As the Palace before, the Theater was splendid and magnificient.
10. Alone in the mist
Nlaminer saw nothing that would be appropriate for a theater still.
Passages and corridors went round and round, spiraling to some
mysterious underground void. Many doors, all of them locked. There
was nobody around, though he heard voices and music, and all sounds
of normal undisturbed life. To hear it here, it was weird, too.
He spent a hour to make a trip around the outermost passage. He
wouldn't descend down any staircases yet. If he found nothing new and
returned to the bridge entrance, he would think of visiting some
other floors. He had water enough to live here for several days; and
little food, too. He thought of Rhissa and frowned. What if she is
also in some stone labyrinth, with no water, no food, nothing at all
but her vivid spirit and clerical skills ? Well, right now he could
do nothing. He sent her his greetings... hoping she will feel them,
and stepped on staircase. Like the passage he had just left, it was
lit by a light globes attached to the walls. The walls were of a very
fine carving, with textures rich and interesting. Whoever built this
Theater, he had excellent imagination.
Radial passages crossed the lower round passage. He saw
human-like and other figures coming through the passages in the
distance; the air was a bit dusty but not stagnant. He tried to open
the first door he saw on the curving wall and it opened easily.
It looked exactly as he could imagine it. A decent room in some
small inn far away from big cities. Fireplace with several logs
burning, a supper on a silver dish that waited for him. Sleeping
room and bathroom were farther, behind fine oaken doors. He closed
the door behind him and approached the table. A card, made of
glistening paper was lying on the dish. It said:
'The room is reserved for Nlaminer rad Haorsst, voyager.
Uaron, the Manager.'
Nlaminer fell into chair and burst into laughing. He laughed
until his throat began to pain. The whole scene was so unexpected he
could not help laughing... Then he stood, waited for several seconds
and said, "My best regards, Mr. Uaron. I appreciate you care very
much." He tried to sound as earnest as he could. Then he thought.
This Uaron, whoever he was, should know much about this place... For
Nlaminer it was more Inn than Theater. He looked at the dish and felt
a terrible hunger in the same instant.
He ate with much appetite. The tension of the last events had
consumed too much energy. When he finished, he visited the bathroom
to clean himself. His fur was so untidy... and his comb was lost
somewhere between the worlds. After a while he managed to create more
elegant appearance and returned to the fireplace.
The silver dish vanished. Instead, a small silver key was
lying on the table. Nlaminer took it; it was almost weightless. A
strange thing indeed. He shrugged and sat in the chair.
The first thing he would like to do was to understand where he is
and where is Rhissa. He was quite a novice in the mental journeys and
the rite gave him sensation these journeys need special training to
The second thing was to learn how he could leave this place and
visit any other. Preferably, to find Rhissa, wherever she was now.
The third thing was to learn what so-called Toxxar was doing and
why he ceased to pursue him. He felt no mental oppression any more.
That was pleasant, but was giving unquiet feelings, too.
I should find Uaron, he decided. After I rest for a while. Beside
the warm fireplace, in the comfortable chair he soon was dozing. His
mind was gathering efforts to find a solution to the three problems.
Meanwhile his body rested.
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