The one word suddenly sprouted, not as an external sound of the Brown Digger’s voice, but was conveyed like a wave of thought from the black radiance between the Brown Digger’s eyes.
Zax stared at the Brown Digger with a suspended expression on his childish face. “It… It…”
The black radiance, like a charming third eye, hidden beneath the Brown Digger fur, still echoed the one word which sounded as if it was spoken with Zax’s own vocal cords.
The word repeated, less daunting the second time, though it remained firm and forceful. The wave carried another thing when it reached Zax’s mind once more, a tint of a submissive mutual desire between the black radiance and the domineering sensation that became part of him.
Without paying heed to his actions, Zax’s right hand reached for the Brown Digger’s head. His fingers dug through the layers of fur, where the spot of black radiance shone, with each millimeter deeper it felt like the familiarity between the black radiance and the domineering sensation was getting stronger, until the fingers were surpassed by the toughness of the roots and skull of the Brown Digger.
Now, so close, as Zax half consciously returned to himself, the first thing he somewhat noticed were the Brown Digger’s eyes. The two reptilian eye balls seemed lifeless and hazy as fluctuations of brown mist energy swirled inside of them.
Looking at them, Zax had a vague feeling that the Brown Digger was at the same state that he was and that maybe in his eyes, it was Qi that swirled.
The Brown Digger, if he was half consciousness like Zax, did not oppose Zax closeness or touch. When the two were in contact it made both the Brown Digger and Zax experience a sort of kinship that originated from the other half of their consciousness. It could be described as if the two were under one and the same spell.
Another word, with the same voice that sounded like Zax’s, but from the black radiance in the Brown Digger’s head.
Unlike the Brown Digger, Zax sensed that he had a tad more control, enough to make the choice if to listen to the voice or ignore it. By relaying on how he felt, Zax was partial toward compliance. He had done so much for the irrational sensation; it also became an inseparable part of him that one could say he had done so much for himself. What was one more thing if it will only make him feel better? Not pressed by the need to do something he could not rationalize.
It was already too late to repent, and too early of a ten years old child to listen for reason rather than an impulse.
Before he even got to clench his hands with a grip of the Brown Digger’s fur and climb it, the two were startled by Zax’s stomach growling sounds. Zax fell to his bottom, the small bit for energy that he was about to extract could not be achieved in his body current state, despite the green gluey liquid that was healing his wounds.
As if something clicked in its mind, the Brown Digger regained a miniscule portion of its consciousness. It turned from Zax, walked to a certain spot on the ground and in a manner of a few seconds, surprisingly dug out Zax’s backpack.
Since the two shared a cryptic connection, when Zax’s stomach was growling, although both were mostly under the influence of the source of the connection, the Brown Digger still managed to receive a picture of Zax’s backpack and an idea of what its content meant for Zax. Moreover, the sound of a growling stomach has held a distinguished note all living beings could recognize.
Zax’s incomplete awareness made him grasp his body movement slowly and with no relations to his will. It was the same as watching through dreaming eyes and going along with it. Zax grab his backpack from the Brown Digger’s mouth, opened it and one by one ate all the remaining snacks and drank all the water to his fill.
The Brown Digger, who was affected by the cravings of Zax’s body through the connection, also licked the ground as he done before, only this time by what its counterpart projected.
After couple of long minutes, Zax was sated and the black radiance shone brightly in between the Brown Digger’s eyes.
One word, which was sufficient for Zax to understand what the voice, his voice, implied, caused him to put the backpack on his back and climb the Brown Digger’s back.
How the sound resonated made Zax wonder, for a few seconds, in some deep part of his consciousness, whether the Brown Digger was just a tool of the black radiance, when in fact it was the black radiance that had the connection with him. Could the words that carried his voice were actually his own from the start and since a beast like a Brown Digger cannot talk, the black radiance pulled the words from his mind and sent them back as its own? The question dispersed to nothingness with the first step of the Brown Digger out of the cavern to the tunnel that indeed was on the other side.
The Brown Digger’s path was illuminated by a handful of grain size Sun Stones and regardless of how it was influenced to eat because of Zax, the affect seemed to be one sided.
The tunnels in the profound world of the Brown Diggers were carved in a very systematic order, considering the low intelligent of Brown Diggers… Tunnels in and out caverns were slightly wide and tall as an adult Brown Digger on all four. Tunnels which functioned as paths to different locations beneath the ground were as wide and tall as two adult Brown Diggers. Crossroads tunnels were the biggest ones, they were the places adults sometimes fought against each other and pups sometimes played in. There were several others types of tunnels with different builds which signified different stuff for the Brown Digger, but in none of these tunnels the Brown Digger carrying Zax crossed.
Lastly, and not entirely related to the tunnels but still part of the profound word of the Brown Diggers… The reason for the bad smell in the cavern that Zax was in and most other caverns was the method in which the Brown Diggers used to mark their private dwellings…
Seeing the tender flesh meat carried by another of their own, was a sensible reason for Brown Diggers to fight over it, to try and snatch it, and most times that exactly what would had happened. Yet instead, while Zax rode on the back of the Brown Digger, whenever an adult Brown Digger was about to react to his presence, something unexpected took place that might have shocked Zax if half of his mind was not unconscious and the other half free from the dream like state.
On the head of every adult Brown Digger, in between their eyes, a black radiance shone. The same happened to a great number of the Brown Digger pups and those of the little ones whom did not display the black radiance were forced to stay in their place by their parents, right before they and every other Brown Digger paused their activities. The effect of the suspension lasted up until the Brown Digger that carried Zax diverted its path to another tunnel and was too far for the other Brown Diggers to notice by smell or sight the human on its back.
Time flew by as seconds turned into minutes and minutes to hours, eventually nearly three days had passed. A human boy could not withstand such journey without food and rest, but beneath the ground, in the world of Brown Diggers there was very little that could pose as nutrition for humans.
The first day and a half was still beneath the ground and apart from drinking one time from an underground spring, Zax had nothing to satisfy his thirst and hunger. The Brown Digger, who through their connection felt that Zax was hungry, left to hunt while Zax rested, guarded by another Brown Digger with black radiance on its head. However, when it got back with a feathery carcass, Zax, in his half aware state, was reluctant to feed on it. Even the word “EAT!” that resonated in Zax mind, a wave in his sea of consciousness, it could not compel Zax to eat.
The Brown Digger left Zax and hunted time and time again. It did not let Zax to climb on its back and continue when Zax refused to eat, it could not. The thing which controlled the Brown Digger sent it to find and bring food to sate Zax’s hunger; otherwise it would not let them proceed. In the sixth time the Brown Digger returned from the hunt it brought orange juicy fruits. Maybe it was their appearance, maybe it was the sensation or maybe Zax really knew what these fruits were… either way, he ended up eating them. Afterwards, in the first day and a half, the Brown Digger left only once more to bring food and by this time, returned quite fast with a branch of the tree that grew the orange fruits.
The last day of their journey was above ground. There was a fairly good reason for a Brown Digger to live underground; it was not much of the most threatening beast. Any other beast of the same size or even a little smaller that lived above the ground was more dangerous than a Brown Digger, as if oversize rodent was still just a rodent. On their way to their destination in the last day, after Zax eaten the last orange fruit, the Brown Digger did not left to bring more of the fruits or allowed a moment of rest to either of them. During the last day the Brown Digger still obeyed the black radiance like a robot, but followed its instincts in regards to their survival.
Finally they entered it. The entrance tunnel was uniquely small, similar to the in and out tunnels from caverns in the Brown Diggers’ world. The cave, however, was as big as any of the beasts’ caves, its scenery, on the other hand, was like nothing they encountered, whether they paid attention or not.
Although the tunnel to the cave sank into the ground, this appeared to be of no concern to the duo. Smoky mist that sprouted from the ground like incomparable hot steam was the thing which delayed Zax and the Brown Digger for a short time after they entered. The smoky mist had lava like orange color, almost as bright and prominent as gold. It blocked the view of the cave and possibly burnt any sign of life that ever existed in the cave.
The black radiance, although it deflected the smoky mist from Zax’s and the Brown Digger’s path by creating a barrier in the shape of a dome, it could not lower the temperatures of the boiling earth. Nonetheless, the Brown Digger, despite burning its paws with each step, did not slow down or even flinched from the pain. It continued onward for a few hours and collapsed when there was no need for it to go farther – that was when the black radiance faded from its head and only the barely half aware Zax remained, sort of, awake.
The two arrived to a rock that could be either a base of a mountain the smoky mist cover, or simply a giant rock. Besides several cavities of the same size and shape in the rock, embedded to it were two fist sizes, glowing spheres which emitted a terrifyingly strong black radiance that far repressed the boiling earth and smoky mist’s capabilities within a diameter of a few tens of meters.
The new black radiance, of one sphere out of the two, assaulted Zax’s consciousness, but did not harm his soul. The black radiance meticulously formed a black membranes armor around Zax’s soul. When the armor was indomitable, Zax’s soul was sheltered from any outside harmful fluctuations, yet could still interact and perceive as before. Following the complete formation of the armor, a black glimmer flashed in Zax’s eyes and he regained full consciousness.
Since he was aware to a certain degree of his surroundings and his action, Zax did not immediately react when he again looked at the world with clear eyes. The transition from an half aware dream state to refreshing clarity was also not abrupt as it is when one wakes up for a dream. The transition was subtle and in its process, Zax’s unique soul first familiarized itself with the black membranes armor, which seemed to be nothing special. At most, a defensive layer that moved along with the movement of the soul energy. Second, Zax’s inner mind, unobstructed by the sensation or voices that rang in his head, recalled as much as he could of the past two and a half days. After a few minutes he was perfectly he was perfectly versed with every at any given moment from the journey.
Zax eyebrows contracted. Looking around at the smoky mist and the panting Brown Digger, he said aloud. “It wasn’t you, right? You were just a tool to bring me here”. His gaze moved to the sphere that formed the black membranes armor. “You guided us here… Are you an Earth’s Core?”
It was ludicrous to ask, but the black sphere had the shape of an Earth’s Core and even seemed to have dark swirling mist inside of it. In Kingdom Earth there was not ever a known case of an Earth’s Core communicating with a person, at least no one ever publish the existence of such an extraordinary event. And yet, Zax was confident in his beliefs. Being so close to the origin of the black radiance, he did not know how it controlled the Brown Digger or him or how it communicated with either of them, but he was sure that it was the black sphere, one of the two, that done so.
In spite of Zax’s hopes, the black sphere he turned his question to, did not respond. “Should I try it now that I’m finally here?” Zax pondered. “…If anything I feel like I should get closer, but not leave. No. This Black Core… I’ve done so much… I’ll take it!” Zax made up his mind and released his Soul Sense.
There was nothing to sense. When his Soul Sense launched, the black armor also extended itself as part of the border of the Soul Sense. The black border severed Zax contact with the environmental essence and formed a void sphere with a radius of a hundred and thirty five centimeters. Within the void the lack of senses did not scared Zax, on the contrary, he felt at peace, like floating inside a mother womb.
Zax’s hearing was impacted and the sound was that of a pulse.
Zax’s smell returned, next, and the odor was sweet and vast.
Zax’s sight was the only one of his senses he was not sure if he had lost or merely darkened by his eyelids. With it he discovered a shining distant spot in the black cover of his Soul Sense.
Zax’s taste intersected with his sense of smell and the vast sweetness spread out in his mouth and filled his body.
Zax’s last sense returned. Touch. He stopped floating, and could tell that once more he was standing on a solid ground.
Zax five senses led him unanimously forward and with his steps getting closer, so was everything he sensed intensifying. “There, it’s showing me when I use my Soul Sense!” His right hand starched and his five fingers clenched something smooth and round.
The impulse passed through Zax’s hand and shook his whole body from his skin to his bone marrow. Startled, Zax fell on his knees. For a split millisecond he saw it, the being that left this black Earth’s Core behind. If Zax had to choose one word to describe it, then “Colossal!” was the one.
“Ahaaa…” Other than a crude estimation of its size Zax could not fathom the entity’s features. His mouth was left opened and an indistinct voice came out. The shortest of moments of its true presence blanked his mind. When the moment was over Zax unintentionally withdrew his Soul Sense and the Black Core disappeared from the palm of his hand.
“Where did it go?!” Zax’s eyes bulged out. A second ago he held the Black Core, one even might say tightly, and in the blink of an eye it vanished?
“My Qi and…!” Inside of his lower dantian, the Qi that was swirling around the medium quality E level Core began to stream back to all the Qi channels and stir in them. Things were happening to the medium quality E level Earth’s Core, as well. Its color started to darkened. The Earth’s Core’s shell gradually turned pitch black, so much that it was impossible to detect or see with Zax mind’s eye the mist inside of it.
“What is it doing?” Zax located the Black Core. It was right next to the E level Earth’s Core, sending pulses of dark radiance to the Earth’s Core, Qi and soul.
In his dantian, Zax could only feel that his soul link with the Earth’s Core and Black Core was slowly fading, but in his Qi channels and soul… “AHHHHH!” Excruciating pain cut through Zax two of the three aspects, soul and Qi. Zax roared madly, winced and banged his head to the ground. “GRHAAAA!” His voice cracked and echoed for hundreds of meters as pulses of black radiance were sent from the Black Core and black long spikes pierced every fiber of the last aspect, his body. The sudden pain was intolerable to the point that Zax could not think straight. He was awfully conscious of everything, the piling of his soul, the disintegration of his body, the Qi which liquefied and formed crystal like clots in the Qi channels, but his mind… it retracted. All of it, in this rare chance, while the protection of the soul was wavering, the only safe haven was within the seed of his creation, the spirit.
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