Aden often wondered what would happen if the tribes stopped living in peace, he mainly cared about how this would affect their world and flow of thought. Violence was not condoned at all, no one was ever found being violent. In fact the closest that any Eidetic person ever came to breaking the law, was not expressing gratitude to someone else who had performed a deed for them.
Edan knew that his prince was threatening aimlessly; he would never hurt or execute any severe punishment order even for the worst of crimes. His prince only expressed himself in such a manner in front of him because he believed that he could influence him to be more valiant. Edan knew that Aden was pure at heart and his expressions were out of love and concern.
Aden began by jolting the boy ever so slightly and more vigorously as the time passed slower due to Edan’s silence. “Why won’t you just tell me so that I may have peace, who has dared to act so cruelly towards you? If he is cruel towards you, he is then cruel towards me!” Aden said with a tender voice.
“Sire, please stop questioning me and pressing on the issues. No-one did hurt me, I am but a clumsy fool and but merely fell and hurt myself. I am sorry for frightening you and am ashamed of my ungracious nature. Unlike you lord, I was born with two left feet,” said Edan and quickly added, “Why do you always think the worst of the royals, who have been shown so much kindness towards my family and have allowed me to grow alongside such a blessed prince as you?”
“By trepidations Edan! I am not frightened, I just want you to have trust in me enough to tell me the truth. Why shouldn’t I distrust them? They hide so much from all of us, even me. Do you not think that the knowledge which royals acquire from teachings, on how to control their thoughts is dangerous? They may think of doing bad things and you would never know.” Aden, unknowingly had already begun mastering this very skill, which would serve him well in the days to come. The importance of winning people over with his reliability would be the key to his success, but he had yet to learn of this necessity, for his was not the only one who questioned the teachings of the monastery to more than the SoverI kids. Why could the nobles be exposed to more dangerous teachings than the others, why were they always allowed to reach their maturity faster?
While Edan helped the young prince prepare for bed, he would always listen to him talk about his adventures. They would normally communicate through active visual imagery; the prince would recall his memories enabling Edan to experience what he had done during the day, it made the servant often feel more adventurous and like a hero at times. “He is always watching me, do you see? I cannot wait till the day I make my exploratory journey out of this boring city,” exclaimed Aden. “Sire, you only think it’s boring because you have been here all your life, others that come anew are astonished at the beauty of our city and the eternal flame. We have more to be thankful for than you realise, our city has many more unexplored secrets, which I am sure you will find entertainment enough.”
“Edan, you have just not seen what is out there and you are ever so pleased with so little. I have seen the book of the founding fathers and they have sketches so grand that the world beyond these walls looks celestial, magical and I cannot even begin to describe it. Who cares what is hidden behind these walls, it can’t compare to the treasures outside,” protested Aden.
“Sire, my place is to serve you and be by your side, I cannot however hide that I am afraid to go beyond the walls. I have heard that unexpected things occur there and close at hand there is danger!” Edan cowered, retracting into the shadow of the large carved bed closet.
“Edan, you are even afraid of mice! Don’t you have trust in your prince; have I not protected you bravely enough?” Aden gesture valiantly.
“You are right Sire, please forgive me! I have my reservations about most things, however none of that do I have for you. I am most honoured to be your servant,” Edan bowed gracefully, but Aden was hardly watching him as he was not interested in being flattered.
“You are relieved of your duties for the night Edan, may you sleep comfortably,” Aden slumped lower into his sheets, turned and fell asleep almost immediately. Edan blew out the candles in the room and whispered, “You as well my dear prince.”
Aden did not however rest well that evening, the visions he had experienced during his run to the place where that peculiar story teller was sitting kept swirling in his head. He awoke all sweaty and out of breath. Edan ran into the room because he had heard him screaming out of pain, “Wait, don’t go! Wait for me!!!” Never before had his prince screamed and it was unusual for an Eiditic to make so much noise. Edan was frightened and worried that if anyone else in the castle had heard the prince, they would think he was mad and advertently report him to the monastery, but worst of all, Adens father would find out about another shortfall in his son’s character.
“Sire, what is the matter? I heard you screaming, why were you screaming? I do hope that I am the only one who heard you, Sire!” Edan anxiously stepped towards his master. “Something is bothering me Edan, it has begun to plague my mind. I need you to help me find someone, it is very important that we find this man. Do you understand me? ”Edan shook his head vigorously not knowing what else he was supposed to do; he didn’t understand what his master was going on about but listened intently. “He is a temporary Invandrare at the city, the only one of his kind. He is wearing blue clothes and a feathered hat. Find out for me where he is staying and what the purpose of his visit is. Report back to me as quickly as possible, I will be waiting for you here. Go now, swiftly!”
“Yes Sire, I will do my best!” Not questioning his master’s wishes, Edan scurried off as fast as his feet would take him knocking over the neatly folded clothes from the bed stool.
Many unbearably long moonicles later Edan emerged into the apothecary in the keep of the castle, where Aden was studying his books. “Master, I have located the man, he is a Looftsman and bears the mark of the air. He hath come to deliver a message to an old friend. He won’t be much longer in the city as his stay is coming to its limits. He is lodging at the Blueburn Inn.” Edan voice sounded as if he had not been able to breathe properly out of haste. “Thank you Edan, you have done well. Fetch my coat as I will need to leave immediately.”
“Sire, if the monks catch you not making the blessed ointments, they will inform your father of your disobedience!” shouted Edan. “I have taught you how to make these potions Edan, return here and continue my work. You need the practice more than I do and I will be back in time for their assessment. I trust you to finish the assignments correctly.” Aden was not prepared to stay in the dingy, smelly dungeon, especially when there was urgent business to take care of. He had been inhaling the essences that his teachers had lit and the sweet smell from the essence sticks was making him feel dizzy and nauseous. Edan knew that being taught knowledge above his rank had been prohibited, but he did not want his master to get into trouble so he never refused it. Further to this, Edan had a natural talent in mixing formulas and so remained to finish the work that had been assigned, while Aden pursued his curiosity.
Not having much time to change his clothes due to hastiness, Aden had arrived at the Blueburn Inn looking like the escaped scholar he was. He was greeted by a tall man in burgundy robes, who looked down at him with his beady eyes and unusually long blond hair. The glow of the man was faint and his gestures were almost melodically orchestrating a symphony while he greeted the prince, “What brings you to our humbled Inn, my Lord? Seekest thou anything in particular?” Aden looked at the man and replied gently, “I seek the Looftsman, kindly show me to his quarters so I may converse with him.” The innkeeper almost apologetically replied, “What business has a mighty prince with a mere Invadrare, they are but strange folk and would just burden you sire. Wouldn’t you rather sit by the terrace and grace us with your presence, our blueberry tea is the best in the city. ”
“Dear man, my business is my own, I did not ask for an opinion. I wish to see this man without delay! Although,” taking a pause Aden added” I must admit you are right about your tea.” Aden sturdied his composure by raising his head higher to reveal his imperial emblem below the black robes.
“Right away Sire, I merely worry for the Sire’s well-being and mean not to upset thee.” The tall man moved like a fire, swaying gently from side to side while he walked up the spiral staircase which seemed to go on forever. The inside of the inn looked like that of a conical shell, at the entrance there were pillars revealing an internal courtyard with birds and overgrown greenery; this led onto the terrace that the man had spoken of. The doors of the rooms looked like sea caves entrances and the inn was many a floor. This particular inn was very famous, as it was right at the edge of the Apiritian kingdom and overlooked the lava flow.
They walked in circles from floor to floor on the colossal spiral staircase, until they reached the very highest room. The man turned once again towards Aden, who was surprised that he was the only one out of breath.
After a due pause the man said, “Sire, this is where I would kindly ask to be relieved of my escorting duties to you, so I may return to serve my guests. I do apologize for the long climb, however all Looftsman do love the sky ever so much and constantly insist on hiring our highest rooms,” the man looked inquisitively at Aden who was leaning on the parapet of the stairs for support. Aden gestured a signal to say that the man could go and tried to catch his breath by turning away from the scary drop to the green courtyard. It felt exhilarating to be standing in a high place such as this, but at the same time unnatural. The Apiritians would normally not build soaring structures; they felt more comfortable closer to the ground. This must have been the second highest building, apart from the library and the city looked flat from here, Aden saw red and yellow robed dots everywhere. It was as if the whole city was crawling with them, or rather as if it were ablaze with the buzzing of Apirite’s daily activities.
The rooms of the inn were especially designed to be comforting to the particular likings of the different tribesmen, Invandrare. This room was open and seemed almost like a landing platform. If you slept here, you would be under the stars and if it ever rained, which it did at least once a week, you would be soaked. Apiritians did not like the rain, but rather tried hard to appreciate its qualities.
There were great kites stacked all around the circular room; their formation represented an incomplete circular wall. Torches were visible at the middle of every third kite, its flame swayed in the light midday breeze. At the end of the room there was a middle-sized, candy-stripped pole which had a rope tied to it. Aden cautiously crept forward to see where this rope went to; it was all too peculiarly for him. Aden, almost disappointed that he was alone in this unusually looking room, grasped firmly onto the pole and dangled his body forwards looking over the edge. To his surprise he saw a man sitting on a suspended swing in the air. Without budging, but feeling the strain in his fingers, Aden screamed at the top of his lungs, “Hello there!” There was no reaction from the man as he seemed to be enjoying himself. “You down there, can you hear me! I am Aden prince of the Apiritians and wish to speak with you.” The man continued to look ahead and ignored everything else around him, but the sky. Aden was rather frustrated and annoyed by the man’s ignorance. He noticed a bell at the top of the pole and a slender red string dangled in the wind. He grabbed the string and briskly began to ring the bell; he was determined to speak to the man even if that meant that he would have to wait all night for him to climb up. It didn’t even matter if he would be in trouble for his delay to the castle and Aden was sure that Edan would think of something to say to cover for his absence.
The man on the swing vigorously climbed up and fell into shock when he came face to face with Aden. The man’s face lost all colour and Aden thought for a second he would fall straight off the edge of the platform; thankfully he remained steady on his feet. There was a long silence before any of them said anything at all.
Then, quite abruptly, the man spoke, “Sire, I am honoured to be in your presence!” he bowed down as low as he could go. Aden gave him his hand and the man kissed it. Aden, although rebellious, did conduct himself in a majestic manner when he felt it necessary.
“Sire, my name is Ilmatar I am from the land of Erion. How may I aid thee?” the man’s words were carried away by the wind, but Aden made out what he had said. “Why have you come, Ilmatar?” questioned Aden. “Dear prince, I wish not to undermine your intelligence, but you have sent for me many a time. My very king, Ailos, is unaware of my presence here.” as he said this Ilmatar bowed his head in disbelief of his own words, he now felt he had done something really dim-witted. To this moment, Ilmatar was unsure if he was mad or if the visions he had experienced were true. He felt the need to express himself to the prince and hesitantly blurted the words out, not even thinking of how to say what he wanted to say. “In the past, for many a day, I saw you calling me to you, Sire. Forgive me for I may be confused and don’t wish to be sent to the pit because of a stupid mistake. It is just that I truly believed what I saw and felt the urgent need to respond to my visions, with respect towards your wishes as well. My master by now knows of my absence and I do not know how I will return to my kingdom not having a single justifiable explanation for my actions. It is just that when I arrived here a mere day ago, I was foolish enough to think that you would be waiting for me and when you didn’t I thought if I told good enough stories in the city centre you would know I was here and you would request for me. Now I am but ashamed and confused as you seem not to know why you are here, so why have you come to me now?” The man was now on his knees on the verge of tears. Aden, confused about the nature of the events, raised the man and politely asked him to calm down. He then began pacing frantically this way and that, while at the same time scratching the palm of his hand which would not stop itching. He always scratched his hand when he felt uneasy or uncertain, or even just before an exam.
“Perhaps there is truth to what you are saying, as I often dream about visiting your kingdom and leaving my own. Do not speak about these things to anyone, as I will deny everything and you will be branded a liar. Do you understand? We Eiditics share a common thought pool; we already have inserted thoughts that could get us both into major trouble. We best hope that the scribes ignore petty chatter. Anway, getting back to reason, I believe that you may have stumbled upon my thoughts in your dreams. This is the only explanation I can think of.” Aden sat down on the bed in the room,”By our spirit! Surely, this is what is written and it had to happen! Perhaps you came here to guide me back to your people Ilmatar? Don’t you think it is probable that the thought travel because of this?” Aden then paused a while and looked up towards the sky, embracing its enormity. He closed his eyes and softly spoke to Ilmatar, “I did not foresee this moment coming so soon though. As you know I was born a SoverI and I should know the future, they made the right choice by not sending me instead to the monastery. Sadly, I have yet to learn my destiny.” For some strange reason Aden felt especially comfortable in speaking to Ilmatar, it is as if they had known each other for the majority of their lives.
Ilmatar, not much older than Aden, seemed like a jolly young man whose only missing piece was a smile. Ilmatar’s face had two prominent wrinkles on either side of his mouth, lines that could have only been formed by a permanent smile; however he was currently frowning and continued to remain quiet out of fear. His main concerns were for his fate, which was unknown to him as he knew he had broken the laws of his people and could only guess that he would be only scolded in the best scenario. He had hurriedly packed his things the day of his departure and warned no one of his planned trip. He had long hoped that his master would forgive him, a mere childish hope that was. Deep inside he had the feeling that he probably needed to stay away and get lost in the wilderness, never to return to his beloved people. Perhaps, he could climb the highest mountain and live there with the mountain goats, they would provide him with enough sustenance and the clean air would fill his lungs. The lonely life would be better than the pit!
The thought of going back with the prince gave Ilmatar hope. He figured it was his best chance at avoiding the terrible punishment that awaited him. Aden picked up on Ilmatar’s fears, but said nothing. “Ilmatar, how did you come here and how are we going to return to your kingdom?”
“Sire there is only one way in which we can reach my kingdom and it is not by foot. Anyway, if you permit me to say Sire, but aren’t the SoverI able to direct the flow of thought? You directed your thought to me, that is one thing we have now concluded, but I am not sure if you could do that on your own. I must admit that I know little of these things and by no means mean any disrespect to you, but I would imagine you would need a joint effort in sending thought so far. So if you didn’t do it alone, then why did the other SoverI follow suit, or is it something else Sire? I know you thinking of coming back with me and as much as that would help my situation, we have to think there are deeper things at play here.” replied Ilmatar and then remained silent, afraid to describe his thoughts any further. Ilmatar was bad at containing his thoughts and Aden being the skilled mind reader he was, immediately saw what they had to do.