Chapter 8

Emily and Truth

Emily chewed her lip in frustration. The wreckage of the Sophist vessel brought back too many bad memories and maintaining a cheerful facade in front of Princess Phantasia Caelestis was no easy task. She had the eyes of a seer.

“This vessel belonged to one called ‘Hierodula’,” she announced. “Some called him ‘Father’, or ‘the Founding Father’, and referred to this as his ‘throne’.”

“And you can tell all that just by looking at it?” Emily failed to hide her awe at the Princess’s skills. There was scrying, and then there was this.

“I see all things,” replied the Princess, before glancing to her side and adding a mumbled, “Most things.”

To Emily, the Princess took the appearance of an adolescent girl, childish of nature if not of form. Elegant in poise and majestic in posture, she held her head high as they navigated the slender paths through the thickets surrounding the crashed ship, her flowing dress caught by the same unfelt breeze that played with her hair. Sometimes she would reach out and brush her fingers against the wings of a butterfly or the soft fur of bumblebee as they danced about the wild flowers, and greet them as if they were old friends. Bird or beast, living or not, aware or ignorant, all things had a soul, and, in Princess Phantasia’s eyes, all things were equal.

“Don’t you ever get confused?” asked Emily. Her own experiences of the aethereal world and its vast well of information had often left her dizzy as a child. It was one of the reasons she tried to avoid it.

“I do not,” replied the Princess, “though I am troubled by the need for so many names. This world would be simpler were everyone to see the same thing.”

Everybody perceived the aether differently. That was why names were so very important. There were as many Phantasias out there as there were people, but they all shared the same soul.

The Princess stopped by the wing of the Sophist ship. “Dante Orpheus followed this path,” she said.

As much as she didn’t want to admit it, Emily saw it too. That was the nature of the aether; unless a person shut themselves away from the world, they would contaminate it. Dante’s awareness of his surroundings lingered upon the aether like fingerprints.

Yes, that was a sneaky Kingdom Hearts reference.