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 Into the Land of Immortals - Chpt 18

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PostSubject: Into the Land of Immortals - Chpt 18   April 10th 2009, 8:15 am

Into the Land of Immortals
Chapter Eighteen

Part 1

Giluchex agreed that the sight was amazing, but moved down the slope ready to gain the objective. The surrounding heights had formed an almost perfect bowl with a large clear circular lake. There were trees, but from a meadow Giluchex had been able to see large meadows along the way clearly showing him a route whether it actually followed a trail or not. Being barefoot, he preferred moving on the grass, so moved at his own rate to finally gain his destination.

Approaching the shore of the lake he found nothing special. He could not place the location on Davelda, but did not doubt that his world had a similar lake in a similar juncture of mountainous land. The lake was not perfectly round, but the usual irregular shoreline became easily apparent as one closed the distance. No waves broke the surface, although Giluchex had no problem accepting that the surrounding natural walls blocked most winds. He however wanted to look down to see the underwater bubble housing the divine throne room eager to reveal the rational explanation to that as well.

Giluchex saw the lean standing figure of a man, but the white skin had him consider it a statue. The clothes had perfect seams with crisp lines that he did not consider any person could truly wear. The short yellow hair gave no impression of being natural. No motion of the chest, head, or other body parts gave an impression of life. Giluchex thus ignored it to instead put his attention to the water.

His arms shot out to wave around in order to dissipate his momentum wanting to propel him on into the water. The original thought had been that the water would be cold, but it would be a few feet before the shore dropped down into the depths. Giluchex thus had intended to simply force his body into the chilly liquid where he would gain the desired sight. There was however no section where one could wade. At the edge of the water the bottom immediately sunk to a great depth. He thus flailed his arms to hopefully prevent himself from plunging into the lake.

Terish had told him that the lake was deep, although not as deep as it would appear. Giluchex had however been told that the vision would be remarkably clear. He looked down to however see a hazy view of water becoming increasingly dark with depth. Only due to having been told for what to look did he indeed see a strange orb of light in which were two grand chairs. Giluchex moved his head and body attempting to determine the true distance and size of the underground bubble of water.

His head turned catching in the corner of his eye a glimpse of the statue moving. Not believing the vision, he spun to watch as the large being lightly moved towards the group. Interested in what the creature might be and what it might say, Giluchex moved to join it.

"Celatia, your determination will be rewarded." The being did not have a deep voice, it did not speak loudly, yet Giluchex found himself able to perfectly hear and understand it. "A path down has been provided."

The centaur returned, "I am to carry Terish."

"No, dear lady, it is your duty to support Terish just as he supported your people in their darkest hour. While your form does provide for a special type of support, you should not always consider it to be a literal interpretation. The first time that Terish came he was uninvited, but had observed enough of the regulations that some consideration had to be given. This time, due to your urging, full honor can be shown to your group."

Dathol said, "I don't remember meeting you the time before."

"No. I am Vemishill, the messenger of the gods. Nehash and Evinnell will give you an audience below."

Giluchex had to say, "I thought you were sleeping."

The large being turned to look at him with a confused expression, then the features relaxed as an answer was stated. "We thought that we could safely allow our world to lie fallow for a time. It provided life to a good race of people although suffered from their growth and activities. We did not need the rest, but our world needed the rest."

Straekin asked, "But the people."

"The people have our spirit. They do not necessarily need our presence. Still, we might have secluded ourselves, but we have not hidden ourselves. Don't believe that you have been the only ones to disturb our slumber, although it has been very rare for us to be disturbed by someone we did not consider one of our own."

Giluchex heard the part of Vemishill only being a messenger, so moved back towards the water to gain an audience with those of real importance and wisdom. "You said that there was a path."

"Who are you?"

Giluchex spun with an expression of indignation. The messenger had not asked the name of any of the others. He had even spoken the name of Celatia, and she had never been here before. Giluchex thus answered the question with the haughty attitude of responding to a question where the one who asked should have been fully aware of the answer.

"I am Councilman Giluchex of Davelda. I travel with my empress to learn about her life with that one there," Giluchex fully pointed as he said the name, "Terish Dozzrine."

The smile on Vermishill's face lost some of its width as he calmly replied, "Yes, just enter the water. The path will be there."

Giluchex looked to the lake, but did not see any break in the surface of the water. A thought to simply move ahead did come to his mind, but he stopped with a fear that he would appear to be a fool. He also considered it simply not his place to lead. In turning to look to his empress, he however heard the centaur make a statement.

"I want to carry my burden."

Terish replied, "I cannot always ride you, Celatia. We often walk together." Her face displayed no pleasure in the words, although calmed as the man added, "You are going somewhere Raedell never went."

The centaur turned to look at Vemishill as she said, "Thank you. Truthfully, Terish often does things to accommodate local customs, especially those he believes are due to the local deities. I have seldom found his actions to gain any notice however."

The god replied, "You are welcome, Celatia. Be aware that Terish is recognized. Most however see his accomplishments and believe that their actions would pale in comparison to what he already has. One of those accomplishments is to have such lovely and dedicated centaurs at his service. Thus, while you work to bring honor to Terish, you also tend to deny further honor."

"Don't believe that I am going to stop."

"I believe that your people will always support Terish, and will never find their faith in him destroyed."

A hand of the centaur reached to hold the neck of Terish as her eyes scanned the group. She smiled as Straekin came up to the man to hug him, and he worked to keep a smile as his torso was squeezed by his wife while his head was forced against the body of the centaur. After the show of affection, Celatia turned to speak to another.

"Ferrigote, are you coming?"

Before the man could return an answer, Kethal said something from a kneeling position that caused Vemishill to reply, "The animals will not stray or lack food or water. Come, Keithayiell. You are recognized as a member of this group as well."

Dirchein stepped towards the deity to ask, "Do you recognize me as a member of this group?"

"In a way. I do not know your name, but it seems that you are joined with Ferrigote. There is no disfavor in your presence."

"My name is Dirchein. I was made of men, not of gods."

"But you have the spirits of men, and those spirits were made by a God. There is much pain and sorrow in your aura, but the wounds are being healed. All scars are fresh however, so I sense a long time of spiritual anguish within you."

"So, I truly will be complete?"

"Well, honestly, I like riddles, but none of you are truly riddles that I should resolve. Maybe if you had come to me as Terish first came, I would seek your answer. You however are traveling a road with numerous markers along the route. If you thus don't find an answer, it is your own fault for not looking."

Dathol took over the deity's attention by saying, "I will, of course, thank Nehash and Evinnell, but I want you to know that I appreciate your graciousness."

Vemishill turned and said as he moved his arm to indicate that he was speaking to all, "Go on into the water. There is a path. All that you need to do is walk upon it."

Because Giluchex was intently watching the minor deity and the others, he noticed some gestures pass from Dathol to Terish to Straekin. He thus was not surprised to find the lady call him over Hearing her tell him to walk behind her however caused him to arrogantly ask a question.

"Is this a matter of faith, Empress?"

"No, Giluchex. This is a matter of allegiance. I hope that you still place your trust in me."

"Definitely, Empress, but I prefer not moving behind Terish."

"Then you have a problem, as I am following Terish. I have been for some time."

Giluchex looked to the husband of his empress. He was attempting to show some attention to Celatia, although there was little doubt that he was listening to the conversation. That irritated Giluchex, and only decades of having to deal with the man enabled Giluchex to retain his composure as he spoke to Straekin.

"Let me thus ask you again, Empress, what is it about Terish that is different than all the men of Davelda?"

"I have found that Terish leads me where I want to go, Giluchex."

"I can accept that answer now, Empress, but it does not explain your devotion to him all those years before he proved himself."

The stance of the lady increased as he had seen it do many times before she let loose with one of her direct and scathing replies. While she had a history of being able to verbally subdue him, he always met her attacks with a stance of strength and defiance. He however found his resolve to crumble as she moved to again wrap an arm around her husband while lightly speaking.

"Will you kindly accept that I was acting on faith?"

Giluchex looked around while accepting that he presently was not in a place where he had any support for his position or an audience to possibly illuminate with understanding. "Go ahead, Empress. I will follow."

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PostSubject: Part 2   April 15th 2009, 8:23 am

Into the Land of Immortals
Chapter Eighteen

Part 2

Celatia was at the head of the procession into the lake, but Giluchex walked next to her rear quarter. The hair on her head was not overly long with only the fact that locks continued to grow over her spine causing the appearance of her having lengthy tresses. The tail of the centaur was a long flow of hair however that Giluchex felt could be whipped upon him. He was not worried about any such act, and could tell that Celatia was not considering her rear either. Both he and she worried about the water.

No opening appeared in the liquid. Giluchex saw the head of the lady look to the one that normally rode her. Terish must have smiled, because a smile became forced on the features of Celatia before she turned back to move further into the lake.

Giluchex became concerned as he felt water against his chest. He looked to Celatia to estimate the height of her head compared to his. Her female torso sat on the shoulders of a horse body, and while the lady appeared normal she was actually larger in size with her form scaled to the equestrian form. She was also at the front of a slope into the liquid, so Giluchex felt that their heads would go under at the same time. Celatia turned to Terish this time with a true smile on her face before stepping forward more confidently. Giluchex continued to move with her wondering why they had come so far to only drown.

Straekin was smaller than he or Terish, so her head went under first. Giluchex held his breath as the water came over his nose, but the sound of his empress talking caused him to open his mouth. No water rushed in. What he then realized was that the liquid surrounding him had not been hampering his movement. His sight of those he walked with was distorted by the clear water, but he heard and acted without any disturbance from the medium through which he moved.

The lady before him asked of her husband, "Did you not know of this method before?"

"This is not a permanent effect, Straek. I am certain that this method was not available on my earlier visit, and would be removed now should our attitude become less than respectful."

"You said that it was about a hundred feet down."

"Yes, so we should be breaking into the air bubble pretty soon." The tone of Terish changed slightly as he spoke to another. "You are doing fine, Celatia. I remember the gods of this world being quite friendly. That is why I could be so accepting of Terdeskollit's offer. Don't lose your confidence."

The centaur said in return, "I am very nervous."

"I am too, Celatia, but I am next to you matching your steps. Keep your pace."

"Yes, my burden."

Giluchex suddenly noticed that the centaur took some quick steps. The voice of Terish warned the lady not to look back, but to keep moving. Giluchex wondered about what was ahead, so went to his tip-toes to better look over the heads of those before him. He continued to step forward seeing a plane of some film approach. He also took a quick step when he confronted it. A feeling of wanting to look back came upon him in realizing that he once again walked through air, although an understanding that he was many feet from the floor of the lake kept his gaze looking ahead.

No furniture could be seen on what appeared to be sand of pure gold. Only two grand thrones rested upon a dais of deep-violet marble. The chairs were of a mixture of a vibrant ivory that he suspected could be mother-of-pearl, ebony, gold, and a green luster in the cracks between the materials as if liquid emerald had been used to weld the separate materials together. Giluchex descended wondering if the group would stand or kneel, although clearly understood that only the deities would be able to sit.

The centaur asked as soon as Giluchex heard her hooves move upon a solid floor, "Can I look back now, Terish?"

"Let everyone get down, Celatia. The potential of speaking directly to gods should fill your mind at present."

"Neither you nor I have the friendliest of deities, Terish."

"Yes, but both of us have met friendly deities, Celatia. Trust me, just as Vemishill above, the gods here are quite friendly. I met Nehash before, but Evinnell continued to sleep. It was Iagroun, the shaper of rock, that I awoke."

A rich feminine voice filled the air to say, "Your words are pleasant and true, Terish."

A panel of rock moved smoothly and silently behind the thrones. The lady that stepped out was many times the size of a human, although very perfect in scale. Giluchex found himself wondering what type of fabric could contain the wonderful shape yet flow as elegantly as the material that covered her body. As she approached the throne, it could be seen that her feet were bare. Rings with gems that had to be larger than the hands of a man were on her fingers. Brooches of enough precious metal to fund societies for decades were set on her gown. Giluchex could appraise wealth, and while the lady displayed a grand amount of natural beauty, he could tell that she carried riches far exceeding what he had encountered in his centuries of running a government.

Terish did not kneel or genuflect, but he did bow deeply before speaking. "I am greatly honored by this audience, Evinnell. Vemishill said that you would be joined by Nehash."

Again the enveloping tones of the lady sounded, "We are not married, as are you and Straekin, Terish, but the two of us share a single place of dominance. I could handle the interview alone, but Nehash met you previously and desires to meet you again."

The voice of Dathol stated, "There are two thrones."

"Yes, we are equal. We do not limit or restrict the other. If Nehash desires to be present, he may be present. I however want it clear that I could perform this interview alone."

Straekin asked, "Why should that be a concern?"

"Because you have come into our world seeking permission to visit more completely than we have allowed any. You need to know our ways."

Terish said, "Then I believe that there is a need for conversation. I was wondering why you bothered, besides a strong display of your kindness, to have us come down. Vemishill could have easily told us your decision."

Now a rich deep masculine voice filled the volume, "I told you that Terish was different, Evinnell."

The one that stepped out was bearded, but his face did not show the rough countenance of one who had been sleeping for a lengthy period of time. His features were as perfect as those of the lady. His clothes showed expansive widths of leather that no single animal could have produced. Giluchex again noticed the presence of baubles on the man's clothes that no world could match for value. As the overly large man went to take a seat in unison with the grand lady, he continued to speak.

"It must be said that we have considered denying your request, Terish. Evinnell and I understand it is unnecessary. However, we agree with its intention. Evinnell has also pointed out that this journey is not simply for your benefit."

Giluchex saw that his empress had a quizzical expression as she looked to her husband while he responded to the deity. "I appreciate your kindness and guidance. I must also grant the two of you with the virtue of compassion, because I am really unsure."

Evinnell said in return, "Truthfully, Terish, we are as well. Still, your fate is not our concern, so we did think to separate you from our realm just as we keep Terdeskollit separate. You do not stand alone however, and it is not in our nature to be rude."

"I do not want to hurry the conversation, but the topic of entering your divine realm does trouble me. I know how, and crossed the barrier to face Terdeskollit. I do not want to be so rude to those who have only showed me kindness. How would you wish for the task to be done?"

"You are not hurrying the conversation, Terish, and we appreciate your respect." The eyes of the lady now scanned those assembled before her as she said, "Once you pass over, you are not to eat anything. You will feel hunger, but such is your carnal nature speaking of its usual needs. You will not need food, and the food there is not yours to eat. You may drink natural water, which is water found flowing on the ground. As soon as it enters a cup or is served in any fashion, it is forbidden to you."

Dathol asked, "About the water from the pool that we seek?"

"What you do with that is, I believe, what those watching you desire to learn."

A shocked tone entered the voice of Terish as he asked, "Those watching?"

Nehash replied, "Do not worry; Terdeskollit is not in that number. Evinnell told you that we keep him separate from our realm."

The divine lady added, "But, Terish, your decision is yours to make. Keep your own council. The others have their own decisions to make."

Straekin blurted out, "Keep his own council? Cannot we give each other support and advice?"

Sharp tones entered the voice of Evinnell as she returned, "You can do whatever you like, even completely disregard our rules."

An arm of Terish moved about his wife while he said, "These are not members of your council, Straek. Take what they say literally. These beings are too powerful to bother with innuendoes."

Giluchex saw the head of his empress nod in acceptance after her eyes looked to her husband, then she turned back to the deities to say, "I apologize for my tones."

Evinnell's voice lightened as she said, "I am a god, Straekin. I hear your heart, not your words. You however have to understand that your presence in Terish's life is not his reason for existence. He has a path that he is still following. Keep your love for him, even as he continues to move forward in his life."

Straekin moved from Terish's embrace to genuflect to the deity while saying, "While in your land I will abide by your rules."

"I don't have that many more. You thus should be able to return to your journey shortly."

_________________
Fantasy puts more requirements on the writer than any other fiction, because the world must be made as real before anything else can be real.
Adult Christian fiction quite different than all the usual lame stuff in that market.  "Dilemma of Dreams" now in hard back.
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Into the Land of Immortals - Chpt 18
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