13 Conversation like dreams, the old man in the white space
The riceling 'looked' at every direction and could not perceive where that voice had come from, nor where the black shadow mirroring it's shape dissipated to.
The riceling found that once more it had learnt a new term - 'fear'.
That was right. It felt, 'fear', fear of being alone in an empty space, fear of being watched, fear of unknowing, of ignorance, it felt... 'fear' as it could not perceive what that 'voice' was that called out to it.
The riceling 'shook it's head' and found that the word 'fear' didnt seem good for this situation. There was something else... right,it realized that it had felt this same feeling when it had dreamt of the huge coffin which called it's name - the feeling when it had heard the word-
'Yang'... the riceling felt it's 'fear' had vanished, and what remained was that unfamiliar emotion which it felt when it had heard this term. this.. 'name'. ..the riceling, no, 'Yang' thought that it felt good to have a name. It felt 'comforting', and also an emotion quite opposite to it.. a pain that it realized was called 'sorrow'.
That was right.
Yang felt comfort upon hearing that voice, which called it 'little fellow'.
'Fellow?' Yet another term the ri.. Yang couldn't understand. 'Whatever', Yang felt that it was truly irrelevant right now.
"Do not 'observe', but 'sense'."
'!?' Once more the voice resounded, much clearer this time.
"- Plant's aren't able to see, yet they are able to 'sense' all the same,
- Young kin of mine, observe the world not in the ways of the past, of flesh,
- It is the will which pushed your flame into this space,
- And it is the will which grants us 'sense'"
'Will?' Upon hearing the term, Yang suddenly understood that this understanding, this.. 'thinking', it being able to learn to move in that ocean through the dream of the wheelbarrow amidst the rain- no, the act of dreaming, and understanding 'itself'...
Yang realized that suddenly, before it stood a hunched back silhouette bearing resemblance to the majestic yet slightly crooked burning spire where the milky white flames came from.
This figure 'took on' a more distinct shape, and became...
'A crooked old man?'
"- And who are you calling a crooked old man eh?"
'Oh... oh... you can hear me old man?' Yang found that the term 'conversation' appeared in his consciousness.
"- Yes. this is.. a.. conversation. Little fellow, it's been a truly long time since anyone's arrived in this musty old garden of ours- no less a newborn like you"
The 'crooked old man' silhouette moved closer, and 'picked up' Yang's wisp of consciousness. A peculiar scene, really, A bent over figure without proper outlines and colour, hardly distinguishable in the white space save for the flaming contortions of white flame surrounding him, picked up an azure ball of flames the way one would pick up a baby by their waist.... If flames had waists that is.
As barely perceptible as this figure is, it's certainly easy to see that he... it sported an impressive hair and beard, akin to drooping, blazing flames.
"Hoh... newborn might be truly apt. You only recently sprouted from a seed. How peculiar to see anything new in this ageless space."
'Pecu..liar?' Yang surprisingly found it recognized a lot of the terms. Recognizing them is certainly not understanding them though, and when strung together, he could barely 'understand' what the old figure is saying.
"Hm.. not to mention your arrival is heralded by the descent of another old bastard. Truly amusing.." The figure pet yang as he stroked his beard.
"Yes.. peculiar indeed, child. This place has never 'begun', nor had any concept of 'new'. To be plain, it's a retirement home for old coots like us."
'..???' Every sentence only gave more for Yang to ponder on, and it thought that it would take a very long 'time' for it to understand.
"I see that your name is yang... yes. It's good to have a name, child. That you would have 'memories' and 'consciousness' as a newborn is sure to piss off the old celestial emperor and the heavenly dao of the grand universe - not that they could intrude into this space whatsoever. Hah, haha.. *cough*"
"- Yes, i seem to have gone on a tangent. Child, what you will come to know, you will know in the future. Our existence is peculiar, although yours surpass mine. No.. perhaps since before the birth of 'time', there has yet to be one such as you even in past epochs."
'..?' Yang's consciousness was overloaded and had given up on 'thinking' quite a while ago. It only understood that the old man called it 'new' and 'peculiar'. 'New...' Yang thought it was a good term, it was good to be new.
"Well then, little yang. Seeing as there is an annoying fellow that had just arrived, we don't have much time to talk right now. Ah, since i've pried your name I too should share mine. In the future, you will come to understand, but for now, I...
I am the flaming roots of justice and home for the vermillion kings of the sky,
A parasol that cradles the immortal phoenixes, the immemorial shelter of the sky upon which the blazing flames of justice burn
Within my roots the ancient gardens of immortals flourishes, and atop my crown are phoenixes born and grown, with me are they married and come to know of the sky.
With me, they burn into new life, and with me they fall to ashes only to rise again'"
"They call my kind the parasol tree, and I am the ancestor upon which the flaming skies and flames of pure yang were born, progenitor of all of mine kin. Mine moniker is '炽烈阳伞树', the parasol of blazing yang, Yang San Shu.."
'Yang? Like my... name?'
"No.. not the same Yang as your name. Hoh... yours is a special moniker. In due time, in due time..."
The old man put yang down who had nearly fallen asleep again due to the comfort of being pet. The old man gave off a truly comfortable warmth and yang felt nourished while in his grasp, and it felt a bit 'sad' when the old man put him down.
"Yes, that is indeed mine name. Now then little fellow, we'll talk again sometime. Greet the other old coots in this garden too, they're eager to meet new neighbours. Good morning, and have a pleasant awakening, child...'
Yang, who had already been truly sleepy and drowsy found that the wave of comfort overcame him again, and thus, his consciousness dimmed---