Flames rise and fall in rhythm to his even breathing. A dark figure kneels on a balcony overlooking Munda Luna to the west. He feels the flames of his own creation intensifying and calming as he breathes in and out. He feels the heat of the flames warming his body, fighting off the chill of the night, the bite of winter just beginning to sharpen. He snarls as he then opens his eyes to glare at the rolling mountains and foothills of the Eastern Range. He shakes his head to rid himself of the foreboding feelings that threaten to tear his mind apart.
He rises from his kneeling position to then turn to glare at his apprentice that has appeared behind him. He smiles inside his hood, the training he imagines for his apprentice bringing him great joy.
He raises his arm, okit energy surging through his arm, then shoots the energy directly at his apprentice with sigo energy heating the earthen blast. He watches with a wider smile as his apprentice flies through the air with a gasp.
After his apprentice crashes and bounces, he appears directly above his apprentice. He spits on his apprentice’s face, “You will know pain. You will know torture. And you will know power.”
His apprentice glares at him, but nods in grave understanding.
Vaiqon awakes with a start, gasping for breath. He rolls to his feet, wiping his face with cooling air to hopefully rid himself of the terrible nightmare he has just witnessed. He shrugs then exits his tent where he finds the Pentad standing before him ready to travel for the day, their tents already deconstructed, the horses already saddled, their minds already steeled.
Vaiqon smiles at the Pentad then glances at his tent. He raises his hand then collapses the tent with a wave of his arm. He then controls an air current to carry the collapsed tent to be stored on his horse.
“Well, Pentad,” Vaiqon starts, “today we will arrive at the Injhihato. If all goes well, we should arrive by midday. Are you all prepared for what awaits you?”
The Pentad can only smile and nod their head in great excitement. Vaiqon smiles then mounts his horse. Vaiqon and the Pentad set into a rather quick pace, the excitement of the day fueling the Pentad into a much faster pace than Vaiqon thought possible after such a long interval of traveling.
They soon are surrounded by nothing but expansive greenery of a massive plain that stretches to the horizon. They trod down a path winding through the plain that only Vaiqon is able to see as the grass of the path is not trampled.
The Pentad’s excitement filters from each of the children in powerful waves, forcing Vaiqon to turn periodically to glance at the children with a warm smile.
The sun casts its rays down upon Munda Luna with its full power, but the brightness of the sun’s rays do not force the children’s eyes to squint involuntarily. Rather, a light far in front of them shines with unparalleled luminescence.
Vaiqon strolls headlong into the light regardless of the fact that the closer they travel to the Injhihato, the brighter the unknown light becomes. The Pentad are forced to look down with their hands protecting their eyes.
The Pentad loses track of time from the monotonous green that streams by them as they cannot even hope to glance up from the intensity of the light. Just as aches begin to set in their heads and threaten to torture their eyes, the unknown light fades dramatically to allow the sun to reign supreme in the sky.
The Pentad glances up to see the massive Spire Rniti towering before them just in the distance behind a massive gate and wall that bars the Injhihato from the rest of Munda Luna. Their excitement builds to a point where they dig in the heels of their boots into the sides of their horses and rush toward the Injhihato’s only gate.
Vaiqon smiles as he chases after the children. He conjures ire in his hand to be ready to open the gate. Just as the children slow before crashing into the gate, Vaiqon unleashes his ire at the gate where the air current he controls filters into pipes along the outside of the massive gate, forcing tumblers to line up and allowing the gate to be raised with another wave of his arm.
The Pentad hesitate as their dreams become reality before them. They see Vaiqon pass them, and they follow the Daijok through the outer regions of the Injhihato where they see farms, water wheels, animals, and various Rniti alike scattered throughout.
They nod at those that glance at them, the unexpected attention forcing them to feel uncomfortable. Vaiqon then leads them to the stables where they dismount and leave the horses they have become so acquainted in the past few days.
Vaiqon leads the Pentad on foot to the Spire Rniti where the Pentad arches their neck and back to be able to just see the top of the massive Spire. They hear chuckling and when they turn to see Vaiqon as the source of the noise, they scratch their heads in confusion.
“The only way up for first timers,” Vaiqon starts, “is to climb,” he says as he throws open the ancient oak door, stained dark with age and covered with Rniti symbols of okit, ire, fuhok, and sigo.
The open door reveals a dim passageway that is the beginning of a spiral staircase that the Pentad can only assume leads directly up towards the top of the incredibly tall tower they believe is taller than the domed Central Trading Circuit in Southern Citis.
Vaiqon smiles and gestures for the stairs. The Pentad nod and follow Vaiqon.