A Shimmering Palace of Silver (Passus 1)(5) [Living Annotations]

This way is slower, yes, technically, but you feel that it is much safer. If you had been foolhardy enough to run wild like an unsupervised five-year-old, you would probably be in some damp pit right now doing gosh-knows what with heavens know who.

So you inch yourself along the way, back facing the vicious shimmering light. With your arms positioned against the wall as if a police officer where patting down your body like in the movies, you move to block the rays and manage to make a small, thin shadow against the wall as you agonizingly make your way along; softly touching the silver wall with your outstretched hands, you measure your progress in the number of times you place your left hand where your right hand was just a moment ago.

Progress has been slow.

Thanks to the weak shadow, however, you are able to discern vague inscriptions on the wall. It isn’t much progress but you will take whatever you can in this apparent light oven. It seems like hours pass but you finally make a revelation; or, perhaps, a revelation makes you– the wall starts talking to you.

“Ay, I’ve been seeing many of your kind lately, young Select.” The wall said in a grave voice like it could barely piece together the syllables. “I confess that I don’t know why each of you clings to the wall like birds bathing in a puddle.”

Choosing to ignore the wall’s obvious attempts to bait you into a lengthy monologue, you ask it about your purpose in this place.

“This place? It is of idols and prophets. An odd thing to ask, Select. It is like a tower but not quite. This is the place before the tower. Its outskirts, so to speak. But not exactly.”

Not the most informative. But you move on and try to find another stretch of more informative wall. You say thanks and begin to shuffle along the silver wall.

“Wait…” the wall says, materializing in front of you once more, ripples spreading out from the smooth surface, and despite having left it behind at least fifteen minutes ago. “Faith and structure is something you should not forget, Select. I’ve seen several of your kind phase in and out of this reality in a vain attempt to discover the secret that the Greats– like Ceaser– tried and failed to unlock. You cannot uncover it by force. Only by fidelity.”

“Well, I am in search of a tower, I supposed, but am not certain. I saw a vision of a tower as well as a depressing dungeon.”

“Yes, I know,” said the wall, “you saw what all Select see. You saw the beginning. The start of a new age.”

And then, the wall vanishes. Its surface once again smooth.

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