They were having a tea party on the shore of the lake.
8. A gift and a door
As if by agreement they never discussed the Stranger and the
weird events occurring on the lighthouse island. They talked about
many things; Ezoxu seemed to be endlessly hungry for news; Nlaminer
carved a flute and played several songs. His two companions listened
with great interest. It was hard for Nlaminer to view their host as a
regular creature; he knew his image of Marrkes was an illusion. It was
custom for him to behave like his visitors (or devotees ?). Nlaminer felt
awe that made him silent and embarrassed at times.
They built a modest hut out of dead branches in the nearby
forest; the tea they drank gave them enough energy for even hard
work, should they choose to perform that. Nlaminer sat for many hours
observing two forces living in his mind; here at Ezoxu's home his
powers were getting stronger. But the dual presence was still
separating him from his other side. Ezoxu didn't force him to speak
when he was unwilling; Rhissa was always eager to talk to the god
and Nlaminer felt strange discomfort about that.
Days passed; once Ezoxu asked him, when Rhissa was not
near, "What disturbs you, Nlaminer ?"
His piercing eyes couldn't be fooled. But Nlaminer was unable to
express his feelings and he just shrugged. "I know humans raised
you; I know you are wondering where lies your homeworld. Will you
feel better if I say your parents are still alive and remember you
Nlaminer shook the gloom off himself at once. "What..."
"No," Ezoxu raised his hand. "Let's not speak of your world.
There are bright and dark ages there, too. You came
from that world, but you have duties elsewhere. You have a beautiful
friend. I will tell you one thing only; you are not alone, Nlaminer.
The one that carried you from your home did that intentionally. I
cannot tell you more. But keep in mind, you are not alone. Your
fate is of your own making. Even gods cannot change your life if you
don't choose it."
The darkness fell from his eyes. Ezoxu touched him for a moment
and a crack inside his soul disappeared immediately. "Your powers
will help you if you keep your spirit alive." They began
telling stories of their lives; Ezoxu listened as well as talked.
Rhissa sat beside Nlaminer; the conversation lasted until stars
began to shine on the darkening sun.
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