Book VII Ch 6: Starry-Eyed
The Cathedral of a Thousand Roses
Laps-Lucienne, The Reverie
Giovan Giers stood on the balcony of the great castle, looking out over the dreamscape before him as lumynos and leupaks wandered past, engaged in their own business.
The sky glowed and flashed like a jewel, although there were no suns to be found at the moment, and a cool breeze tickled his skin.
Far below, silvery trees swayed gracefully, weighed down by thousands of multicolored birds and the arboreal beasts who hunted them, lunging out onto the canopy to snatch a feathery morsel.
As he watched, his mind wandered; being in the Reverie felt too much like dreaming to him.
It was far too difficult to resist letting sleep take him and do what it may.
But a familiar voice snapped him to attention again, throbbing like electricity through his synapses.
What is this place? You have crossed into another plane.
The Prince-- as the symbiotic entity had insisted upon being called-- had awakened. His presence in the back of Giovan's mind was attentive and curious; despite the pull of the Reverie's magical energies, the scientist felt his focus returning.
He always remembered how weak and human he was when the outsider's powerful influence flowed through his body.
"This is the Reverie-- the realm of dreams, where my lord and master lives. As an organization, our presence in the material plane is minor, and mostly temporary.
As you've seen, my former occupation was as a researcher in the so-called 'real' world, studying the effects of near-fatal Mirajin exposure on the minds of sentient people.
I'll be doing work here for a while now, though, helping new iicarn and daedlans get accustomed to their new roles and teaching quaggies about the material world... and how poorly they can expect to be treated in it by the native folk, should they consider participating."
Gio wasn't entirely confident that he was the man for such a job, but he was willing to do his best. Splitcha had been taxing and dangerous work, and he welcomed a change of scenery and a chance to get to know the other side of the Organization's capital city.
Away from the Corruptor, the creature said.
"The... corruptor? Oh, the creepy old man." Giovan frowned.
"Yeah, he's not allowed to come here. I'm as glad for that as you are, I bet."
Let me use your hands, the entity said, and Giovan found them moving of their own accord before he could protest or agree.
He heard strange, trembling sounds resonating through his mind as his hands wove intricate patterns through the air.
As suddenly as the involuntary movements began, his hands dropped to his sides once more. The air around him seemed to shift and distort.
With a soft pop, a dimple formed in the space before him, and three small, dark creatures crawled into being from within, their eyes shining a brilliant ice-blue that matched Giovan's own. Two nearby lumynos stopped in their tracks at once, eyeing Giovan with growing concern.
"... what is this? They look like the tiny demons the old man summons sometimes, but..."
These are the beings your people--and the Corruptor-- call "imps", as they truly are without his influence.
They are servants of the Starchildren. My kin.
He has stolen thousands of them from our home and changed them against their will.
He attempted to do the same with us, and failed, but I have seen the things he calls "viadante"... and they are pitiful mimicries of our people.
I do not like him, the Prince said, and Gio felt the entity's anger and hatred in his own heart.
"You knew him before we merged, even? Are you sure--"
I am sure, vessel; I would recognize that energy pattern from a universe away.
If you had not been disoriented and weak when I was first summoned, I would have torn him to shreds at once.
We will together, in time.
Gio shuddered, carefully taking the little imps into his arms.
The dark-skinned creatures clung tightly to his arms, buzzing and whistling in their strange, otherworldly language like living radios.
They were a sight better than Nigel's horrible little devils.
"I--we have to talk the Lord-Doctor about this. He'll know what to do.
In the meantime, the least we can do is make sure he keeps out of inner Organization affairs, and well away from the Brooding Grounds.
I doubt Nef will protest, either... friendly as the guy might pretend to be, anyone willing to mess with big-time necromancy is worth using caution around.
There's no telling what he might have planned for the leupaks, if this's true, and it'd break the Lord-Doctor's heart if anything happened to them."
So you understand.
I am glad to have joined with you, vessel. You are intelligent, the Prince said approvingly.
Gio headed for the staircase, frowning at the lumynos gazing at him with wide eyes.
"What are you looking at?
I had official business with myself, okay? Geez, some dreamkin..."
Next Chapter: Book VII Chapter VII
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