Chapter 4:

Lofty

A Snowed Abode


Upon entering the lair of the seer the air was not quite the same much anymore... in fact, it was not even ground air anymore, for the shell that led to where Pons usually resides, almost by some ethereal quality, transported Pax to a place above this damp world, above the seeds of mundanity, beyond the imagination of the mind. It was a land not too far away from where Nix was, as a matter of fact it was close enough to nearly be representative of a certain protective quality for what was underneath - although this was, obviously, because the realm above was inhabited by lives that did not wish harm to the people below. One would wonder why those few that hung around the shell would not just go ahead and bask in this effervescent atmosphere that lulled about in this lofty temple, this qualitative impression.Bookmark here

It was a land as if sprung up by strings, and in the air melodious symphonies combined to present a certain satisfactory quality, like juice in a summer's breeze. The clouds hung below as if one was going ever upwards, and smaller pieces of land swayed about the background, like they were leftover rocks from some geological fissure millions of years ago. It was a place that inspired thought, that relished feeling. Why Pons chooses to mainly hang about here, though... is not quite certain. Although, one supposed, it is more incomprehensible if anyone chooses not to live here (and one assumes he does go down to Nix every once in a while... unless resources magic themselves into existence, like the very island itself seems to have done...)Bookmark here

Certainly, from up here it seems clear that... clarity itself may be reachable. One could see why a 'seer', who does not quite rely on hocus pocus but a more deductive, reasoned approach... could be helped by being here. It seemed to stimulate thought like the waterfalls that rested on each side of this entrance that also hosted iconography with dragons on them (for some reason). Pillars also were on the sides, along with... yes, more statues. It seems like the people of Nix liked them, although why they have such obscure inscriptions Pax did not quite know yet. This time they seemed to represent some sort of angelic beings, with wings and all, and now they seemed to whisper...Bookmark here

"It is but stone...
...it, that haunts us...
...and to the wind, merely it is blown..."Bookmark here

Pax thought that this was slightly more clear than the ones before, but why ever it also seemed to rhyme he could not quite tell... perhaps statues always do that? Fires do too, though... it was, thus, quite confusing, especially for someone who merely wanted to see what some officious, overly serious prophet of logic wanted to say... Pax would have hoped Pons did not also speak so obliquely as these rhymes, but then he knew from his limited past interactions that, although as non-jocular as a stone, Pons was not quite as bizarre as some fire spewing mysteries. He might have been slightly haughty, but then who would not be if they spent their entire life trying to decipher the future? Not quite disdainful per se, more quiet and reserved... though.Bookmark here

This was the world both of them inherited, essentially... a world which is not quite too damaged, but not as seemingly perfect as this floating temple to the senses, either. It stood above the clouds like some majestic wizard, and indeed it was as equally comprehensible (although one assumes that if studied the engineering of how it floats could be revealed). It was not quite the largest of places, though; beyond the petrified angels lay two pathways that led to the east and west of a fairly rectangular central square. Whoever walked through it could take either side, or go through the middle, all of which led to a slightly more elevated plain where Pons contemplated the mysteries of levitation (presumably).Bookmark here

Pax, though, being the procrastinator he always knew he were, decided to explore this little island in the clouds, instead of going straight upwards, for it had some interesting corners. So, he first thought of checking out a couple of walls that the east and west sides led to; as if cryptically describing the very qualia of such a state, these walls had this inscribed...Bookmark here

"When a world is marred...
...and the ground tarred...
...the heavens a shard, of blue and air..."Bookmark here

For once Pax thought that this, despite the allusions, seemed to obviously refer to this ascended shrine's place above a world full of strife, that much appeared to be self-evident. What was it a shrine to, though? Nothing religious, Pax always assumed, no, it was more of a testament to how one can metaphorically rise above the world and see the big picture, but it was always so difficult to accomplish for most people, so symbolically it was usually inhabited by no one except Pons, who at least tried to, as optimally as possible, to see all that could be seen. It was similar to the image of the pale blue dot, even though it was seen as a two dimensional picture by many people it could still not at all be fully absorbed, for it never is unless one inhabits a certain existence.Bookmark here

While thinking about all this, Pax also somehow noticed, at the tip of his peripheral vision, a certain simplistic stone at the end of one of these crevasses (which, as it happens, were surrounded by some lush greenery, although one wonders how, if ever, they are watered... then again, even plants on the sides of buildings can cope lately, and with this place being so high up one might reckon the moisture of the clouds could possibly sustain them naturally) - simplistic only to contrast it with the many other, intentional formations around here; this stone, or more precisely a small bunch of them, seemed to be quite simply left where they always were, as if from the beginning of time, high up in the heavens long before any other living being found out about this wonder that defies gravity.Bookmark here

These bunch of stones, then... no, they had nothing inscribed, but... upon examining them Pax was immediately thrown to the other side of this square up in the clouds, diagonally per se, to a place within this other square made out trees and hedges, where some kind of water was found... perhaps from the aforementioned clouds? One knows not...Bookmark here

It was with this that Pax thought this sanctuary to peace seemed to be more than it seemed, although there could not have been many surprises, simply due to the relatively small size of the whole place. At any rate, he decided to go to the far end of each side now, both of which seemed to have - for some strange, although not that strange considering this is a buoyant rock one is standing on - statues of, this time, some sort of wizard, which, inevitably, engraved... Bookmark here

"The static art...
...with the effervescent sky...
...in tune, the dark of the heart..."Bookmark here

But no, this time Pax had absolutely no clue what these wizards might be hinting at... truly, he thought, magic is as obscure as these random mutterings scattered all around for some reason. One would go on to think, though, that perhaps they are still a bit mildly more interesting to read than to outright ignore them, although in the end, if one was not a procrastinator, that is, going straight to the seer, as Pax was supposed to have done now for quite some time, would indeed have been so delightfully more direct. But, why should anyone simply run through this cathedral of awe without noticing it?Bookmark here

For it was indeed awe that one could feel upon gazing at the leaves hovering above some shallow water. Or this might be overstating it, really, but for Pax, who mostly knew the humdrum, cold existence of the world down below, it was an interesting change of scenery. Of course, seeing this was not at all the point of his goal, but then when was the end ever more important than the journey?Bookmark here

In any case, he went back the way he came and thought of going in the middle for now... except he suddenly noticed that at the crossroads of this quadrangular airborne isle, one pillar out of the four was clearly much smaller than the others, and so he examined it... which took him to the other closed green space, adjacent to the one from before. This time, though, a... fox, seemed to inhabit this one (and so it seems there is life other than Pons...) - but, foxes being foxes, this one simply disappeared almost as soon as Pax appeared at the corner of this cosy, leafy embrace... leaving behind only its hair (why, do foxes moult...?)Bookmark here

Pax went back, in any event, considering there was not much else around, back to the middle... a middle which seemed to have... more statues, but the same kind that the 'shell' had previously, so not much time was spent looking at them. There was also another angelic one at the very top, just before the elevation, as if to say that the supernatural wing is mightier than the sword... possibly?Bookmark here

Up the highest point of this lofty abode Pons awaited, in contemplation and... a little bit of staring at the horizon, but then it never hurt anybody, right? Pons, the symbolic representation of this town's brains, was a... kind of a short person, also more accurately known as a 'child', with a mop of purple hair, but thinking back to the old lady's proclamations Pax thought this might have been some sort of mystical halting of time, perhaps... or he would not have guided this town for so long that even an old lady can attest to, of course. This, clearly, was no typical person of his apparent age, though... that much is clear; now, whether the people in town have lost their minds, or indeed he is that impression, shall be known promptly, but either way... the trip to this place has instilled a few mysteries in Pax's mind, certainly, and it will not at all be the last time this happens, for the world is massive, and a variety of affairs occur...Bookmark here

"Pax... one can barely guess what just so happened..." Pons began, looking back from his never-ending gazing to more effectively communicate with the person behind him. A stereotypical seer would surely not even bother to look back, but as mentioned previously he is actually just another citizen... with a slightly differing perception by all else, but still someone who communicates like most others...Bookmark here

"Pons, what possibly might have now...?" Pax replied quizzically.Bookmark here

"The state of Ignis to the south is deliberating on whether to attack us..." That much was glimpsed from earlier conversations, but the place's name was new, Pax thought. One thought that it was so called due to the historic possibility that somewhere in such a situation might be so unstable as to 'explode' at any amount, or boil over with rage, but then, Pax thought, that might be a similar possibility to any other state, really... just a few differing variables.Bookmark here

"Why must they?!" Pax interjected. Bookmark here

"Our realm is rife with greed... ever since kingdoms and empires transitioned to democracies, whether real or not, the machine that powered the engine of the previous states has clearly ...not died down... and so we continue to strive in this quixotic madness... this relentless inevitability into the chaos of selfish violence and mutual annihilation..." Pons rambled. Now, while this was not quite what a 'seer' normally bothers with... as aforementioned Pons here is more the passive leader sort of character. Certainly not anything like what a monarch appears to exude, brute force, for passivity works in the background and only when needed, and Pons certainly did not think of himself as a leader even, merely someone who wonders and thinks, and then converses when others want to. If sociology must be what this conversation at this point in time should be about, then it is... no cryptic prophesies, merely deductions based on contexts.Bookmark here

"Hm... not sure I get all that, but what I do understand is that our homes seem to be in peril? If so, I must investigate..." Pax replied in earnest, having been thinking about this since exiting his house. He did at times go outside, but not that often lately - now it seems to be needed, though.Bookmark here

"Indeed, that is what should be done now... anyone would seek to check for any possibility of reconciliation... go south and see for yourself the state of this world, Pax! Go forth and seek out reality..."Bookmark here

Suddenly, though, after finishing the conversation just now... someone came up quite fast and nearly bumped into Pax, proclaiming "Pax! Pax! There you are!"Bookmark here

He was someone dressed in blue, and Pax knew him, being someone of a similar age, but why he came all the way up here at this exact time, he was not sure...Bookmark here

"Clemens? Have you too heard that something was afoot? How neighbourly aggression is increasing?" Names, clearly, were all inspired by one language, somehow...Bookmark here

"That was indeed why I came here... I mean, I do not normally come here to see the clouds or skies, no... or maybe I do, but this day I did not! At any rate..." Not that, of course, gazing at clouds is anything other than an utter joy, to be clear...Bookmark here

"You are always a slight bit indirect..." Pax claimed... one presumes that stands in contrast to his personality then, possibly?Bookmark here

"I suppose... in any case, would you like to investigate whatever is happening in Ignis?"Bookmark here

"Sure, I was in fact about to go just now..." Pax said with his eyes closed, as if he was going to do this regardless if Clemens even existed...Bookmark here

"Oh, but I mean check it out together, for who knows what lies outside! Who knows what misshapen crawlies slither outside! Who knows what metallic, strangely-spoken oddity does!" What Clemens refers to here is unknown, but one might conceivably find out if time could ever advance any further...Bookmark here

"Oh, not a bad idea, actually, possibly one of your better ones, as normally they are not so..." Pax says this having known him for quite some time, of course, and so it does not necessarily come across as rude, but more like two felines' jousting, if that was at all a sensible analogy...Bookmark here

"What?! Never mind! Let us go!" He might have not taken it as lightly as Pax thought he might have, after all... oh well, never mind.Bookmark here

This was, thus, where the little frolic to the majestic, aimless boulder ended. One might visit it again in the future, for some verbal aid can always come in use, but for now Pax truly does not need to procrastinate to come here any longer, for he did finally do so, and it was worthy...Bookmark here

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