By Memerberries

(5) Irony

The journey back to the citadel should have taken four days, but as the third sunrise broke, their swift pace and early start led them through the western gates. Little notice was paid to two innocuous travelers, but Milos followed his brother’s lead nervously.

“Bear no mind to them,” Torvak said gently, motioning Milos away from advancing street sellers that appeared both peasant-like yet pristinely dressed. Milos noticed Torvak’s deep gaze more distinctly here, and the commanding effect it could have on anyone who met his eyes. The grail he possessed really had changed him. Or would he lose this spiritual confidence if it was relinquished?

Torvak moved calmly through broad city-streets with Milos on his heels, navigating around the neat, sand colored structures as they took in the morning’s warm rays, alchemizing rooftops into bright golden caps. He paused, looking up towards the montage windows above a cul-de-sac, before leading Milos in a different direction. The two made their way into a narrower back-alley and slipped securely into the entrance chamber that appeared to Milos as some sort of filing office.

The man sitting in the only desk saw Torvak and halfway-rose in apprehension as if to say something, but reactively nodded when seeing Milos, before returning mutely to his tasks. He was strained in this effort, Milos noticed, as Torvak unhesitatingly glided towards the stone stairway. The two made their way up into a wider library room, devoid of life or energy save for a small older man half the stature of either of the brothers. He looked up at them with the same frail glee that had explored the documents strewn around him a moment before.

“You might find… This to be quite interesting, young Torvak.” The man squeaked unhurriedly, unbothered by Torvak’s absence, his return, or his new companion. He held up a scroll that from across the room could be surmised to have been written not in ink, given the thickness, & deep red crimson color. Sitting next to the old scroll was another document written on an otherworldly parchment, an almost clear-as-glass piece of paper, playfully curled up like the scroll, perhaps stored together for some time.

Torvak did not respond, moving closer to examine both and seeing quickly the poetry written on each scroll. The blood-colored parchment had no title.

Let’s talk of broken things, Not worn out things, Neglected things, Or what the simple weather brings.

Let’s talk of what the mourner sings, Of stricken grief, of devil stings. Let’s see the rivers’ carryings, On down the way diluting things. Let’s talk of underneath those springs, Where muddied lives will never ring.

Those simple secrets, silenced stories, They were never talked about.

Milos watched on as Torvak gently slid a finger across the document, then moved his focus to the glass-like parchment to read what appeared to be a mocking response. There was a title here.

Smol Song

Let’s talk about what’s past the bling, The flex & bluster rippling, Through NFT’s and leveraging, To those just rekt from gambling.

Let’s lindy-walk the next big thing, No price-exposure worrying, No VC lock-ups posturing, No liquid troubles festering.

Let’s vibe along in summoning, Not rituals and whispering. Just new tradition distributing, The wagmi cure for financing.

Those little joys, the priceless minting. They were never really vibed about.

Torvak, perplexed by the barely coherent dialect, still sensed that this was a sort of intellectual parrying between civilizations, either ancient or simply so foreign that their ways & technologies were unknown. But his little old friend would not have been so enraptured in the documents if not for their importance to the task at hand. This was a major clue.

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