Chapter 34:


The Nonpareil of Resh (Act 1)

Gwyn was given a room to stay in the Aqueenian castle that night. It wasn't until he fell on the bed that he realized how tired he actually was. Though Mem tried to carry a conversation with him, Gwyn was asleep in no time.

Morning came far too quickly for him, and he awoke with a solemn groan. He rubbed his eyes and sat up on the bed. It took him a minute to recall where he was as he was slowly becoming more awake.

"Well, goyura!" Mem greeted Gwyn.

"Good... morning..." Gwyn muttered as he shook his head in an effort to be fully awake.

"You must have been exhausted, I tried making all sorts of loud noises to wake you up, and nothing worked."

"You did what?"

"Do you have any plans for today?"

Gwyn stood up from out of bed and stretched his arms.

"I just got up; of course, I don't have any plans." After he finished stretching, Gwyn walked over to the room and looked at some neatly laid-out clothes for him. Fiona had told him she would have someone prepare some clothing for him to wear, but he had not bothered looking at it before he had gone to sleep.

Before, Gwyn appeared to be white pants with a black fabric hanging off and a white sleeveless shirt. In addition, there was a piece of clothing that looked something like a cloak.

The color of the cloak was a familiar shade of orange. It had been clearly inspired by the curtain that Gwyn had wrapped around himself to hide Mem. While he got dressed, Gwyn pondered whether it was a tongue and cheek decision, as if whoever prepared the clothing was laughing at him in some way.

He slid on the clothes and wrapped the cloak around him. It left his right arm exposed and draped down on his left side.

Once Gwyn finished getting dressed, Mem leaped across the room and bonded to his right arm.

"Is it common for you to be attached to my arm all the time?" Gwyn asked as he slowly opened and closed his right, now mechanically encased, hand.

Sometimes in official meetings, but the more we are linked, the higher your compatibility will grow.

"You mentioned that before."

Yes, the higher the compatibility, the more you can do with your ability. Using power increases the rate faster, but just being linked will provide a passive increase of up to 50%! It also helps you start with higher compatibilities should you ever partner with another Needaimus. Mem explained.

Gwyn shrugged and began walking to the door of his room.

"So, what happens after 50%? Should I assume you have to use the ability to get to 100?"

Dast! 100% is the natural max compatibility and the goal to reach! Right now, you are sitting at 10%; you might have a talent for this! You should be able to liquify a small sphere of space now wherever you touch.

The door slid open, and Gwyn stepped into the hallway. The castle hall was empty and quiet. It split into three directions from where his room exited. He looked at his left and right a couple of times before settling on going straight.

"I've meant to ask, but is Dast supposed to be like saying yes?" Gwyn asked out loud.

Do you not have that word on your planet?

"No, I do not."

Hmm, well, it can be used that way, but it also can be used as a general affirmative... I'm sure you'll figure it out!

Gwyn sighed as he realized Mem was not the right one to be directing language questions.

Gwyn continued aimlessly wandering the hallways for a moment until he came across a crowd that was walking through the halls. The hallway dead-ended into a "T" in the path in front of him. Walking down the perpendicular hallway was a procession of giants. They were tall, standing easily above 2.5 meters, from what Gwyn could tell. The clothing they wore looked smooth and well-kept. It reminded Gwyn of a military uniform, and it was clear who was more important in their procession from the decoration on their attire.

The crowd was a species he had not yet seen, at least in person. In addition to their height, they had feet that resembled cloven hoofs with shoes that seemed to add a large platform between the feet and the ground. They were bipedal, but their heads resembled more of an animal than some of the other species Gwyn had encountered, looking like a cross between a horse, a kangaroo, and a human. They were covered in short fur that looked like it came in the same kind of variety one might expect from the patterns on cats or horses.

Gwyn watched in silence as the group slowly marched on. The way they walked and the manner of facial expressions gave him the impression that they were doing some sort of ritual, though he had no idea why.

The last of the line was the least decorated, from what Gwyn could tell. She simply followed behind and carried a large flag over her shoulders. The top of the pole almost scraped against the ceiling, but no one in the procession paid it any mind as they walked through.

In a matter of minutes, they were out of sight, and Gwyn continued on his way. He looked down the hallway to the group, who were not too far in the distance. He went in the opposite direction.

"Who were they," Gwyn finally asked when he felt he was out of their earshot. He recalled images that looked like them from the museum but could never pick up which group was which.

Bentulousians! Mem happily explained.

Gwyn hummed to himself as he continued down the path.

Unfortunately for him, he was only out of earshot enough for a human ear. At the back of the procession, the flagbearer turned around to look at the odd, oblivious Netzian as he walked away with an unguarded back. She pondered for a minute who he could be, then remembered the rumors of the other worldly traveler.

Had she not been taking part in the procession, she might have greeted the stranger. Instead, she returned to her duty and held the flag up high as they continued the march.