Darrion stared, dazed, into Amarya's face as she loomed above him, concern defining her frame. Lifting himself, he sat, uncertain how he had come to lie upon the ground. He did not remember falling; he had no recollection.
"You did well,” the elf congratulated, extending a slender hand.
Darrion rubbed his head, feeling a tenderness that had not been there before. "What happened?" he asked, taking her hand and rising.
"I saw not of your mind, but from what I could figure, you gained entrance to the thoughts of a rambling oak. I know this to be true, for I could see your eyes swimming beneath the lids. Such does not occur unless a connection is made.” Amarya beamed, eyes sparkling with pride despite her pupil’s faint. With eager strides, she began smoothing the creases of his tunic. "You drifted too far, however – missing the mark. Your focus broke upon more than a single entity; your mind roamed in places it was not meant. As a result, your consciousness receded, and your celestial bond forged hollow spaces to compensate. Once that barrier snapped, the voices of many within the Illex, not merely the trees, poured through you. It was an overload of understanding – most mortals cannot handle such. But no need to fret; you’ve far surpassed the most capable of beginners. I am simply surprised you made contact at all."
Darrion stepped back, feeling the lightness of his chest. With clouded thoughts, he speculated the feat he had barely attained. Few words could describe his awe - the confusion - that enveloped him. Dizziness clothed him as a tumbled reed.
Resting one palm against the bark of an oak, he listened - intent - as though searching for a beating heart against the trunk. Despite his wavering state, he was glad for Amarya’s tutelage. This feeling… it was almost surreal.
"To my knowledge, never has a human discerned as much as you.” Amarya’s pale hand sought Darrion's shoulder, and he melted at her touch. "I'm uncertain what it means - for indeed, your ability comes as no coincidence… But the mortal mind proves oft unable to comprehend the spiritual realm. Not that it's impossible, but man forgets his possession. He knows not of the awareness beyond material senses. You, Darrion, are not like other men. You – you’re different." She shifted her jaw, examining him as if for answers.
"It’s true… I never knew the depths to which magic strayed," Darrion murmured, almost trembling from his ethereal venture. "I used to think it all frivolous tricks of the tongue."
"Not quite,” Amarya offered. "Those who perform incantations, as you suggest, are sorcerers - mere magicians who rely on handholds and false words to create masked illusions. In some cases – nigh, but rare - such illusions become reality. Regardless, the art lacks in form. Words are the derivation of mortals - a human contrivance, unnecessary for understanding. They are not real, as nature is real. Nay, words are but crude concepts – trivial in the matter of divine understanding. What is meant in one tongue may be opposite in another. How can a concept so unsure create something so pure? The answer is simple: it cannot.”
-–Scene from Empyreal Fate - Part One of Rachel Hunter’s Llathalan Annal series.
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