A few nights later….
Resplendent in her magnificent backless evening gown, smiling and exuberant in the aftermath of another fine evening of feasting and dancing with the Lord of Shin Ling, and her friends. Caris closes the door to her rooms behind her and sweeps through the darkened rooms, her long thick hair billowing out behind her, its russet tones darker still in the shadowed rooms. Not even stopping to put up a light she headed straight for the balcony to open the fusty room to the late night air and the lovely moon.
Throwing open the double doors she strides out onto the balcony, a goddess in green and gold, overlooking the breathtaking view of the glorious city scape. The fresh night air gently cooling her wine, dance and adoration flushed skin. The city is bejeweled in lanterns a sea of colors, with bright fire flies swirling here and there as if in competition with the lanterns but all paling before the majesty of the divine moon. The great homes, pagodas and dojos of the city glittering in the night lights. The brisk night air bringing the welcoming scents of jasmine and cherry blossom, cedar and pine. The sights and sounds of the magical evening giving rise to a feeling of wonder and impossibility within her, spirits soaring.
“Quite a night, Lady Ambrodel.” Grey whispers from the darkness behind her, causing Caris to jump and whirl around. To find Grey gliding towards her from within her rooms, in his austere grey Benedictine style robes, his silver hair pulled back over his pointed ears but otherwise unbound, even to Caris’ hawk like vision he appears as nothing more than a faint ghost until he crosses the threshold onto the balcony and into the silvery moonlight.
Grey glides up to the railing beside her, ignoring her obvious agitation,
“Such an exquisite view. Then again, for a city as semi secluded and as rich in history as this, we should expect nothing less. I have similar view in mind for the future of Fan Lu. I wish my home safety and prosperity and, I know that without a doubt, it will be so with my presence there, where I can make the difference to my people.”
In his soft voice, the genuine determination and resolution of his vision coming through to Caris clearly, somewhat easing her agitation she turns to lean against the rail beside Grey.
“We are like those stars, my dear,” He says pointing up at the bright stars overhead. “We live our lives in one bright spot at a time, traveling through the unknown darkness from the next and the next and so on and so forth. Only seeing the patterns when we stop to look back. There is your constellation” He whispers pointing off to the eastern sky, “The celestial archer. Look at all those bright spots that make up the wondrous pattern. From one to another and on until the pattern has been completed.” Grey lets his voice fade and silence reigns for a moment.
Grey turns away leaning his back against the railing and looking into the darkness of Caris’ rooms behind them. Special rooms in the palace, a gift from The Lord of Shin Ling, ostensibly rooms befitting her glorious stature and rank but more likely than not just to have her closer to him.
“And then what? Blindly into the unknown again to trek from bright spot to bright spot again forming a new pattern? Or do we eventually become content with a specific pattern and our places within it. You for example. The golden lady of Shen Ling Reborn, the victorious heroin and vanquisher of Grimeye.” He continues on voice low and steady.
“She who returned the unicorn to the land. High Priestess of Elhonna, probably the greatest Holy Woman in these southlands. She whose story grows daily. This land is such a balanced combination of elven and human, a land where your own faith is on par with that of the indigenous gods and spirits. A land where Elhonna has been accepted by the faiths and peoples of Yun Shan. Probably because she did not come as a usurper full of righteous fury and crusader mentality, she came gently and sought not to dominate the local religions but to blend with them to become part of something greater. I can tell you know that there is no other place in Yun Shan like this, probably even in the whole of our world.” Grey says, the awe and respect for Shen Ling evident, as they both turn back to the remarkable view of Shen Ling. Grey placing one remarkably warm hand low upon Caris’ back.
“Sometimes the Gods, the Spirits, Destiny, Fate whatever you wish to call it, shows us the pattern and its end. A unique kindness I think. Sometimes we see it for ourselves.” He pauses here for a moment overcome for a moment by the weight of what he is sharing, “In my travels I have witnessed once or twice a place where I could have stopped. I could have hung up my hat and been happy, content even, instead I chose to forge on. I now look back at those times and am left to wonder “what If?” Grey finishes slowly turning away placing his hands back into the sleeves of his somber robes leaving Caris to ponder his quiet words.
Lost in the myriad of thoughts suddenly evoked by her strange friend and just before her keen hearing registered the sound of the doors to her suite closing she heard Grey quiet clearly
“ …and the Lord of Shen Ling is an awfully handsome fellow.”
The obvious humor and goodwill managed to resonate the distance before the door closed.