed to emanate something other than just some fire, but Pax ignored them, for there were... statues this time, too, ones that almost possessed Ares' spirit, conflict frozen in time, etched in marble... and something does, it appears, seem to be inscribed on them too, with yet another odd structure...Bookmark here

"If a sword is, indeed...
in a fiery pit, restored...
what, though, is spilt in a fjord?"Bookmark here

Why statues questioned onlookers Pax did not know... one supposed, they could not even receive any answers, so why at all? But, perhaps, he thought, stimulating one's thoughts while looking at something could possibly be interesting. There were not, though, hints as to how and where these statues came from... since his birth they were always there, and did not seem to represent much, except for that hidden fear of a looming possibility for conflict, which lay there like a thunderstorm behind clouds of rain.Bookmark here

Besides all that, Pax happened to notice that there were people around the status too, as it happens... a slight bit difficulty in recognizing their patterns, considering they are not standing on plinths too, and so do not quite stand out, but Pax did indeed finally realize their very existence.Bookmark here

The one fellow to the right, slightly stout, brown-haired, seemed to proclaim...
"If one doth seek the seer's advice one must heed it... or so one always thought, but lately it happens to be a bit more disposable, maybe? Kind of, like, a rubberstamp..."
This seemed to lose the air it began pumping at the beginning, or so one thought, to build an argument and then present the opposite as more likely, and so, Pax asked...
"How, exactly...? Is it unreliable? Why else does it go unheeded, then?"
"Not quite, but you see... a stamp may direct a package, but one may also deliver it themselves or so... perhaps do not deliver at all? Who knows? Like all forecasts they are not perfect."Bookmark here

This seemed reasonable. For someone who seemed like they were of a haughty nature, and hung around a seer's lair too, presumptions might confuse reality...
"Does one, then... uh, do people not care for them? Do they not think they are useful?" Pax continued.
"Well, they might be useful in reality, but some people are looking for other uses..."Bookmark here

One needs to point out an omission one made, a slight oversight of something that seemingly just sprung into action - the man's moustache. Why it did upon emphasizing other usages for forecasts one does not know, and perhaps shall never know, for there is barely a link between moustaches and prophesies, or at least one would hope so...Bookmark here

"By all means, though, go ahead and see what use you might... divine..."Bookmark here

That seemed like an interesting, if slightly odd sort-of-meta discussion, one thought. Would all the people around here be so academic about the subject though, considering the times that might threaten?Bookmark here

"It does at times feel a slight bit claustrophobic in this area... there is a whole wide world beyond this northern frontier, yet we are stuck here due to a hostile state?" Someone said, indeed, as if in reply to the previously unuttered thought. She looked as if a nun, but these parts were not quite seeped in any sense of a religion, in fact the whole world at this point seemed a slight bit beyond that, just like they were ever so much over the whole monarchy as a concept (except for the nearby threat). So, one must conclude, her attire might be a fashion thing... possibly?Bookmark here

"From what I could gather they have not always been hostile, but recently things seem to have become a bit volatile... for some reason... I will speak with Pons and see what I could do..." Pax tried to assuage her concerns, but in reality he did not know what Pons will say, nor what the outcome of this whole affair will be. The future too, of course, was entirely as hazy as a cloud, but then if it was not so it would not be time that has not yet occurred, would it?Bookmark here

"Thanks again, Pax, if you manage to resolve any conflicts on our behalf... also, if, in the future, you need some advice on... ethereal matters... I would be available."Bookmark here

Well, who would have guessed that one would have talked with some ethereal nun on this frigid night of yore? Metaphorically speaking, this was not quite the past, yet remnants littered the place like seashells on a shore. Pax thought of asking her further questions, but thought they might be possibly extraneous to what was supposed to be done (then again, he has bartered with some cat, so why could he not ask her about such pertinent mysteries? This might have, likely, been solely due to Pax's interests... one supposed Pons could be talked to at length too, but would anyone want that?)Bookmark here

Yet further on a couple more people seemed to inhabit this bit of the world, for some reason... a green-haired girl who seemed preoccupied with her thoughts then wondered...
"Why do states conflict? Why does nature conflict? These seem to be questions of an eternal nature, but still they must be asked, as, if they are not, what do we question at all? Why, indeed, when existence is all there is?"
"Why, indeed..." is all Pax could muster. Clearly, based on all evidence so far, he does not quite initiate much thought by himself, but one would assume that the prospect of meeting Pons would give anyone thought for concern to begin with...Bookmark here

The other person, this time a blue-haired fellow for some reason, seemed to be, indeed, the most concerned of all...
"Would you, Pax, know by any chance whatever we would happen to do if we do cross danger's path? As a state we have merely invested in our defensive capabilities, but beyond that..."
"I am not sure... I was going to check on the status, and I could check a bit more than that. Maybe? I am probably going to need some help...I wonder who might..."
Pax clearly did not know much, as it happens, but then again, he has never been thought of as the symbolic brains of this abode, now... peace is hopeful enough.Bookmark here

"How would I ever cope if I was ambushed...? Maybe I should join you? But that would be similarly, potentially perilous... how, then, could I remain in my safe, bubbly existence...
To that no further reply was forthcoming, for these were but fragments of anxiety, and one would have thought that going anywhere near the threat would only further worsen such feelings, but then again Pax was not quite a psychologist, he merely intuited, as one does in this remoteness...Bookmark here

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