The story so far: Tollon and his friends have cross into another world to fight a god. But there is more than one god in play, and Tollon ran afoul of one of them. Now read on . . .
I’m sitting on a mountain slope watching the sunset, when I realize I’ve been sitting here a while, but have no idea how I got here. I turn and see Mia sitting beside me. So I ask the obvious. “Where are we, Mia? And how did I get here?”
Mia smiles at me. “You’re Tollon, now, aren’t you?”
“Who else would I be?”
“Mrokitar,” she replies.
I remember. I talked with Mrokitar. I made the mistake of challenging Mrokitar. I think I became Mrokitar. “What have I been doing?”
“Setting up a battle, I’d say,” Mia tells me. “You sent all the Tebestora school people home, transformed Alesca, Katrina, and Strunstur, and brought us here.”
Mia’s smile fades. “You forced Alseca to spend an entire day doing research in the library, without any breaks for food, water, or even relieving herself. I had to plead with you to get you to remove your control. As for what you did to Katrina and Strunstur, you’ll see when you meet them. They’re up there.” And she gestures behind us.
I look up the slope. There is a temple on the top of the mountain.
I shake my head. “I remember none of this.”
“You were Mrokitar. Probably Mrokitar and Tollon, both. Alesca is not sure whether you have a distinct identity anymore.”
“I’m me,” I exclaim.
“That, no one doubts,” Mia replies. “But who ‘you’ embraces is the question.”
I get up. “I should talk to the learned lady.”
Mia gets up as well. “Fine. But don’t be surprised if she’s still frightened of you.”
We walk up the slope. I take a look at the architecture. It’s a temple. Its ornaments are geometrical figures, interspersed with two paired ovals. I ask, “Whose temple is this?”
Mia hesitates before answering, “Mrokitar’s. Apparently the only temple in existence dedicated to her.”
That explains the ovals. They are a pair of eyes, empty eyes.
Inside, in the main hall, I see three people sitting, talking among themselves. I’m shocked at what I see. Honorable Alencar has aged twenty years in appearance, looking positively withered. Katrina? If I didn’t know that’s who she is, I’d have trouble recognizing her. She’s now made of metal. Every point on her body is now a sharp edge, a sharp point. She is a weapon.
The three of them see us and fall silent. The third figure stands up and comes toward us. It’s Honorable Strunstur. He’s dressed in a robe suitable for a priest. And he’s torn his eyes out. He falls down in front of me. “O great Mrokitar, She Who Walks Through Worlds.”
Mrokitar’s priest. My priest. My temple. It’s time I used my temple. I stride forward to the altar, my priest trailing behind me. My priest falls down on the floor behind the altar, and I stand on him. The other three are compelled to come before the altar.
I look around the temple. Geometric designs, and eyes. But they are not empty eyes. No, they are closed eyes. I make them open. A thousand eyes open on every ceiling, wall, and column, every surface of my temple. Now my eyes are everywhere. Their power pervades the temple. The humans see the eyes look into them and become mine. Even the fairy can find no escape from my eyes. She barely cries out before she becomes one of my tools.
I am ready. Come, Ovedisca.
(To be continued . . .)