Foxfire scampered out of the graveyard with nary a look backwards. She ran on all fours to a hill overlooking the area, gazing down into the village some distance away. The mourners have by now arrived and have been heading back to their own homes. It seems once the burial was complete, the funeral was done. Likely the day itself was used to memorialize the deceased, which is why they left to bury him relatively late in the day when evening was approaching.
To avoid the risk of becoming Lost again, Foxfire only stayed in her silver vixen form fo long enough to survey the town and look for trouble. She then twisted and contorted her shape, shifting from her bestial form to her humanoid one with grace. She used the motion and momentum of her form shift to glide gently down into a lotus position upon the hilltop. Her coin chain sword hung limply about her waist like a belt. She gave a soft touch to the hilt, contemplating it and other matters.
“Make your own spell,” said the ghost. She mused quietly to herself. It’s easy to say that, but hard to do. For all the good it did, the advice may as well have been, “Conquer the world,” or “Live forever”. It’s like saying the key to living long is to not die. Simple to say, but how to do?
Foxfire gave a soft sigh and glanced again about. At this time of night, there was nothing interesting going on, nor people moving about. Without such a distraction to keep her mind off of things, she once again tried to contemplate things. Foxfire fell on her back on the hill and gazed upwards. The night sky was dark but pretty, the various stars shining quietly.
Foxfire remembered some of her constellations from before her time as the Lost. She also recalled the theory that the stars were powerful life engines of giant and powerful heroes of old. That, together, a number of them was the actual body of the being, thus making the constellation. And she heard a theory that some of those bodies that travel so high up in the heavens are still alive and still fighting against one another. To be amongst those beings!
There was the Emperor and the God of Destruction. The Will of Evolution and the Chaos Bringer. Steel Dragon and White Knight. The Sword and Shield. The Energy Matrix and Great Creator. The Dark Emperor looked to be fighting her personal favorite, Wise Sage.
There were others of course, but Foxfire was focused on those, for they were the ones that were immediately above her head and easy to view from where she lay. She imagined the various constellations fighting a slow but terrible battle across the great void of space, shifting her eyes side to side as if watching them battle one against the other. Then she narrowed her eyes, using her greatly enhanced perception to try to see into space clearer, to see if she could see the actual beings. But even with her sight, she could not see anything like a physical body.
Foxfire gave a soft sigh and chastised herself some. Enough procrastinating. If she really venerated the Wise Sage and thought herself anywhere close to his capabilities, she’d have to live up to those standards! Besides, she has a calling, a purpose, and others are relying on her! With a short benediction of, “Please light my path, Wise Sage,” she sat up again, back into the lotus position.
She grabbed the hilt of her coin chain sword and unwound it from her waist, flicking her wrist to make the coins clink quickly into the sword shaped position. She gave it a few swings, studying it in motion, but once again thought of how useless it would be as a sword. It’s still not likely to cut a branch off a tree, as the edges of the coins have not been sharpened or modified in any way.
She held it in front of her, straight, chin level, her eyes focused on the tip. This she did with her left hand, while her right hand she raised upwards and twisted her fingers slightly. Her first two she held raised, the hand in a mystical position, this next to the sword’s hilt, her two upward pointing fingers just inches from her mouth. She took three deep breaths then held herself fully and completely still for a time.
Only her mind moved. At first it raced about, thinking about the ghost, and the constellations, and wondering if the ghost she just met may, perhaps, become a constellation, if only a minor one. She thought of Wise Sage descending from the heavens to point her in the right direction. She thought of funerals and living an utterly bestial life. Then she understood that the Wise Sage walked their own path and she would have to walk her own. While she’d enjoy the aid, she knew in her heart that true understanding of yourself meant being your own guide. So she focused on the tip of the sword more, trying to lose herself in it to slide into a deep state of meditation.
It took some time before she felt herself begin to fade a bit. She felt herself starting to lose her mindful consciousness and resisted the urge to pull back. She had to meditate deeply and look in on herself. It was with effortless effort that her ancient teacher told her to do that she finally let slip of herself and her surroundings and slid deep into pure meditation.
She felt herself without a body, weightless and emepheral, incorporeal but at the same time impermeable. She felt her true, inner self unshackle from the body and weight of the world. Foxfire flew with speed towards the graveyard she just left, but stopped quite some distance away. On a spiritual plane, there was a sense of wrong despair here, a forboding essence that scared her. She flew away quickly.
Instead she went to the village nearby, thinking that may be a better place to be. But people were asleep, and the chaos world of the dreamscape had its pall fallen about the place, and she felt a wrongness after coming close to it. Something about the ever shifting nature of dreams prevented her from willingly entering the village proper.
She flickered back and forth, noticing the differences between the two locations. In one, the dead ruled in their stillness. In the other, the sleeping living ruled in their fervent commotion. The contrast was somewhat unsettling, so she floated above her own meditating body. Foxfire stayed there a bit, looking at herself. She knew that if she went in meditating on a particular question, she’d have focus now, that her meditative, spiritual self would have something to do. But she did not, for ‘how to make a spell’ was too general of a thought that she may be lost meditating upon just that. If she knew what spell she wanted to make, she may have a chance meditating on ‘how to make my spell’, but she had not thought out yet what she wanted her spell to do.
So, she floated. And while floating, she looked at the constellations on the spiritual realm. Here, they were different. Not just twinkling stars, she could see here the auras and bodies of the heroes and villians that the constellations are. She flew upwards a good bit, before she felt the invisible cord that tied her spirit to her body gently tug on herself, keeping her only halfway to heaven. Perhaps, once she was done with her body, one day she may travel the rest of the way. But that day was not this day.
Instead, at the utmost height she could achieve, she looked to the constellation of Wise Sage, and asked, “Are you there?” She paused for some time, as if waiting for an answer, then conceded, “No, of course not.” She pointed upwards at the constellation, “And if you were, you’d be too busy for those of us still living upon this world of rust and unconcerned with worldly affairs, I wager! Just because you think yourself so high and wonderful, being some of the stars in the heavens!” She waited a bit more, watching to see if her chastisement worked at all, but only saw the twinkling of the stars making the constellation she was vocalizing to. Then a shrug was given, “I don’t know what to talk to you about anyway. If I ask you how to make magic, you’d likely misinterpret me and teach me the very basics. I know how to cast spells, that’s not the question. If I ask how to make a specific spell, you’d likely give me the grand theory of magic, inundating me with information overload, giving me everything I need for ten lifetimes but hiding what I need now in too much data.” A sigh and a tap of her chin, “And I wouldn’t ask you how I am to make my spell, for my spell is mine. It is for me alone to make, and perhaps to use.” A grin is given coyly to the stars, “I’m sure you’d be jealous of it, however! It would be such a grand spell that even the stars would twinkle in the joy of it!” foxfire looked around a bit, shrugged, and headed back towards her body.
Halfway down, she heard from the heavens, “I’m sure it will, and look forward to it.”
Foxfire did not turn around to speak to Wise Sage. She just smirked and used a minor spell to make dancing balls of fire in the shape of the Wise Sage’s constellation, then rearranged them to make a shape of a five tailed silver vixen.
There was a laugh before the voice again said, “The pathway to the stars is open to all. But not to the ones who listen to their own words.”
Foxfire darted her head back to the stars a moment while hovering near her meditating body. Her spirit felt a tug to her body, like a magnet attracting a ferrous metal, but she resisted a bit. She quirked a brow, hmming softly to herself, “My own words…huh?”
Foxfire thought of all she said to the Wise Sage when she thought they weren’t hearing her. Unconcerned about worldly affairs? No, that was not it. Helping others is her goal, that requires some interest in the workings of the world. It is, after all, where life happens, Lost or not. She then thought about the making of magic.
Flashes of images crossed over her mind and her spirit jerked some from the information overload. She was seeing a past life, her own past life, from before she became Lost. Days, years, and decades worth of teaching came flooding back to her in mere seconds. She saw one teacher blend into another as their lessons came back to her in a flood. The dam was not only broken, she made it vanish completely as if it were not there, and she was attempting to drink all the water flooding from an evaporated damn at once. It was intense, and she saw her physical body shaking as her physical mind was assaulted by the data in the same way her spiritual mind was. But she knew that, somewhere, those few drops of water she needed now was in that great lake of knowledge she just dove into.
Foxfire’s spirit form dropped to her knees and she recoiled a bit from the sensation. She instinctively wanted to turn into her silver vixen form and hide in her bestial mind, but fought the urge while fighting losing herself within all this information. With sheer determination and patience, she finally calmed down and held the information securely and safely within her mind.
She knew what she needed. Somewhere. It was there within her mind, she just had to find exactly where it was. She was just glad that she did not become a different kind of Lost, whose spiritual mind was inundated to the point of catatonia, her body resting forever in that meditative pose.
And as she merged her spiritual form and physical again, her eyes snapped wide and she blurted aloud, “A different kind of Lost!”