So Fourth Day sorta went to sleep for a bit, but I bring you good tidings! In the spirit of Christmas, Remy and I decided that we’ll put up a post everyday, until we’re done with Book One. *Eyss! Sawyer sharrap! We know you’re happy!* Ehen. So, if you’re not familiar with Fourth Day and the creative jungle that is the mind of Remy, please click here to catch up.
Now, let’s move on. Enjoy.
It was not long before Nda Waniko sat with the Long-Shadow king, an emissary of Rogobaresth, the Emptiness and Nedeseh.
“This matter is beyond the Council of the Half-Moon chamber. Nedeseh, you know everyone here aside from…him”
Nedeseh looked at a dimunitive man. Looking at him was difficult, not for his appearance, but more for his ‘lack of appearance’. It seemed like he did not want to be seen. He seemed more gossamaer than solid. Easily done to the untrained and uninitiated eye, but to one like Nedeseh…there was a power behind it.
“I will ask him to introduce himself to you.”, Nda Waniko added when he noticed Nedeseh’s confusion.
The wraith spoke with a voice that naturally arrests attention, like God speaking to you outside of a vision or dream,”Boy, you know that all that you see with the natural eye is birthed from beyond what can be seen?”
“Sir. You say ‘yes sir’ to me, boy. Do not let your little dance with power decieve you. Rogobaresth is not a living being so much as he is ‘natural life’. The next time you look a beast in the eye, you will notice him. This is only because you’ve met him.”
“Yes, sir. May I ask what your name is?”
They all chuckled then laughed.
“Do you know why men use names? To contain a thing, an essence, a power. So long as a thing ‘seems’ contained, they feel comfortable enough to decieve themselves that it is so. All things that are, always were before names were needed by men.”
“So what do they call you?”
The Emptiness laughed even harder and stood up.
“It is obvious he will ‘eventually’ grasp what we are talking about and who you are. Which of your old or future names should we give him to use?”
“Aiye. I think it is befitting. Better than what he senses he should use…which is nothing.”
They all looked at Nedeseh and he suddenly felt like a toddler listening to athletes discussing muscular strain.
“I have no name, boy. You think that to be impossible? What do you call the fire in the sun? Does it have a ‘name’? What do you call the life in blood? What do you call yourself when you cross vast distances in a moment? Anything can travel that fast, not everything will survive the journey. Or are you yet to notice the thin mist of dust that arises when you ‘arrive’ at your destination? There is life ‘on’ your body and it all returns to dust because it was not meant to travel with you.
“You thought you had made peace with the impossible? Well, you did and it is because I allowed it to be so. I am not a man, I am not a ‘being’. I was made, just as you were made, but I am not man as you are man. I am not of life as you are of life. I am life.”
Nedeseh looked at his hands differently, rubbed his thumb against the tips of his fingers. There was a bit of dirt there, but it wasn’t dirt. He looked at Aiye and became scared.
Aiye looked away from Nedeseh and said,”Now I’m sure he understands, so we may continue. Waniko, you wanted all of us to meet and we know it is for his benefit, not ours.”
Nda Waniko motioned for Nedeseh to stand before him.
“The Emptiness is more than a title, more than ability, more than the man that bears the name. As there has always been darkness with light, so there has always been an Emptiness as far back in time as there has been ‘anything’ that is. We have no doubt of this because the first Emptiness was not a man. It just ‘was’. The Emptiness of every era has been the uniting point of all things that men fear and covet in terms of power. From before the First World that belonged to things larger, not greater, than men, before the Great Darkness, before the Rise of Men, before the Great Flood, from before there were half-blood giants that walked among men, from before man ruled the world as we know it, there has always been an Emptiness. They have had different temperments, natures, names and reasons for taking up the mantle.
“Should you decide to become the Emptiness, you will see all the things done by those known to be the Emptiness.”
“All that ever were?”, Nedeseh asked.
“All known to be the Emptiness. Those that were and those that will be.”, the Emptiness corrected by emphasis.
Nedeseh had a ludicrous look on his face,”You mean you can see the future? Can you ‘go’ into the future? And how far into the future can you go?”
Aiye snapped,”Boy! You think this is a pedestrian affair?! You awakened the great dragon! I don’t care if you were directed to, that it happened means something you cannot possibly walk away from. It seems he actually took a liking to you. He has never ‘liked’ anyone. I know because I’ve been with him from before he was but an irascible infant. You don’t want to know what he was like back then.
“What you did has forced you into this circle. He told me what he saw in you and I have told Waniko, I have told the Long-Shadow king, I have told the Emptiness. I’ve debated over telling you, but between what all four have said of you, I think you can handle this truth.
“You are not an Emptiness. You are too old inside. Too old. What you are and what you will become…I’ve told no one about what you will become. That stays between me and ‘the impossible’.”
Aiye spoke gently,”This is my doing. Are you even curious about what makes you too old?”
“That is what makes you too old. No curiousity. You’ve seen too much too quickly. There is no drive to use power. You will end up sitting on it rather than maintain the delicate balance that depends on your being the Emptiness.”
Nedeseh looked at the Emptiness, then to the Long-Shadow king.
“Are you telling me that the world is run between ‘all’ of you?”
The Long-Shadow king had a laugh in his voice, but not on his face.
“No. Anyone born of a woman cannot run the world. Aiye is an effect of the one who runs all things, boy. He was there when you went through your first death. He was the one that permitted your seed to take in Amina’s womb. He is the one who knows each and every star by name. It is he who keeps or discards them. What we do here is to keep our part of the world safe from the rest of the world who have less obvious and yet even ‘stranger’ things than earth giants.”
Nda Waniko cleared his throat and said,”The boy’s intuition is powerful. Sadly he is not the next Emptiness. We will have to find the next one ourselves…”
“Or…” the Emptiness said,”We will wait for him to find us.”
As he said this he looked at Aiye who nodded.
“He will find ‘you’ and he will do terrible things with the power. Nedeseh won’t be able to stand up to him, so it will be best that he should not be noticed by the one who is coming.”
The Emptiness smiled at Nedeseh and said,”It is not your duty to avenge me, boy. There are many things you still need to learn. Aiye, was right. That you did what you’ve done so far, that is amazing. But it is not enough for you to rise to becoming a member of the Council of the Half-Moon chamber. Do you want still want to be?”
Nedeseh looked at everything in a glance. His life before his first death, his life before and after Amina, his life in the nearest future…and he realised what the Emptiness was telling him. He had out-grown ambition. He had out grown the mysteries of the path by too much, too soon.
“I will have to think about it.”
He left them and he found his way to something that men wish for, but would abuse.