To escape a bit from the bitter taste which floated over the village after Aurora's accident, Anthelm decided to go to Irizdar. He invited Nellio, what Adenankar approved. He had no need to invite Algenio and Liouna and of course Elnadjine. All five therefore went to Irizdar.
They had an appointment at dawn, on Adenankar's platform. They arrived at the hour when the crystalline silence announces the dawn. First of all, in the dark, they saw only the outline of the tree house. They landed here. Adenankar was already sitting in the middle of the moss, and Milareva, slightly behind him, was easily recognizable from her clear silhouette, as slightly luminous, and the ineffable love fragrance we always feel in her presence. Except Nellio, they were seeing her for the first time, so their little hearts started to beat, and their faces to become red of a delicious shyness. She disappeared a few seconds later.
In the deepest silence, without even a greeting, they settled together for the meditation of the dawn. Only the night echo of the torrent, faintly audible, was rising from the bottom of its bed of mist. The planetary ring at this time had regained its full splendour.
Barely a few minutes passed, and the first bird gave the signal, higher toward the village. The forest of Adenankar followed with a little delay, probably because they look to the North.
The dawn, near Adenankar's house, was also beautiful, but different, so that it was still more beautiful than in the village. Each community of birds awoke in turn, and the melody was revolving around the Eolis, in a slow majesty. A pitch heard there was found in the other side, before being covered by another, in a subtly complex score, masterfully orchestrated by chance and Providence... The sky was turning to pink between the black or purple interlacing twigs. The foliage at the top of the Hill were suddenly like flames; still some instants and a beam of gold sprang, exploring horizontally the undergrowth, and then disappeared, to transform the tops of the trees in a bright tender green stained glass.
What a grandiose Peace, in this haven of freshness! Everything they needed for the meditation of the Gardener of the Souls. Once the splendour of the day established, the doves who were nesting in the same tree began to tenderly coo in a living image of Paradise... what am I saying, they were the Heavens.
Our friends then realized that the platform of Adenankar was enlarged, not in surface, but in height, which was the same thing since its general form remained a cone pointing toward the bottom. It was made of logs cleverly trapped in various forks, and, over time, permanently sealed in place by the growth of the trunk. It was a quite elaborate construction, despite its rusticity. A varnish was protecting the sensitive parts, forming films which guided rainwater off some critical locations, leaving the basis of the platform dry. In the lower parts of the cone, spaces between the logs were forming galleries, on which one contained a house, thus discreetly separated from the others. The former top clay of the platform had been replaced by a room, which could accommodate a meeting of twenty or thirty Eolis. A large reserve of fruit and dried mushrooms was firmly awaiting the largest troops of unannounced visitors. Finally, the whole was covered with a new cap of clay, bearing many gardens. This hat, like the former, was a masonry of clay (probably made by the doves) to make it waterproof and allow to grow moss and little flowers. Clay was separated from the wood by balusters made of twigs. This space was used to detect leaks, while protecting the wood from the contact with moist clay. The balusters were condemned to quickly rot, but they could easily be replaced. It was a technique! It also was a huge work, to carry all this earth, and even some heavy stones. Who could do this? Not the geese, because they would inevitably entangle their strings in the branches.
The new platform therefore looked like the previous, but with a great mossy place in the centre, and, all around, flowers and succulent plants. The ball houses with curious grates looking like wrought iron (in fact a kind of wicker), which so much intrigued Anthelm and Nellio, were still here, on a lateral branch, but the Eolis now had to look down to see them. No doubt that Adenankar received his Irizdar friends on his big platform, or other Gardeners of the Souls. But presently there was only him and Milareva.
It was now time to go. The doves were shuddering. Adenankar called them: like all the animals, they always understand a few essential words. They needed one each, as Adenankar was remaining there. The new Eolis needed some time to feel comfortable on their narrow, undulating backs; the doves had to walk in circles on the moss to accustom them. Then they flew away, the Eolis well clinging at the stems of the feathers, and they went by a patch of sky between the tree tops.
Ten doves and five Eolis rose majestically in the pure air of the morning, white spots which disappeared in the Immaculate blue, to the North, to Irizdar.
The ride was not straightforward: they needed to circumvent a high and wide plateau with impressive cliffs. Irizdar being a little higher that the village, the doves had to keep their altitude above a deep valley, thus flying very high above the ground. The new Eolis quickly felt confident with the doves who, in flight, were moving less than while walking. They were careful, anyway, and the Eolis had wings, too. Although they are unable to fly so far, they can still recover from a fall, which anyway never happens.
The only noise, outside the whooshing air in the wings, was the deep roar of the torrent which descended the slope far below them, while becoming larger from many tributaries. It had carved a deep gorge in the brown rocks, where it rolled, foaming. Sometimes, the Eolis crossed other birds who called each other, or sang while flying. They admired, moved, the wonderful landscape of pink or yellow rocks and emerald forests; they enjoyed it wildly, and, without knowing because they never imagined otherwise, they appreciated the purity, the virginity of this magnificent nature, splendid for itself, never put in a cadastral survey, free, wild, forever virgin of any speculation, any «development»! From this height, the forest was an almost immobile green carpet under them, covering the sleek shapes of the foothills of the plateau, and all dotted with blossoming trees. At the bottom of the deep valley, the torrent joined a large river forming loops and beaches. On one of them, they could see a red ball, looking tiny in this grandiose landscape, but too large to be of Eoline manufacturing. Anyway there probably were no villages in this deep valley.
A colossal yellow Cliff was now blocking the road before them, a vast sandstone mesa descending in a sawtooth pattern to the right. The doves were aiming at one of these indentations, imperceptibly approaching. On the left the cliff was crowned with forests, from where a waterfall jumped into the void, dissolving in foam before reaching the bottom. As they approached, their majestic slow movement became noticeable. They were now skirting the cliff towards one of the passages. Seen from close, the vertical perspective of the rock mass was dizzying.
Then, they felt more strongly than ever, the pathetic and formidable life of the rocks, which spreads in so fabulous ranges of time. Each of the fine horizontal stripes of the huge cliff had been a beach, where, for thousands of years, now disappeared beings had lived, played, loved each other, and then left for the infinity... These thin strata, there were tens of thousands, gently sloping now; It was enough of a little imagination to accelerate this slow movement and see the huge and so heavy stacks of sandstone catapulted to prodigious heights by the formidable push from the depths of their planet. These enormous mountains were vibrating of a slow and powerful pulse, fantastic but pathetic energy, from its slowness, from its weight of disappeared memories, fulfilled happiness since forgotten.
Finally they reached the small pass and landed. Not in the pass itself, filled with trees and strange hanging vines, but on a small rock with a mushroom shape, just above. The Eolis and the doves had flattened it, from dragging their socks here since millions of years
After a short rest, the doves swapped their passengers, and they resumed their journey. As soon as they left the small pass, the view extended again, beyond another narrower valley, to the plateau and the reddish cliffs of Irizdar. No detail were visible from here, except the black windows and greenery spots. On their right, the two valleys enlarged and joined, and the view was lost in distant blue perspectives and successions of rounded mountains.
Once crossed the second valley, deeply green and without trace of a river, they flew the Irizdar plateau, flying low, following the ripples of the gentle hills, by beautiful valleys, sometimes grazing the top of the trees. The grandiose landscape had become intimate and charming. The trees wore no flowers here, merely a relaxing and varied palette of greens. Fresh streams were gurgling under the trees, tribes of birds chirped, and, at times, songs or laughter whispered that they were flying over one of the countless villages of happiness, invisible in its greenery nest.
From time to time, tree platforms emerged from the foliage, covered with moss, tents or leaves houses; or our friends flew over meadows strewn with pink pumpkins, just like in their own villages, or even a pond adorned with water lilies, unnecessary bridges or floating pagodas. If the Eolis were rather discreet, the birds were offering symphonies of songs, that they crossed the one after the other; sometimes it was plain clouds of butterflies or other insects rustling their shimmering wings. What a moving voyage for the young Eolis, who were thinking at all these wonders, to all those forever unknown friends, also enjoying here a peaceful and unchanging happiness...
Finally, after one last mound, the terrain went down softly, in a long rolling prairie, and they saw Irizdar, closely this time.
It was a wonderful sight. Imagine a long irregular cliff of reddish rocks with large rounded lobes, bizarre forms, full of shadowy porches filled with trees and overflowing with dangling lianas, crowned with towers and pink delicately carved pinnacles, covered with greenery. The green-pink contrast vibrated intensely, but these gentle and living shapes were much more harmonious and poetical than grandiose.
Doves were aiming at a point at the foot of the cliff, where a gold star was shining, and finally they landed just out of the main entrance of Irizdar, a simple door in the rock, under a vast overhang. The porch at the foot of the cliff (curiously it was the only one at this level) was small compared to the others, but a human could still enter it while standing. It was surrounded by completely asymmetrical volutes and laces, curiously carved into the rock, coated with sheets of gold shining in the sun. It was one of the few Eoli buildings not trying to be discreet. At places, a few shreds of gilding had fallen on the ground, without nobody think at taking them. The cliff here had a large overhang sheltering from the rain, so that nothing was growing below. On the small parvis of ochre sand, perpetually Eolis and doves were posing or leaving, each erasing all the traces of the previous ones. Our friends did, like all the others. The doves, after greeting them with their beaks and being abundantly petted, departed in different directions.
The new Eolis had a vertigo: for the first time in their lives, they were alone, far from their usual friends, their homes, their parents, in an unknown place, where they even not had gardens. In what did they involved? They were here, on the large beach of reddish sand, in front of the mysterious and obscure porch, hesitating a bit on the action to take, when they realized that this couple advancing toward them was none other than Ozoard and Orzeilla, who were waiting for them, quite simply. Yet nobody had warned them. These Gardeners of the Souls are really attentive. Without this, they could search Ozoard for weeks in the incredible maze of caves and villages.
What a happy meeting! Yet a shadow was hanging above it, but they carefully avoided any reference to it. Everyone knew that the others knew, and so everyone was silent. Anthelm could not refrain from complimenting Orzeilla with her so beautiful voice, which made her blush (and still does), and in more lisp! She replied with passing her fingers if the fine hairs of Elnadjine, who blushed even more.
Finally they came forth in the shade of the porch. A gentle stream of invigorating air was emanating from here, with a subtle but deep fragrance. «The light-moss» told Ozoard. This air was light, pleasant, very pure, and its strange scent, as a souvenir of incense in an old church, was really conducive to meditation.
As soon as the first steps in the gallery it became obvious that it was artificial, with a regular section in the shape of an Eoline silhouette. Who could have undertaken such a great work, cutting hundreds of cubic meters of hard rock? Eh yes, even Ozoard knew nothing! But these broad dimensions proved very useful: they had to wait for their eyes to be adapted, and here and there groups of Eolis were waiting in circles. The most practical was to walk slowly, which they did, on a path deeply carved in the rock over the millennia.
As they were progressing deeper in the darkness, walls were gradually revealing discrete points of light, like embers under the ashes: the light-moss! Our friends started to exclaim and enthusiastically show with the finger, while Ozoard was making the connoisseur! But they had to wait for the arrival in the first cave to enjoy the full extravaganza.
It was a natural room, average sized for an human, but huge for the Eolis. The ground was slightly concave, with here and there curious stone mushrooms; the ceiling formed a long dome, of which descended some needles of stalactites. All the forms were blunt and rounded by the considerable thickness of the moss. The room had no proper walls, but the sight was lost in several different directions, between wide pillars or bulges from the ceiling. The spectacle of the underground works of nature is already extraordinary enough to make the young Eolis mute with admiration; but it should be noted that not a single square centimetre of rock was visible: the hypogeum was fully carpeted with a sumptuous luminous velvet, pink as an incandescent ember, and the most distant parts were shimmering with gold, mauve, purple. It was a breathtaking splendour! And above all, the moss was absorbing all the sounds, so that there was a huge peace and silence, impalpable like the air of the high mountains, with the light and delicious fragrance of the light-moss, reminding of the most subtle incense!
Although paths were sneaking everywhere in the galleries, it was more convenient to fly here. Our friends were almost alone now in a network of corridors and rooms, sometimes simply separated by forests of huge pillars. In fact almost all of this level of the mountain was hollow, probably a strata of more soluble rock was swept away while the other strata stood.
Apart from the light-moss, this level of Irizdar quite resembled a cave of Dordogne, France called Le Grand Roc, also accessible to visitors by a tunnel and decorated with splendid concretions. The galleries of Irizdar were not actually much larger, and it is thanks to the small size of Eolis that they are, for them, immense as a series of vast cathedrals.
Indeed they would need days to explore the whole network, and they progressed randomly... But was it really at random, with Ozoard? Sometimes a well or a dark crack gaped in the ceiling, unexplored. They thoroughly avoided to go here, to keep the mystery.
They ended in a larger room, with a funnel-shaped ground showing one or two rough stairs. At the bottom was a chasm, in a shape of a very flattened diamond, bright as the mouth of a glowing kiln. A warm breath, with a bitter scent of flint, emanated here from the mysterious depths... The new Eolis, highly intrigued, flew over the fascinating well of light, trying to see as deep as possible, but it was not straight.
This time Ozoard and Orzeilla took the head of the small group, in damper galleries, where, by places, water was oozing from the walls and stalactites, making dark streaks in the moss: it does not grow in water. The concretions soon became numerous and live, and the new Eolis were able to admire the most unlikely contortions of the stalactites here: each sojourner in Irizdar was keen to have his own, and they rivalled with each other in imagination to model it in the most curious ways. Often funny, always very nice, sometimes moving, since thousands years these strange sculptures are a testimony of the cleverness of the marvellous small Eoli people.
All these galleries seemed to have no other use than being the Irizdar galleries; However Orzeilla and Ozoard knew every nook and cranny of them. In fact the light maze was so vast that the Eolis, so numerous they were, could manage to occupy only a small part. The rest, they were wandering in, admiring, or they meditated in small groups, as they met here and there.
Some effort in their wings indicated them that they were climbing; in fact they suddenly found themselves above a huge pit which, Orzeilla explained, overlapped with the lower level they were coming from. So, several levels were climbing up to the top of the mountain. The geniuses of the rocks did a fabulous job...
Finally they arrived in a room more discreetly lighted in violet, all rustling of a deep and wonderful music... But beautiful, that they never heard of such! Ozoard requested to stop flying, to avoid the noise of the wings. Shuddering with impatience, they approached, between groups of Eolis sitting or lying, their hat on their nose, which for all the Eolis of Aeoliah means: «shh I meditate».
Taking place them also, our friends stared, open-mouthed... The cosmic music! From an organ, choirs and a huge harp, emanated the sublime chords of a deep harmony, grandiose, lyrical and moving... A slow, wide movement, a discreet but mesmerizing rhythm, a subtle melodic crescendo touched the hearts, resonating into the infinite vastness of the Cosmos, where so many wonders are possible... Then it changed mode suddenly, like a large overturning, and a sweet thrill went up along the back, or a tear flowed...
(The title «Quasars» of the «Golden Voyage (volume 1)» of Bearn and Dexter gives an idea of the subtlety of the intertwined melodies of the Eolis music...)
Forest of strings were rustling together in a sublime mantra, of which one could not tell the tone, with indefinitely repeated cascades of small notes, or aerial arpeggios... The melodies flew, cavorting in the corners of the vast vault, in waterfalls, crystal clear constellations, or falling back into moving glissandos of mediums. The songs were an amazing splendour; the individual voices of hundreds of choristers were merging to form voices of ideal Eolis or Eolines, directly touching the most sensitive strings of the Eoli heart...
Yes, as Ozoard promised, this deeply moving music was really carrying the mind beyond the ordinary world, to the highest levels, to even more beautiful wonders! The air of Irizdar, more subtle, more ethereal, more transparent, was feeding the soul! While listening to the most sublime Harmonies and the cosmic choruses, the cave of light no longer had walls, and its wonderful purple velvet sky filled with ember stars stretched to the infinity... We were in the Cosmos, among the stars, in one of the mysterious vessels of the Guardians of life... What more appropriate place to resonate on Aeoliah than the magical underground Cathedral with iridescent walls? They stayed for hours listening to each new musical colour, which was taking them still further.
As soon as a musician or singer stopped, another replaced him immediately, in an eternal improvisation, which deployed its arpeggios without a single interruption for millennia, since the beginning of Irizdar. For an improvisation, the Eolis were remarkably consistent, as always. Sometimes they suddenly changed of tone without any consultation, and even so, none was surprised. Result of years of studies of harmony and vibration... According to the inspiration, it was quiet and soft, tender and moving, grandiose and lyrical, sidereal or ineffable.
At length they enjoyed, amazed, the subtle resonances, sound draperies, aerial landscapes vibrating with star songs; they filled themselves with the subtle but powerful energy which vibrated in the entire cave. More that never came the desire to admire the Cosmos, to enjoy life more deeply, more intensely, to ardently laud the Universal Source of Life which offered them these wonders...
The harps were gigantic, tensioned on concretions forming soundboard. For the lowest notes, the Eolis had to use large strings, as with our Earth instruments, which were huge for them. They were also much more widely spaced: each string had multiple locations, where the Eolis took place, sitting in lotus, to play. No Eoli would be tall enough to play on all the strings at once! So that the use of these gigantic instruments was, again, a matter of team... The strings, sounding like bronze with a bright and warm sound, seemed made of silver or platinum, as much for the beauty as to avoid oxidation in these wet caves. Anthelm wondered where and how they could be manufactured, and in which metal. Not iron, it would rust in some days. And not on Aeoliah: Ozoard was true, they had to be brought from some other planet, with industries and other extraordinary and mysterious things, and these stories of cosmic vessels were not a joke! The harmony tables of the instruments were translucent calcite, apparently guided during their formation, expressly for this purpose. The Eolis sometimes played with mallets, brushes, or bows. Sometimes they used this last accessory directly on a stalactite, which then rendered a rich and moving sound, and the concretions themselves were tuned in this room! Some bows were gigantic, and needed to be handled at four or more; we then imagine the degree of coordination, accuracy and fingering of the Eolis musicians, since it is already very difficult to play the violin alone!
Anthelm was really interested with the organ, and he wondered from where came the powerful wind which made them live. But the wind pipe was invisible, carved inside the rocks. They were built on the same design than our classical cathedral organs, with the same huge size (again the remark about low notes) with about the same sounds. But the pipes, instead of being in metal (rare on Aeoliah) were carved in the stone walls. Only the valve controls and the embouchures were visible, with a seat and a musician for each valve. The chests and tubes sometimes assumed the common jellyfish shape of concretions. The Eolis played on this instrument in both grandiose and lyrical manner, and also in an aerial and exquisite way, especially in the highest pitches, which, for the Eolis, go much higher than our ears can perceive. The lower tones were rather played in slow pulses, which, without you notice, were able to soon arise the energies, or to transport you up to the spiritual heights, especially when the larger tubes filled the hall with their thunder!
The Aeoliah music is, as ours, based on the octave divided in six, then twelve, then twenty-four intervals, tempered or in scales, on several different systems, adapted to a variety of instruments, simple like the pipe, or complex like the organ or the harp. On the later, clever systems of registers and keys allowed to change the tone swiftly, while playing, without having to tune again the instrument. But, for an Eoli, the largest keys had the size has, for us, a railway switch lever! The Aeolian music has numerous modes, each expressing a vibration, an ambiance, or a special mood, like the music of India where each raga (mode) is played only at a certain moment in the day, or for certain precise circumstances. It is the same for the Eolis modes, which fit for different emotional landscapes, for various personalities...
The choirs, them, were up on balconies, broken down by gender and tessitura. They were singing from their heart, passionately, with their entire body, as do human beings who are really living. They were not saying lyrics, but rather angel voices, vowels held indefinitely, each vocalist taking his breath in turn. And it was beautiful, moving beyond any expression...
This natural Cathedral was occupied permanently by Eolines and Eolis, who went here to meditate, dream, imagine and get enthusiastic about the sublime rhythm of the music of the Spheres. At night they were still more numerous, because, remember, the Eolis do not sleep all the time as us. But as for us, the night is still the best time for dreaming. The Eolis arriving or leaving at any time did this silently, with small soft steps, to not disturb the attention of the others.
Anthelme examined closely the light-moss; he noticed that its colours were subtly changing, depending on the music, or sometimes it even twinkled like stars... Looking close, the light emanated from a multitude of small globes of a millimetre, surrounded by small woolly leaves, on a background of old dead moss. Here also a great thickness had accumulated over the centuries, except the ceiling, which had to be regularly cleared, in order not to damp the rich resonance of this volume. Darker areas showed such a recent work, which had to happen by rolling patches. The moss was a whole world of beauty: each globe had its own colour, and was pulsating slowly at its own pace. When the globes of the same colour came to beat together, the walls were then throbbing with shifting Rainbows!
What a wonderful and fantastic show that these caves of light! No wonder that such a place had been chosen for a school of Wisdom, for a centre of meditation! The Eolis studying here were thanking every day the geniuses of the rocks and the Universal Source of life, for giving them such a beautiful place for the jewels of their Wisdom.
Anthelm first broke the charm; they managed to leave the harps room, not without returning several times, retained by a still more wonderful variation. They wandered along a narrow gallery where a trickle of water was gurgling, admiring the beauty of the rimstones where water was so pure that it seemed invisible, when it did not reflected the starry magic from the ceiling like a quiet dream mirror.
But they realized that they were hungry. They had not eaten for the day and now it was late in the afternoon. Then Ozoard and Orzeilla guided them in a maze of rising galleries and halls, smaller and with less light, populated with a myriad of carved concretions, showing radiant and poignant Eolis and Eolines, who for the most part, had left them for a long time. Some of these concretions were being covered by more recent others, just visible through small openings, serene faces of totally achieved beings, slowly preparing to become strange and poignant fossils, witnesses of thousands of evolutions completed to the perfection...
In the high parts of Irizdar, the light-moss was not covering the whole walls, but only patches, which, over time, became strange globes and other rounded and bouncy blisters. The rest of the walls was covered with concretions, or else showed strata by thousands, as they were climbing. From this vision, they felt again the great and pathetic sense of the life of the rocks: while climbing the galleries they followed the flow of time, of an immeasurable time, inhabited with an infinite number of Eolis and Eolines, today bygone beyond anything they could conceive of the Creation.
Finally they emerged in one of these large porches of the tops of the cliff of Irizdar, all filled with trees. They could not admire the splendour of this strange vegetation which seemed suspended in the air, because the day was declining in a blaze of gold and pink, as if they were not really out of the caves.
There was here a curious village, all in glazed ochre red clay, hanging at a dizzying height from a network of ropes on which voluptuously climbed kinds of delirious morning glories. No caution was taken against the rain, which never reached here. The light-flowers had just started to illuminate the most charming spectacle: imagine kinds of soft and dancing Kremlins, intertwined in each other, all covered with psychedelic interlacing, encrusted with golden or pink crystals, or glittering mica splinters... One could gather on round trays, made with a kind of wicker, of different shades arranged in concentric circles, orange, tan, or old pink. It was really the city of the Jinns of a Thousand and one Nights. Sitting in a circle on one of these hanging rugs, a group of Eolis and Eolines were singing, accompanied with a simple bamboo flute, as always of a disproportionate size for the small Eolis.
Here the light flowers were hanging from the trees, like lamps; they irradiated the same colours than the inside of the caves, pink or orange, on a background of night blue sky, scintillating with thousand stars, to which replied, far under, a myriad of lights from the villages in the Irizdar glens. From inside the caves came a throbbing mauve fluorescence... Even for an Eoli, this spectacle was marvellous, it was beyond imagination for an Earthling.
They landed on the plateau of the musicians, if a soft silence not to disturb their sweet and quiet communion. But the later stopped themselves, to smile in welcome, a golden star in their eyes. They probably were students of the school, clothed in the Irizdar fashion, of a somewhat rough fabric, and the nicely embroidered insignia. Only the permanent dwellers had one of gold, a rare metal even on Aeoliah.
Ozoard and Orzeilla had a short discussion with a low voice. Their function in the Irizdar school was nor to teach, neither to administer; this function exists in no Earth school: it was to unexpectedly make inflamed speeches in the amphitheatres, to appear at times to everyone, to speak about mysterious stuff or impossible planets, to not be found when a question was itching the lips, to report the inevitable gossip, bring seeds of unknown fruits, organize pranks, to know everything about Irizdar but not being allowed to say everything, in short to provoke the curiosity, energize the students, maintain the flame of the vocation. And they did it quite well, the new Eolis knew it! In good pedagogy, this was the most important role, and it was impossible to be a bad student in Irizdar. They are subtle, these Gardeners of the Souls.
Anyway all the students came when they wanted, when they had something to learn, and they departed exactly when they wanted. If some were overzealous at discovering everything quickly, others took centuries. Still others came there only for a specific course, for a chosen matter or a seminar, or even simply to feed their souls from this refined atmosphere. There were no classes, no groups, no predefined schedule, but a large self-service of the more various courses, except for the school of the Gardeners of the Souls, but this is another story. The students, entirely responsible, organized themselves their courses, everyone according to his method, and there were for all the styles: amphitheatres for large collective communions with knowledge, small rooms for personal classes or teams, vast self-service libraries and sunny corners in the tops, where one could quietly sip his scroll. The wisdom teachers quickly were good friends; their only authority was to ensure that the knowledge of the students was sufficiently complete and balanced in the matter they had chosen. For this reason, anyone could consult them and be guided through the complex maze of rich and varied teachings of Irizdar.
Anyway this was only for the academic instruction. In fact the practice of the evolution of the spirit takes much more time, and requires a more personal follow-up by the Gardeners of the Souls. But this is not visible in the school. So that everybody studies a bit, leaves, works, lives his life, and when he encounters a difficulty, or wants to go further, he make a short stay in Irizdar, and then resumes his daily life with new exercises.
Irizdar is only the focal point of an activity which is in fact the business of all the Eolis, and everyone attends it one day or another, especially when they enter the second part of their lives.
Ozoard introduced the young Eolis. The musicians congratulated them: It is not common to meet so young Eolis at Irizdar. Then Orzeilla guided them toward another suspended place, under the first, covered with leaves, where awaited a large heap of appetizing long shaped half dried plums, kind of edible acorns, and other fruits, all most perfumed the ones than the others. The Eolis are far from being greedy, but they enjoy a pure and sane pleasure in the satisfaction of their bodily needs. And they got no food in the whole day, and had flung a lot. So they really needed to fill up with delicious sugared juice, and they did with a merry applied delectation.
The pipers had resumed their song, gentler and gentler as the evening was setting. Our friends also sat; no speech was exchanged. To say what? It was enough to enjoy together this peaceful, poetic and so warm ambience...
The crazy interlaces running along the walls seemed to move, from some optical trick, and they were tirelessly running around the round houses, jumping from a window to the next...
Our friends ended to feel sleepy. Ozoard told them to take any house, except his own: many of them were free. The pipers had a last smile...
The inside of the houses was of a pleasant fresh pastel green, strangely contrasting with the orange ochre of the outside. Into these lovely guest houses awaited simple beds. The sheets were not necessarily changed for every new visitor: considering the absence of disease, the natural tidiness and perfume of the Eoli body, there are no strict hygiene requirements as on Earth. And it is so fascinating to fall asleep into the perfume of unknown Eolis or Eolines, with the sound of a suave flute music... Later in the night, one of the musician couples, wanting to go to sleep, found Nellio asleep into their bed. No matter, they went into another one. So the Eolis, on their welcoming planet, always travel with little luggage and no worry: why to bring the full gear when we always find everything we need on the spot?
The next day they went up while the dawn was already shining. As the natural porch was facing south-east, they could admire the sunrise over a distant mountain range, usually blue, but of a deep purple at this hour. The village of Ozoard was relatively quiet: only a single tribe of birds was living here, more some nests of solitary couples. So there was less songs than in the village, but particularly melodious... A muted background of a magical rustling of myriads of birds in the forest bellow was audible from here, discreet but so beautiful... Some bird nests were made of clay, hanging from the ceiling, and the Eolis had decorated them also, with the same strange knotwork which already covered part of the walls. Other houses were carved into the rock, including the one of Ozoard and Orzeilla, with a wide gate surrounded by extravagant reddish sculptures. It could be accessed by a long ropes footbridge. No doubt it had some secret rooms and galleries... Anyway, none than its inhabitants ever entered here, and it was very difficult to tell whether the strange rumours about this house were founded or not. Everyone in Irizdar knew that Ozoard was quite capable, for instance, to enter ten times a day in a dead-end gallery, just to give the feeling that there was some exciting mystery there. But anybody could also quickly understand that Ozoard and Orzeilla, under their baroque appearances, were people with a high level of evolution, elders of Aeoliah, holders of authentic initiatory secrets and some very specific powers, although they were of an exemplary discretion on these subjects.
Below the suspended village, further down on the rocks, a huge upholstered nest was waiting for its occupants, absent for the moment: the two beautiful white goose of Ozoard and Orzeilla, answering to the names of Uderline and Zerneline.
The outer cliff wall appeared, seen closely, pierced with tiny Eolines windows, ten to twenty centimetres in diameter, illuminating a fantastic network of rooms and corridors carved in the hard limestone at the price of an immemorial work.
For washing, no dew. They went into the porch, opening of a large gallery penetrating further in the mountain, until the light-moss replace the light of the Sun. All these walls were covered with various buildings, niches and platforms, result of millennia of work. For washing, they found, in a small room of dihedral shape with orange and white walls, a chute oozing from a crack in a small basin white as snow. One could draw water with a big ladle to feed twenty small basins of calcite... But yes. Even a cork bung allowed to empty them. It was a pleasant and even pretty place, because water was petrifying, forming flowers of sparkling crystals. At this time it was busy, in a cheerful animation. Ozoard knew that visitors had to continue to live according to their habits, even for a short stay, and should therefore be able to wash when they wanted, with fresh water, what makes them feel so good. Here they did it together: the Eolis and the Eolines do not have false modesties nor complex.
After the delicious and invigorating bath in the morning, the stomach called its turn of care. Ozoard and Orzeilla had disappeared, but our friends were now knowing the way. A big bird that they did not knew posed a kind of melon on the fruit terrace, and departed immediately. Ah they were having a good time, at Irizdar, so high above the gardens. This is what one might think, but in fact the students and teachers often descended together in the fresh glens at the bottom of the caves, to also take part in cultivations. An Eoli never touching Earth, this was unthinkable. Ozoard was less often down, because his very particular role was requesting him full time. But he cultivated in the porch, below the suspended village, next to the nest of his geese, a sort of strange unknown flower with an unique fragrance. Nobody could make him tell where he found it, nor even its name, so that everybody was forced to say «the flower of Ozoard». It is that people felt that he was quite capable of causing himself a mutation, thus creating his own specie, in a single exemplar of course.
Ozoard reappeared, alone, shortly after the meal. Ozoard and Orzeilla always gave a feeling of having a lot of appointments, but they were always perfectly relaxed and never rushed. Ozoard took the young Eolis on a comprehensive tour of the school and its annexes. Anthelm never asked anymore where the scrolls were stored! There were hundreds of thousands, carefully listed and classified in gigantic galleries: self-service for common models, thick archives dusty at wish, rare or valuable scrolls to unwind on the spot... A clever system of coloured rings on their cover allowed to read their number and other information, without having to move them. The scrolls were not stored perpendicular to the wall, but in an oblique way, so that the precious rings were always visible, and they could more easily be taken out in the narrow passages. There were small or large diameter, according to their content, but all had the same length, to pass on all the scroll bearers. This standard, established by the first Eolis, was valid everywhere on Aeoliah, and about 12.7 cm, or the average size of an Eoli, without the hat.
Sometimes a scroll was missing, and in its padded cell somebody slipped a flower petal. Anthelm, curious, read one, while Ozoard was smiling at him: quite simply the Eoline who had borrowed the scroll, had written her name and the place where she had taken it, so that it could easily be found.
They entered a circular room, with diagrams and writings all along the walls, with, hanging from the ceiling, a hanging light-moss dome, so bellied that he would soon reach the ground. Several dozens of Eolis, and other coming and going permanently, were absorbed in the reading of all these signs. This just was the lists of the scrolls. They were ranked according to a single reference system, but several lists ordered in different ways allowed everyone to find them according to his own method to organize his work. There even was, lower in the caves, a kind of urn to draw random scroll numbers... Quite seriously, as the Eolis know well, chance always does wonders! Indeed, when we are in harmony with the Universal Source of Life, it fills you up with all its graces... And the students who used the urn were often doing wonderful discoveries, thanks to it. The principle of this draw was very simple, based on balls and turntables, but there was a small thing, not at all «magical» but which much facilitated the expression of the good chance at the expense of the statistical chance. But Ozoard, Adenankar and their team will carefully avoid to entrust us in this little secret, as long as there can be people likely to use it wrongly...
Anthelm, him, was knowing what he wanted. No need for chance... Later, maybe?
We Earthlings, accustomed to form anonymous and inexpressive multitudes, would be much surprised to hear nowhere any brouhaha in Irizdar. Even in the room to the lists, there was a silence of chapel, barely troubled by the whispers of a group, from time to time. In the corridors walked a whole busy world, bearing scrolls, large petals or folders, showing the eternal smile of the Eolis, and all their charming attention with it. Never with the Eolis of this false politeness which makes us say all day long «thank you» or «excuse me» to strangers, without even thinking at them. With the Eolis, in the Irizdar corridors, you pass by a splendid Eoline, or an Eoli, carrying a large violet leaf, and she/he makes his/her most troubling look right in your eyes, and she/he stops just before you, with his/her heady scent, and she/he turns back as you pass. She/he simply found your aura beautiful, and had a pure joy to watch it, to appreciate it. What better to do that being happy yourself too? If the unknown Eoli(ne) was really in love, he/she would not act like this, instead she/he would be very shy: love is a mystery!
The Eolis, in these impromptu meetings, rather feel something that our still unfinished Earth evolution allows us to access after only a fairly long ripening. Too often, when we meet a beautiful or kind person, this opens the door to womanizing, seduction, desire for possession, or other disappointing experiences. A smile, even a simple glance, can be interpreted as a proposal or agreement toward these attitudes, and this is very sad because the natural and so good gestures of goodwill are charged with ambiguity, to the point that most people prefer to avoid them, or even defend of them as of an aggression.
The Eolis, them, mastered this very well, like a play. How? Not from some special talent; simply they do not desire for them. The Eolis give spontaneously, when we still too often have the archaic reflex of taking for us, and think only at our own pleasure. Between Eolis, between people free of such conditioning, we are fully free to enjoy the pure pleasure of admiring a beautiful creature, a beautiful soul, and be happy for her, for free, without fear of being frowned upon; we also can let people admire us without any risk, and be very very happy! The Eolis can freely express this pleasure, share it, receive it, alone or in groups. The Eolis are between them as between children who exchange cuddles, it is just natural and it is so good. When unknown Eolis meet, or that friends get together, they make the gesture of fraternization, arms in an oval, or they kiss; an Eoli or an Eoline as well, who admires your hair, will start petting them... For the Eolis, who are so faithful in love, or for us Earthlings when we seriously live in a couple, the encounters will not lead to sex, but they carry promises of friendships, which are as much beautiful... And for those of us Earthlings whose heart is vacant, a smile, a look with gentle energies, are an open door to a new happiness, hearts, bodies and souls united... And it is wonderful. How stupid to tarnish the most beautiful moments of our lives with these messy stories of possession, power or womanising.
Anyway they all are beautiful, the Eolis.
Of this natural beauty of the body which so ingenuously expresses the beauty of their soul.
When, too often with us, the beauty of the body is only a decoy, which leaves us without defiance before the most horrific deformities of the soul or heart.
And then, you know, tenderness is indispensable to the Eolis. Without it, they die. And ourselves Earthlings age prematurely. Then so...
Without necessarily going to such extreme demonstrations, when an Eoli or an Eoline crosses another one in a corridor of Irizdar, he knows that he/she is also an Eoline or an Eoli merrily walking in a thrilling Irizdar corridor, what an adventure, it deserves at least a complicit wink! There is nothing hidden or secret, nothing of what we wrongly call «personal» or «our business». They are complicit, as a whole, both in the same action, same game, to commit the same folly to live, and it makes them smile! And even laugh! Obviously, the other has his life, his friends, his unknown but surely exciting projects. How lucky if we find ourselves in the same garden team!
No nonchalance either: compared to the Eolis, even our dashing company managers would seem to snooze. They are happy, the Eolis, enthusiastic, they roam happily the corridors with great strides! Oh, how this scroll is appetizing! Oh, quick to read it!
In the Eoline language, there are no different words for the play and for the work, no more any artificial opposition between manual labour or intellectual work, not more that they separate «useful» subsistence activity from «useless» artistic activity. All this is only «activity» at a whole. But there are hundreds of activities! And a lot of words to speak about it...
Among the Eolis there is no difference between «personal expression» or «working for the community», nor between doing something on our own initiative, or something we were requested to. They take as much pleasure to help the community, as to follow they personal inclinations.
It simplifies things, for sure.
Ozoard was leading the new Eolis in the maze of galleries and caves, sometimes illuminated by pink moss, sometimes by beams of blue day light falling from a huge ceiling, sometimes by the tender green stained glass of foliage through a window in the rock. The light was low but fairly equal; it was needed to avoid having to adapt the vision while moving. Only the colours varied, in pleasant contrasts. The real windows, the ones the Eolis had themselves carved into the rock, were especially used to light the reading rooms, requiring full illumination. Then the corridors were behind, receiving only a low share of the day light. In places also, from some abyss came the moving sounds of the great hall of the organ, unless there were several smaller ones, dedicated to some particular styles.
They saw one of the amphitheatres, empty because they were not used in full time. It was a room, lower in the caves, profusely covered with light-moss, with a flat ground of dry sand. A stalagmite in the shape of a mushroom had been promoted to the role of chair. The corresponding stalactite had been deviated, to avoid the speaker to be constantly watered. Waiting for a more collective use of this place, small groups were debating passionately, here and there.
Often in the galleries, carved or built in clay, were loggias, rounded balconies, ball-houses lit from inside. It was kind of exhibitions, in all the areas of life: models of nests, arboreal terraces, Eolines machinettes, maps, sumptuous paintings on any concrete or spiritual themes, multiple models representing the different phases of a construction, with the parts accurate and to scale, or grandeur nature, which could be disassembled or reassembled.
There was of everything: globes of Aeoliah, paintings of landscapes of other planets and the strange things found there, such as mechanical vehicles and calculating machines, and also paintings which could be described as abstract... Of course nothing related with the doodles that actually are most of the so-called abstract paintings on Earth. Remind us that the (clearly expressed) purpose of the (real) founders of abstract art on Earth was to express vibrations, and this without the help of a «realistic» representation. So there is necessarily nothing to «understand», but only to feel in a (real) abstract work, which is thus the purest form of painting. Imagine a room in the caves of Irizdar, where we enter from under, through a well. The ceiling is shaped as a translucent dome, illuminated from the outside to look luminescent like a sky, and painted entirely of different harmonies of colours, with patterns, swirls, large gradients, spots, arabesques, geometric patterns... Of course this is nothing concrete, but it however quite well evokes what on Earth we call vibrations, of various kinds. These vibrations come from beings or from things, depending on the mood, state of mind, hour, place... The Eolis have to name them a specific and objective vocabulary, based on the vibrations of sounds, since like the colours, the sounds also have each a vibration. When this was possible, the names and the corresponding sounds were inscribed on the walls of each room, or the rooms were scented with various flower essences. Therefore these paintings were really very useful works (and often very beautiful) expressing abstract things, devoid of concrete appearance, but existing in the domains of the mind and of feelings.
It was so huge to visit everything, that they preferred not to try... The Irizdar school was a true encyclopedia, an incredible accumulation of the creations and archives of millions of Eolis during as many years. Of course the essential topics needed for the life of the Eolis were abundantly and specifically taught: panorama of the techniques, spirituality, agriculture, ecology. But «unnecessary» matters such as mathematics, logic, music or pun science were showcased as seriously, as well as the functioning of the concrete body or subtle body of the Eolis, the endless lists of plants and animals, the hundreds of friendly planets with sometimes disconcerting civilizations, the evolution of the universe, the life of the rocks, and other things, incomprehensible to us Earthlings. It is that the Eolis, like any even a little bit awakened beings, are curious about everything. To devote time to just know the universe, without utilitarian thought, this also is life!
There also were small study rooms, often occupied these ones, by a team, with or without a teacher. You could not recognize the teachers from the students. Around a scroll bearer, a blackboard of fine white calcite or a table, some Eoli, hairy and bearded at wish, explained something, or they tried together to understand a particular point. Elsewhere on the contrary people were silently busy at writings or exercises.
Everywhere there were bath rooms like the one near Ozoard's house, taking profit of some seepage, or in the bowl of a large stalagmite. The Eolis liked to wash at any time, which was not always easy in the villages.
The students with painting or calligraphy skills were spending a part of their time to make copies of the scrolls, thus maintaining the huge Irizdar library. They visited one of these painting rooms, apart in some quiet and sunny place, where a dozen Eolis were patiently working on very long scroll tables, enthralling and meticulous work. They even were able to exactly reproduce images without seeing them, thanks to a descriptive coding system, similar to what of the Tibetan thangkas, thanks also to their objective and accurate perception of vibrations.
Curiously most students appeared to spend their time wandering around, chatting merrily in the corridors, in small groups, or bearing sheets and notebooks. In fact life in Irizdar was a kind of feast, a permanent happening. Most students only came there for a few days, which were the opportunity to revisit friends or make new acquaintances. Often groups of friends were taking spiritual or intellectual appointments; co-workers came together to perfect themselves; some even just follow a companion or a friend student without being themselves.
In all times, on Earth, scholars and students organized merry rumpus and demonstrations. These words of course had no sense on Aeoliah, but, in fact, these customs may arise of some deep universal need, because, from time to time, a kind of unpredictable effervescence was spreading on all or part of Irizdar, and one could see the great sages and the students playing like children at hide and seek behind the stalagmites, or make huge pure joy musical improvisations all together. (We of course understand that the noises or jokes of the Eolis never break the poetry) The Eolis of the mountain, sensing the good moments, were coming along in the caves, and attended the worst crazy laughters, sitting in lotus without ever departing of their ecstatic faces, which of course still redoubled the rejoicing. Nellio and Algenio would enjoy seeing this, but they had not the opportunity, during their short stay.
Obviously for their beautiful school does not degenerate into a phenomenal mess, all the Eolis needed an especially acute sense of personal responsibility and mutual assistance. Nobody asked them to come; they did by pleasure, passion, desire to serve. It was their school, or again, this school belonged to the joy, to life. Who among us would ever think to say «our administration», about one of these cold monsters, over which, too often, we have no control whatsoever, of which the individual citizen has little more to expect than a polite indifference, when he is not straightforwardly stepped over by these giants who blindly continue their way...
Everyone at Irizdar was so keen to make everything happen for the best. And all was well. The organization details were settled according to their nature by notes, meetings, plans and instructions. The courses were taking place perfectly, between two laughters or holidays. This sweetness of life did not prevented rigour in the work: If the Eolis had decided to do a whole course together at such hour, then this course was really taking place at the appointed time, with all its participants, even without «organizers». The teachers as much as the students were also very keen to keep the places tidy, and this was always done in time. The idea of having kinds of servants or employees to do this was basically alien to the mentality of the Eolis, and they would be horrified to feel assisted in these humble details of everyday life. There also was no segregation between students and teachers; here also such an idea would have seemed crazy to the Eolis. At most, the residents were better housed, which is understandable. Clearly also, between their gardens, maintenance and others alongside, the Eolis spent only a portion of their time to actually study or teach. Not profitable, say our suits and ties. But who would have the idea of spending all his time the nose in scriptures, at the bottom of a cave without sun? This to the Eolis seemed as absurd as for us spending our days locked in concrete boxes.
The caves were just a good place for study and communion with the universe. There obviously grew nothing to eat. So the villages of the glens of Irizdar served as support for the school. This was by no means a load for them: there lived a hundred times more people than in the entire school. When the birds of Irizdar collected parts of the crops to bring in the high villages of the caves, it was even not visible. They should count to notice it, but never the strange idea of counting his harvest came to an Eoli peasant.
And still, even if the school had been a heavy load, this would still be acceptable, since it is useful for life...
And anyway it was THEIR school, to them ALL. When an Eoli of the valley saw a bird collecting food to bring it up, in the school, he was happy, because he knew that his friends were studying there, and that he would also go some day. There was not a clan of the school and a clan of the farmers, but a single Eoline life.
While speaking, Ozoard (who knew a lot about the effervescences) had gradually brought them in the middle parts, that they already visited the day before, but in a different direction. There was a palpable and impressive calm in these desert caves with a bluish light. A at gallery turn, a panel invited them to walk, and to continue so in the greatest silence. At each step a hat was posed on a pole plugged in the ground indicated a place of deep meditation. There even was a telepathic warning, nice but compelling, for the absent-minded. It was very serious, and no way to utter a single word.
Their hearts beating, they arrived in a low room, with a concave ground. The ceiling was very low, convex and bellying, seeming to follow the bumps of the floor at a low height, getting closer at the edge without really forming walls: as often in Irizdar, the view was lost in a forest of nocturnal indigo columns, while the room was of a saturated violet, with a strange cosmic violet scent. The subtle scent of the mosses was matching the colours...
At the centre, a small dome shaped like a pouf formed a kind of altar, with designs on the edges. Just besides, a silhouette sitting in lotus was concentrated in an intense meditation: she had no reaction to their presence. Around, in more or less filled concentric circles, forms were lying, wrapped in blankets, hats on their nose, seeming to sleep. Ozoard turned toward them a triumphant smile: they had all recognized... the «waiting room». These lying Eolis were in a lethargy, in long duration astral travel.
Silently (because it is dangerous to awake someone in astral) and terribly impressed, they entered in the circle behind Ozoard. The floor was covered with fluorescent moss, so that they were walking on a carpet of purple light, and, even more than in the music room, they felt that the wall did not existed, that they were floating in the infinite universe without limits. While they had millions of tons of rock above their heads...
Ozoard showed them places. They all laid off, and saw the ceiling covered with spirals and interlacing, swirling with the slow pulsation of the luminous moss. With such an hypnotic lullaby, and in the powerful and exultant egregore prevailing here, they had no trouble leaving their bodies, even Nellio and Algenio. Once in the astral, they could again communicate with each other without disturbing anyone. In the world of the spirit, Ozoard took the appearance of a bright red star, with white or dark blue gleams. This aura was beautiful, despite the surprising contrast. Currently it irradiated fast red pulses, with green and blue sparks. Contrary to all expectations, he... went down. Down through the ground. The new Eolis, a little stumped, first hesitated to follow him. Their astral body, immaterial, could of course go through the rocks without difficulties. Only a bias could stop it, but the Eolis were of course exempt of them. So that it was a game to slip through the thick slabs of limestone.
But it also was a shock. A powerful and poignant emotion seized them immediately, at the evocation of these immensities of time frozen in the superimposed strata, at the pathetic feeling of the prodigious fate of the rocks, their so slow but so powerful life...
Ozoard knew where he was going, to a place where the strata were curved, to form a kind of crater, that they had ended to cover: a former atoll reef, completely buried in the rock, fossilized in a block, and then carried away hundreds of kilometres inside the continent and projected at more than fifteen hundred metres above the sea level. It was invisible from the surface, but in the astral they just had to tune their sensitivity to the forms of the strata to perceive it. Our friends were flabbergasted. It was as if the Interior of the mountain had been a preserved bubble of a fantastically distant past, tens of millions of years ago... But Ozoard seemed to have something still more amazing to show, as his aura was starting to sparkle. The former lagoon, of course, swarmed with fossils, petrified roots or extraordinary shells of the strange animals of the seas of Aeoliah. But closer, they saw, printed in the fine limestone of the lagoon, traces... moving traces of the small feet of an Eoline, who had lived and loved in this fabulous time. Pathetic reminiscence...
Stunned, they were, the new Eolis. Ozoard could always be sure of the result, when he showed this. He was a bit liking to show off, Ozoard. Telepathically, he showed them the future of Irizdar. Certainly the caves could continue for thousands of years to receive the school. But they knew that the erosion was gradually nibbling the highest parts, while the mountain raised slowly, while leaning toward the low valleys. Already the oldest stalactites were leaning. Little by little the usable space would become smaller, the gas emanations of the ancient volcano would taper off, and someday, they would have to move the school. But this would not be before one or two millions years...
Ozoard took them again, this time to the abyss room, descending to the lower parts, which so much intrigued them. At the bottom of the funnel, the light well was still gaping, with its elongated diamond shape opening, ardent like mouth of a foundry oven. They slipped inside, not without some emotion. It would be dangerous to do this with their physical bodies, and even in the astral, the alarm resounded in their consciousness. But in the astral there is nothing to fear from whatever material.
The light-moss had not conquered the lower parts of the caves of Irizdar, and it was ensured that they did not, because they would exhaust the nutritious gas before it arrives in the inhabited parts. The lower parts of Irizdar were singularly contrasting with the medium or higher parts. The rocks were dark shale, and everything was totally dark, in a network of two or three metres large galleries, often rugged. Earth cavers would have regarded them as rather difficult. In more, they had noisy winds or water flows: the Eolis would have trouble fly with their ears like bats. They could hardly go here otherwise than in astral. This network drained all the seeps of the Irizdar mountain and the plateau streams which were disappearing at the foot of the cliff. It brought all them together in one underground torrent travelling and thundering along an endless tube of black shale, to get out only seven kilometres further and one thousand metres lower... on the other side of the Irizdar mountain, even beyond the valley, after crossing the syncline in a huge siphon. They had to go to Irizdar to see such a thing. Another gallery was aspiring air from a hole at the foot of the cliff, also on the other side of the mountain of Irizdar. Higher than Irizdar, at the west, were piled other similar mountains, with also breathtaking caves, but it was enough of one Irizdar. Up there, people only went in retirement or as an hermit. It was the domain of the Eolis of the mountain.
They returned at the beginning of the shale tube, which was frequently interrupted by thresholds, cascades, or siphons. Its exploration by Earth cavers would have been impossible. What a contrast with the sweetness of the upper levels... But here was the domain of the geniuses of the rocks. The Eolis had no need to go there physically, and they only went in astral. One of the siphons of the underground torrent was particularly impressive. It started in a large circular room, at the bottom of a funnel. The river was rushing in here by the tangent, in a kind of howling slide. Curiously, the water was successively covering the shiny boulders within the room. Then it lowered still faster, endlessly descending into the well which followed the funnel, until it formed a whirlpool sucking the air in a powerful rumbling. This descent ended by a terrible water hammer shaking the rocks and projecting foam up to the ceiling, and the water began to rise again, reproducing the cycle indefinitely.
It was really frightening, and when Ozoard invited them still lower, they avoided the thundering mouth of the maelstrom, which water walls seemed rigid. They went around it, through the rocks. Under, the water entered a short gallery, closed by a second siphon. Here the water was loudly boiling with the air absorbed by the whirlpool. But Ozoard hat still something else to show them. There was a small aperture in the ceiling, about forty centimetres in diameter, where the air compressed in the cave engulfed with a snoring noise. It had to get out somewhere anyway. They engaged in the small gallery, which showed astonishingly regular and of a constant diameter, following a slightly curved and ascending path. Sometimes it crossed obscure rooms, but always another aspiring aperture indicated that the strange tube continued, still in the same size, still climbing. Soon a familiar sound intrigued them. The tube was ending to... Oh wonder, in the music room, where it quite simply supplied the air for the organ! Astounded, the new Eolis contemplated this masterpiece of astuteness, which managed to harness the crude strength of the water, without removing anything of its powerful and wild vibration, all this to power the sublime musical life of their school!
If, on one hand, the whirlwind, galleries and siphons were the work of the geniuses of rock and water, on the other hand, the gallery was obviously artificial, dug from Eoline hand, which was a considerable work in incredible conditions. Of course the Eolis could effectively guide their work in the astral, but the digging itself was no eased at all. It was not the only Herculean work in Irizdar, since there also was the long entrance gallery. But remember, the Plan of Aeoliah excludes the use of technical means (machinery, explosive ...) although the Eolis know their existence. Yet only such means seemed to make such feats possible. It was the only plausible explanation: inhabitants of friendly planets would come to help in digging galleries, with their machines. Besides some were coming sometimes, and Ozoard confirmed that if the large entrance porch was to their size, it really was to allow humans to visit the caves.
But Ozoard explained that there was really «something» to make these colossal works possible with only simple means. But the Eolis founders of Irizdar, totally unknown and bygone for ages, had passed this secret only written on quartzite tables, now stored somewhere in Irizdar. Useless to search where: the galleries were sealed, and surrounded with a protective egregore. The secret would reappear only if one day such works will be again necessary, at Irizdar or in some new other school. These decisions were taken only with the agreement of the Guard Angels of Aeoliah and the Keepers of the Plan. When time will come, the Eolis who will be living in this time will know where to search; they will be able to break the seals and do what will be necessary.
The last marvel they saw while visiting the foundations of Irizdar in astral, was a kind of lode, some volcanic intrusion, in the very bottoms of the mountain, that certain galleries were following. From where was rising, since immemorial times, the precious gas which was bringing life and light to the caves, without which it would be much less interesting to make a school there. Where the gas itself was coming from? From lower, still deeper, under the Evening Mountain, from the ancient magma chamber of this powerful volcanic massif. But they should not go here. There was, into this magical place, a strange pact between the powerful life forces in the very bottom of their planet, and the ones who are the most attracted by the Infinite. The magical red light at the summit of the mountain was bearing witness of this. Later in the second part of their life, the young Eolis would know...
(Of course it would be completely false to see some evil intent in the underground forces of Aeoliah. They are very powerful forces indeed, which for this reason can be dangerous to approach without caution. But they are as much devoted to life than the poetical forces of the surface, or the spiritual forces of the Cosmos)
When our friends went back to the physical life, into the purple room, they were mentally stiff, as if their travel into the realm of the rocks had tired them. Ozoard had disappeared. The meditator near the altar was replaced by another, without them noticing. The other lying forms had remained in a really frightening immobility, which really impressed the young Eolis. Some even had bits of light-moss on them! Anthelm was about to speak aloud, but the mental warning dashed immediately into his mind: Careful not to be distraught!
They left the purple room, as quietly as they had entered, taking in reverse the gallery that led to it. But they soon had to recognize that they were lost. One could not venture into the caves Irizdar without a guide! They searched for a while, but there was nobody here, and all the galleries looked alike. It was Algenio who got them out of embarrassment. An Earthling trick you guess. It was enough to follow the air flow, imperceptible, but visible from the shapes of the moss mass in narrow passages. It inevitably led to an exit. Algenio was not a little proud of helping the Eolis thanks to his Eearth past. But he chose not to show this feeling, thinking it might hurt.
They soon joined more populated parts and rising galleries which lead to the top, where it was not difficult to ask for the village of Ozoard. They arrived here, again after night fall, so that the next day they were happy to see the sun that they did not saw these two days. Irizdar, they would return there one day, they appreciated its beauty and its treasures of wisdom, but in the meantime nothing was worth the outdoors, flowers and nature!
Uderline and Zerneline, the two geese of Ozoard and Orzeilla, were waiting for them. One would take three Eolis, and the other two. Unlike doves, which were small and had to take turns wearing one Eoli for this trip, the geese, accustomed to long intercontinental flights, could carry three Eolis without problems. Nellio therefore embarked with Elnadjine and Liouna. It was time for him to return: away of his transmuter, he was becoming taciturn.
The geese were much faster and did not needed circumventing the large yellow sandstone mesa: they passed over. Grazing the trees, they suddenly came over the huge vacuum where the waterfall sprang with a majestic slowness. Our Eolis clung to the feathers with all their fingers and toes.
They found back their beloved village and their friends, with the feeling of having left two weeks earlier. Many in the village still never went to Irizdar, so that they would have things to tell!
But they also noticed with compassion Nellio going directly to his pyramid, where it was better to leave him alone. Probably the discrete Milareva was awaiting him.
Scenario, graphics, sounds, colours, realization: Richard Trigaux.
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