Wednesday, June 13, 2018

Page 1824

((Triple Wednesday -- Page 3 of 3))
Overra noticed the absence of Ettol’s soul as well, of course, but she could offer no explanation for it, and after a while longer of observing the statue crumbling to dust, there was nothing left to be done here.

Nothing, that was, except gathering up some of the remains. He’d been afraid of touching the sludge, but this pile of dust seemed safer, somehow. It was just dust, after all. Not some some sort of semi-living abomination of nature.

If he’d known that he would be collecting scientific samples when he came out here, he would have dressed very differently. His overcoat did have an abundance of pockets, but it was hardly an appropriate means of carrying a dead man’s ashes.

What a strange day it had turned out to be.

When his pockets were nearly full, his mind returned to the sludge from earlier. He looked over at it, and sure enough, it was still there, still pulsing gently.

He had to admit that he was curious. God help him, he was. After what he’d just witnessed, how could he not be? And he already knew that he had Overra’s go ahead...

Maybe just a quick touch.

He started toward it again.

Oh?’ said Overra. ‘Are you going to capture it, after all?

I’m considering it.

Don’t let me pressure you into it.

What, now you don’t want me to?

No, I do. Of course I want you to. But I will admit that it may be a bad idea.

...Do you have an actual reason for saying that, or is this just a feeling you have?

I’ve just started to recall hearing a few ancient stories where living beings are turned to stone. An hour ago, I would have told you that they were just stories--or, barring that, perhaps the work of servants. But now...?

I see. Can you tell me anything more about these stories, then? Specifics?

Of course I can. There are several to choose from. Which one would you like to hear?

I don’t want to hear any of them. I want you to exercise good judgment and inform me of any relevant information that might contained within them.

I am not certain I like your tone.

Overra.

She sighed. ‘Oh, very well. If I think about it... then... I suppose there is the Tale of the Stone Prince. In it, a prince who defies the will of heaven is about to become king. But instead, he is turned to stone and watches as his kingdom achieves great prosperity under the tutelage of his blessed younger brother.

What part of that story is relevant to our circumstances here?

I don’t know. I’m still thinking.

Overra, please.

What? Are you in a rush? The sludge isn’t going anywhere, and you want me to get this right, don’t you?

He exhaled. ‘Yes. Fine. Take your time. It’s not like a there’s an army in the south that could invade Montero or anything, right?

There is that tone again.

Just hurry up, would you?

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