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mysteries

Into The Mist

(Realm of Elysia)

After lunch, Desere and Bren made their way into the Mysteries area. As they approached, a mist appeared, eventually forming a impenetrable wall of fog. The air, cooling, formed micro-droplets on their skin as they stopped.

“Welcome,” said a voice of out the mist, “I am Phaelyn.”

Looking about, Bren asked, “Where are you?”

“Here,” a voice came from behind her. Turning, she saw a beautiful Asiatic woman standing a few feet away. Handing Bren and Desere each a Lotus bud, the young woman looked out from beneath her conical, black straw hat.

Desere, studying their new acquaintance, asked, “You’re from Tian?”

“Yes, we are here with Guanyin, awaiting the Last Great Day with the others. I am honored to make your acquaintance. Please follow me.” She turned and walk through the mist, forcing Bren and Desere to keep up so as not to lose her. Presently, approaching a great wall made completely of vines, Phaelyn said something, and a portion of the vines withdrew allowing them passage.

Bren thought, mysteries is right…wow!

Please keep on the path

Coming to a trail, Phaelyn said, “Please follow this path, it will lead you through the Mysteries. Resist the urge to leave it, you may get lost and we will have to find you.”

Lost? how big could this area be? Brenzel wondered.

Desere, thanking Phaelyn, took Bren’s hand and off they went.

The mist cleared completely, revealing a forest of ancient trees, much like the story forest. Light filtered through the canopy far above them. Birds chirped and Bren thought she heard water falling in the distance. She watched Desere walking beside her, long flowing hair on her back, moving gracefully. Like Bren’s, her clothes were more to accentuate and flatter her figure than for any practical use. Her long, sheer skirt moved with her in a very pretty way.

Presently, they heard a loud bird call from above and looked up to find it’s origin. As they searched, Bren heard a rustling of the leaves beside them, and, turning, saw they were surrounded by a dozen or more people.

“Greetings Brenzel of Eden and Desere of Aukum, we welcome you to Hala.” Bren noted that the men and women had the same elf-like ears as the Bard of Longrain and Alethea. All of their features fine, and the ladies’ hair long, they seemed very happy to meet them, each hugging and introducing themselves in turn as they filed past.

Tell us more about Eden

Following them to a clearing, where a long table was set, filled with food, they seated Bren and Desere near the middle. As they talked, everyone asked questions of Bren about Eden (earth), what it was like, how was the food, and what did people do there. Bren, warmed by their genuine interest, tried her best to make them understand what earth was like. However, she found it difficult to explain hunger, working, and man’s inhumanity to man.

The one thing they found the most baffling was greed.

One puzzled woman asked, “Why would someone have more than they could use when someone else has too little?”

Bren tried to explain that, “People fear that they will not have enough, so they gather more than they need around them.”

“How can there not be enough?” another man asked. Commenting further he observed, “One can only wear a single pair of clothes, eat only so much in a day, and sleep in one bed.”

“Because resources like food, clothing, and lodging are scarce on earth.”

Bren related how she used to live before she came to Elysia, not really saying the worst of it, but as she spoke the growing disbelief on their faces made her trail off.

Redirecting

“I’m sorry,” Bren redirected, “let’s talk about where you come from for a bit.”

Bren asked about Hala and life there as her hosts explained that they were busy replanting their world after the Great Rebellion. With pride, they said that nearly half the planet had been replanted since the war. Gradually, their ecosystem was reviving as the old forests replenished.

“Yes, I remember Alethea mentioning that the forests are growing well.”

“You’ve met Alethea?” one asked as all other conversations fell silent.

“Yes, just the other day at the sanctuary. She’s very nice.”

Everyone started to speak to one another quietly, but Bren heard one asking, “Do you think she is? Is it possible? Why is she here? It doesn’t make any sense.”

One of the woman stood and asked, “Forgive me Brenzel of Eden, but are you a Seraph?”

“Yes,” Bren said, adding, “But I’m just like you.”

With a sense of wonder, they all said in unison, “Welcome to Hala, Your Majesty.”

That’s a nice bonnet you have

After they finished their meal, an unusual man came up to Bren with a serious look on his face, saying, “that’s a nice bonnet you have there, Your Majesty.”

Taken aback by his direct manner, Bren said automatically, “Just call me Brenzel.”

“Certainly.”

Looking at him, Brenzel marveled. He was shorter than the average person she’d met in Elysia. His face seem curiously wrinkled and tanned. Plus, his ears were normal, not pointed like the people of Hala. Who is this person and where is he from? Bren wondered.

“What bonnet are you talking about?” Bren said, knowing no one could see her hat.

“Why, the one you are wearing, of course.”

“You can see it?” Brenzel quizzed.

“Well, no, but I sense its power. You see, I made it.”

Looking at him sternly, trying to figure out whether or not he was pulling her leg, she said, “Describe it to me, then.”

Down to the last detail, he did just that.

“You’re the hat master?” Bren asked.

Micron

“No, I’m Micron, the hat maker. James is the hat master. Although, if truth be told, I should be both.”

Looking into his eyes, Bren noted that something about him made her feel uneasy.

Responding to her scrutiny, Micron said, “My appearance is due to an unfortunate accident while making the very hat you’re wearing. I was handling one of the fire stones and the mechanism did not quite accept it. Truthfully, it is a wonder I’m still alive.”

Then looking at her queerly, he asked, “Would you tip it for me please.”

“No.”

“I see.”

“Let me give you a piece of free advice, Brenzel. That is a very powerful hat, depending on who wields it. It can do much more than they will ever tell you. The truth is, the hat obeys it’s owner, not the other way around.”

“Why are you telling me this?” Becoming annoyed, Bren felt anger rising in her and the hat maker stepped back. Then, Brenzel, stated, “In fact, never mind, I don’t want to know.” as red flashed in her eyes.

Bowing low and backing away still further, Micron said, “Forgive me, Your Majesty, I meant no disrespect. I will take my leave now.”

Strange looking deer

Walking with Desere in silence, the mist formed again as they picked their way carefully along the path. When the mist dissipated they came to a grassy region that Desere guessed must be Zulu. Before them, stretched a plain, dotted with trees that looked like giant green umbrellas. To their right was a heard of grazing animals. A few lifted up their heads, looked for a moment, then we back to feeding.

Brenzel said, “Look at those deer! I’ve never seen horns like that!”

Des, looking at them, said, “I wouldn’t know, I’ve never seen that type of animal at all.”

Bren, hearing people talking, looked to her left, seeing a band of tall men and women approaching with shields and spears, and elaborate clothing. Their brightly colored beads reminded her of the bead-work of the Lakota people.

After greetings, Brenzel asked, “What are the deer we see?”

A tall, good looking man said, “In your tongue, I believe that is an impala. Come let me show you.” Carefully, slowly, he lead her and Desere to the herd which, oddly enough, didn’t seem to mind their presence. Coming close, the man asked if it would be okay if his friend touched them, to which the closest one, looking at Bren intently for a moment, nodded.

Approaching respectfully, Bren laid her hand on the impala’s fur. It was so soft and luxurious, she reveled in the feel. When she was finished, she remembered to say, “Thank you.” The impala, still busy eating, wagged it’s short tail.

More mysteries

Moving through the mist again, Des and Bren found a rope suspension bridge which led over a deep ravine to a luscious tropical paradise. Desere was overjoyed to see people she knew, whom she hadn’t seen in so long. Crying as they hugged and kissed, it was as if she were greeting long lost family.

The people of Aukum, Desere’s home realm, were all as beautiful as she. They smiled and laughed as they wiped their eyes. The women came close, admiring and touching Bren’s hair as they marveled at its color. The men, muscled and lean, hugged them both warmly, saying, “Welcome to Aukum.” They brought them both to a small cove where the girls sat on mats as they ate some delicious fruits.

Desere spoke to her people of her time on Elysia as Bren listened intently. It seems that after the war, Desere learned that her whole island and all it’s people were destroyed. Her sorrow was so great she decided to remain on Elysia. Everyone encouraged her to come back, saying that almost all the destruction was healed and everyone missed her greatly.

Who is she?

Next, as they emerged yet again from the mist, Omey was mountainous, and the path climbed high as the air cooled slightly. Looking out over the valley, Bren said, “This is impossible! We can’t still be in Elysia!” The Omeyan’s were brightly dressed people who loved to tell, what seemed to Bren, tall tales. They even said that they travel to their moon on ships! They had a drink, something like wine, that they offered to their guests with pride.

Above her, as she sat, Brenzel heard, “Who is she?” Glancing upward, she saw no one.

Again, “Who is she?”

One of the Omeyan’s said, “She is Brenzel of Eden.”

“Why is she here?”

Leaning towards Desere, Bren asked, “Who is that talking?”

“I think it’s the bird.”

“Bird?”

Indeed there was a bird up in a tree above. Looking at it, the bird said, “I see you, too!”

Flying down to the ground before her, the brightly colored bird walked back and forth, bobbing it’s head. Finally, the parrot stopped and said, “she is too much, be careful, she is special…she is special!”

Tricksters in the mist

Finally, the mist thinned into a bamboo forest with a river running through it. Desere said, “Careful, there will be pandas here. They’re tricksters, but mostly harmless.”

“Oh, okay.” Mostly? Bren thought as they crunched through dried leaves.

“Welcome!” Bren heard on the gentle breeze. Looking around, trying to see where the voice came from, Brenzel said, “Hello, we are pleased to meet you, too!”

“She is tall….and good looking. You were wrong Ming, and I was right,” a second voice declared.

“Ling, I didn’t say that exactly,” the first voice said, “I just said that people from Eden were small and misshapen, that’s all.” The other voice declared, giggling, “You owe me two cookies!”

“Where are you?” Brenzel said out loud.

“We are here and there…” the two voices said in unison. “Continue on the path and you will find us in the meadow,” the first voice said.

Continuing together down the path as the bamboo trees became larger and taller, some trunks as thick as a large oak tree. Brenzel asked, “”Did you hear them, Des, I couldn’t make out where they were?”

“Yes, but not with my ears,” Desere said with a concerned look on her face. “They were in our minds.”

“Who?” Brenzel asked.

“Pandas.”

SEOIB.