Mika was standing over something muttering. “Definitely… hmmm… yeah…”
I was sitting up in the bed watching. She seems to have reassembled the runes I had laid out the night before on the floor. One of her hands was on her cheek, the other was tracing lines in the air. “Hmmmmmmm… I see… Yeah…”
Uh… what do you see? “Morning…?”
Mika looked over at me and smiled uneasily. “I have some bad news for you…”
Did I mess the configuration up or something? I stood up and walked over to the runes, and looked down at them. They looked right. “Did I mess up somewhere?”
“Unfortunately, no. Actually, not only can I not find anything wrong, I also can’t understand how you actually used every single possible configuration with these few runes.” Smiling nervously still, she winced a bit.
Well, It was a bit like the optimal generalist arrangement. That is what I was going for. Sure you could add more power sources, and more of one type of entity materialization, or another, but this at least allowed all functions possible with minimal amount of runes. Well, all multiplied by 2. I did put a little bit of oomph to it. This would allow me to do, from a minimal amount of effort, every type of… uh… rune science? Whatever, it’s magic to me.
I’m smiling with pride, obviously. “Good, so, what’s the bad news?”
“Uh, hmm, well,” she’s looking away and off to the side, then back to the runes. “I can’t incribe this. It’s too much for me. It would take me… much longer than we have.” Mika’s voice tapered off at the end.
“Oh.” I see, I guess that may be problematic. My thought was to get everything we needed before becoming the ‘Offering.’ In that way, we could be somewhat well prepared. I sighed in resignation. “That’s okay, we’ll just have to do what we can.” There is no use in crying over spilt milk. “Could we do part of it, then do the rest over time?” We can’t be completely unprepared, after all.
Thinking for a moment, she nodded in assertion. “Yes, i think if we pick one branch, and focus on that, we can do that in the time we have.”
There was a grumble from my stomach at that moment, and I’d be lying if I didn’t say I was famished since I awoke. Mika empathized with me and suggested “Maybe we should eat first.”
“Hah, yeah.” I scratched the back of my head. “So when do you think they will come to get us for the offering? I’m not sure how long days are here since i’ve never seen the sun go down yet. I’d like to understand how much longer we have here.”
Mika grabbed two fruits, passed one to me, then asked an odd question: “Days? Sun? You use so many strange words. What are days?”
“Uh… so days are how long it takes for the sun to go around the planet, usually twelve hours or so for a day, and 12 hours for night. And the sun is a giant ball of fire in the sky that provides all the light for a planet. I assumed that maybe days were extra long on this planet since I’ve never seen the sun go down. Although, the trees are so thick, I actually haven’t seen the sky either… Now that I think about it, maybe the world is tidally locked. Is there a night here?”
I had been watching Mika’s expression, and she had a complicated look as if she didn’t have a clue what I was talking about. “I don’t know about any of that. Wouldn’t everything burn up if there was a giant ball of fire though?”
Ah, so this world doesn’t have any sort of concept of space nor celestial bodies. “So… is there anywhere where you can look up and not see the trees or anywhere where there isn’t light?”
Mika became serious, and responded. “No, the trees provide all. There is nothing but the trees and us. You shouldn’t question such things, you will offend the elder.”
These trees held some serious religious powers over their populace. I suppose if you literally provided everything, from food (water), clothing, and housing, it’s not surprising. Still, it seemed to make these types of conversations complicated. How do you discuss these topics without being shut out? It’s like natural curiosity was actively inhibited.
I ate my fruit thinking in silence. Mika did the same. It was delicious. I will miss this food once we leave. I wonder if we can take some with us, or if they also grow where we will be going?
The light in the room dimmed as someone entered in the doorway.
“The Tree spoke and said that it is time.”
Thanks for the support! I am in your care! (I found someone to do a banner…. but… I know sometimes they aren’t always the most timely of people)