Archives for posts with tag: Lord Berensota Anju

‘What is this dust, Akzasosan?’ Berensota asked, gazing up at his friend again, his voice open, almost pleading. ‘Why is there always dust? It is relentless. Once, I spent two months alone, without servants, in a villa belonging to the clan, in the high country of Ezu, among the Fu’unsi Alps, beyond the Gates of Deer. It is a small house. It is very quiet there, isolated from other villas and from villages. And the air is clear there – pure, as if it has just been made…’
12345Berensota tilted his head, and examined his sword hilt from another angle, his oily hair sliding across the side of his face, glittering slightly in the light from the lantern above him.
12345‘I was a ninth-chen lord, and wore the Gram of the Black of Eclipsed Suns – no, really!’ He made a brief, faintly embarrassed face, as if admitting it must be difficult to believe he had ever achieved such a high grade of purity. Then his memory claimed him again. ‘I was preparing for the days of deep meditation, in readiness to attempt illumination, and to achieve the blesséd Rank of the Subtle… You will understand how clarified I already felt: I had been training for years. I had memorised the entire Metal Books of War, and practised the style of zamen perfected by my ancestors, sometimes for ten or eleven hours a day… I felt very strong, Akzasosan.
12345Anyway, I retreated, temporarily, from public life. I read the sutras, and meditated, walked and sat, watching the day and watching the night. For that whole two months, I rarely saw another human being, and then only at distance, as they made their way along a mountain pass, or walked across the alpine meadows there. Supplies were brought to me, by arrangement, from the nearest village, but the villagers came and went without conversation, leaving packages by the door. The villagers understood the purpose of my retreat, and knew I was on holy business. I went into myself. Into the Building…
12345I was not attempting to achieve illumination then and there: for that, I wished to be among my cousins, and with my masters, instructors, my family, my Mark. Yet, I felt illumination was imminent. I felt the transcendent condition, like a seed, deep inside me. My movements were light and my thoughts occurred naturally, without division. Some traditions speak of illumination as the superstate: the state beyond states – and I sensed such an unthinkable condition as being close and possible for me. I would experience the death of the self. I would be illuminated. When I moved, the universe moved; and when I was still, the universe grew motionless. I didn’t seem to require any motive power to walk or stand: there was just a floating sensation. Among the RoMayZine, we say: Grammar grows obsolete; and we mean, that grammar, being dark, can no longer deal with the world as it is when illuminated. Even to speak of “I” is foolish. “I”, “it”, “this”, “that”… All foolish, all dark. But, for me then, I sensed grammar growing obsolete. I was entering the place where lightning is slow, and where brightness is black. I felt beautiful.
12345And then I noticed the dust.’


Excerpt from Dustless | Volume 13 | River Direction

Notes:
Chen is a measure of spiritual purity. There are ten grades of chen, and each grade is denoted by a colour. Berensota wears the ninth-chen Gram of the Black of Eclipsed Suns. He is in training to reach the highest state of spiritual purity, which, if he achieves it, will permit him to wear the tenth-chen Gram of the White of Drifting Clouds. He will be considered illuminated, a person of visionary powers, and will be promoted from Fine to Subtle Rank.

Zamen is both the product and the state of meditation. People sit in zamen, and enter the Building – the Building Without Motion, the MarIsQuess – which is an enigmatic state, giving masters of the Building celestial powers.

A Mark is a grouping of noble clans. Clans gather under certain Marks – the Shepherd Mark, for example, or the Empty Barrel Mark. Clans of mutual affinity assemble in order to develop their own culture and to trade and support each other.

The RoMayZine is a tradition. Clans who follow the RoMayZine are warrior clans, who place special emphasis on studying and embodying the ancient wisdom of the sutras of the RoMayZuthZine, the Metal Books of War.

Amazon Kindle Store:
UK | Dustless | Volume 1
US | Dustless | Volume 1
India | Dustless | Volume 1

ASIN (Amazon Standard Identification Number) | B00BEZL4ZU

Please explore…

Dustless | Volume 1

Advertisements

After the milling crowds of the centre of BerKur, and the hissing, sighing, panting locomotive device, and then the bright colours and unusual sights of the Maruki Theatre compound, this trudging across the more or less empty field (there were a few other people dotted about, but none close) made Zy feel relaxed and reflective. Having been pelted almost uninterruptedly with sensations, the boy rather welcomed this lull within these unexciting surroundings. The frozen, nondescript piece of ground opened up around them, offering nothing but glimmering blue-grey snow and shadowy space.

And then the sound of Berensota’s footsteps had ceased. Zy, still holding the shion’s hand, was forced to stop: the RoMayZine lord, apparently just becoming conscious of the night sky above him, now stood quite still, impelled by some instinct or desire, and looked up into the stars.

Zy, too, glanced upwards. What was the lord looking for? Did he think he would find something up there, in the chill, star-dusted RezIsimgrian darkness?

Zy could see nothing out of the ordinary: there were just stars, the waning moon and the darkness of empty space, visible through the circular hole in the grey clouds. There was just the night.

Still, the wild young lord peered upwards, right up, craning his neck, his mouth slightly open as if he were gasping, his gaze inspecting, and perhaps interrogating, those cold heavens. Wrapped up in his riding cloak, but with the hilts of weapons and the collar of his armoured jackolets glittering, the bearded, unconventional warrior – usually so swaggering, so proud, so full of himself (as the common people said) – possessed a kind of ardour, perhaps even an innocence. He seemed to be stretching to make himself as aware as he possibly could be. He was bathing himself in the darkness, and opening himself up to the gigantic, star-salted void of the universe.

What did he expect? Did he think the night sky would speak to him? He was attentive in that way – just as if he thought the night would somehow bend down and put its face close to his, and whisper to him.

It did not, of course. Or, if it did, Zy didn’t hear what it said. Yet, when Berensota looked down at Zy, the lord smiled, and his gaze was somehow very pure, as if there was nothing of the warrior left in it at all. Berensota was looking at the boy now just as, a moment before, he had been gazing into the stars. For a few instants, it seemed as if the wild young lord had been told something – as if the night had revealed a secret to him.

Then, giving Zy’s hand a little squeeze to signal they should move on again, Berensota gave two brief nods of his head, and the riders began walking, heading for the centre of BerKur.


Excerpt from Mask [iv], Volume 12 of Dustless

Please enter, and never leave…

Dustless | Volume 1

Only those who are able to stand alone can be truly loyal.


Said by Berensota, in Mask [iv], Volume 12 of Dustless

Dustless | Volume 9

…‘Well: how will you get justice, now? The whole power of the state is behind Azulsokul and the Xira clan. You yourself referred to the rumour: that the ShionDo is not just Azulsokul’s nephew, but…’

Berensota’s hesitation before finishing the sentence once again alerted Zy to the difficulty people found in discussing the internal affairs of the Dustless One and the imperial clan. The Dustless One had to be… well, Dustless. No dust of ordinary life should be able to cling to His Majesty’s person. Even in private, out of earshot of anybody else, Berensota still couldn’t speak of the matter without unease, as if he was sullying something within himself by opening his mouth and voicing these unflattering things. And in a sense, to deprecate the ShionDo was to cast oneself down, too, for the ShionDo was the Purest of the Pure, the Guardian of the Law, the Lord who was Vigilant over the Lords: the emperor was simply the purest person in O, the quintessence of the whole labour of the state to maintain the TanZo, to practise vigilance and to achieve purity. If there were specks of dust on the ShionDo, then there were specks of dust at the centre of the world. And if there was dust upon the Dustless One, where wouldn’t there be dust? Dust would have reached heart of the empire. And if there was dust at the heart, who could escape dust upon themselves, as well? It would mean a profound collective failure of the SolTanZoZon. No wonder, then, that people were deeply hesitant to criticise His Majesty…


Excerpt from Master Darkness [i], Volume 21 of Dustless

Please consider and approve…

Dustless | Volume 9

 

hoo-sha-ha: hoo-sha-ha…

Zy was warm enough. The night continued still, with virtually no breeze – and it was usually the breeze that brought the more violent cold.

Gradually, the noise grew louder: Lord Berensota was right about the direction – they were moving towards the source of the sound.

They’d crossed the footbridge, and trudged through rougher and deeper snow, less compacted, in the empty area between perimeter fence and the main part of the outskirts of BerKur. There were some isolated buildings, but they seemed to have been abandoned by the town, and let stray out there in the darkness. There was no one about.

hoo-sha-ha: hoo-sha-ha… hoo-sha-ha: hoo-sha-ha… click! Zrrrrr! Click! hoo-sha-ha: hoo-sha-ha…

The lord had also been right: it was a machine making the noise – it could be nothing else. As they walked through the tranquil night, with the uninhabited darkness of the Endless Plains out on their right, and the town on their left, its centre giving off a soft aura from the many lanterns, its outlying streets and buildings black and silhouetted, the machine could be heard uttering a repeated sequence of sounds: on this day of wonders, a new, alien wonder was waiting for Zy.

Zrrrrr! Click! hoo-sha-ha: hoo-sha-ha…

Zyso began to tremble: he had never heard anything like this before. Or… Well: he had grown up among the sounds of a working SharDo – the low hums and clicks of a tower whose tanks were operative; and the almost inaudible tickings of Ancient mechanisms, the mechanical sighs of pumps, the purr of filters, had served he and Zysa for lullabies, almost for a mother – but those sounds weren’t, somehow, the utterances of machines; they were what home sounded like; they were natural; they were the only world he knew.

But this sequence of sounds…

hoo-sha-ha: hoo-sha-ha… hoo-sha-ha: hoo-sha-ha… click! Zrrrrr! Click! hoo-sha-ha: hoo-sha-ha…

He could see smoke – a number of fires were burning, on the outer edge of the town, although Zy’s view was obstructed by some straggling buildings. The riders worked their way round the wasteground, and approached another bridge – and there was another one further ahead, as well – which was covered in snow, though only by a thin frozen paste. The ground was more uneven here, with softly swelling, shallow dome-like mounds; and it was from a depression beyond one of these mounds that both the smoke and the repetitive noises of the machine were coming.

Under the clear sky that hung above them, the stars and the rising moon visible through a giant, motionless hole in the surrounding grey cloud, the air was very still and pure, and the machine’s noise was penetrating rather than loud. Its sound travelled not only through the air, but seemed to be communicated through the earth as well: the sound possessed Gur – “weight”. Indeed, even before he saw the machine, Zy felt the heaviness of its being, its presence – it seemed to be the sound of weight, of massivity, of bulk: of metal.

They clunked across the bridge, and began to follow a path that led round and through the swelling mounds.

Zy’s heart was like a flower, tensed and opening before the light of the sun.

Trembling: a trembling inside Zy, where his heart was; and a trembling in the air; and a trembling through the ground.

hoo-sha-ha: hoo-sha-ha… hoo-sha-ha: HOO-SHA-HA: HOO-SHA-HA… CLICK! ZRRRR! CLICK! HOO-SHA-HA: HOO-SHA-HA…

Still, the sound wasn’t loud – if the riders had spoken (but they didn’t speak), their natural voices would have been perfectly audible above the sound of the machine – but there was something profoundly convincing about the solidity and denseness of the noise.

Zy sensed an animal patience about the throbbing, humming, buzzing, clicking thing: it was curiously bestial – passive, ponderous, unmoving. It was the sound of waiting. For a few moments, just before he saw the machine, Zy associated it with the Chun trekking ponies the riders had used to cross the dusty eastern provinces of the Endless Plains; if they had been metal, this was the sound the ponies would have made as they stood, motionless, at the command of their human riders, during a halt in the ride.

The two riders entered a surprisingly large bowl-shaped dell. There were about ten fires, burned down low, arranged in a wide ring: they were embering now, and the blackened wood was cooling and smoking in parts, and only in the hearts of these small bonfires was the timber glowing and shimmering and sparkling in its own heat.

HOO-SHA-HA: HOO-SHA-HA… CLICK! ZRRRR! CLICK! HOO-SHA-HA: HOO-SHA-HA…

In the centre of the ring of fires, it stood: a vast machine. Before he’d seen it, Zy had felt its sound was the sound of weight: now, once the two riders had entered the dell, and gained an uninterrupted view of the machine, Zy knew he was hearing the sound of power.

He was shivering, not with cold but with excitement: his whole being was fanning open, responding to the deep, bowel-rippling sound – even this close, not particularly loud (you could still hold a conversation in your normal speaking voice, and easily hear each other) – emanating from the machine. This was sound you could feel: it was physical, it made the air shudder and, from within the foundations of the air itself, the sound throbbed out, hitting you in gravid waves.

Zysoshin was thrilled: he felt as if the sounds were making his nerves quiver in awesome sympathy.

The machine was about three times as high as the tall Lord Berensota, and about ten horselengths long – about twenty dedaziles. In terms of width, it was around seven or eight dedaziles. It was basically oblong – a stretched block of metal. The block was curved and smoothed, however, so that the sides didn’t form sharp right-angles with the top of the machine, but flowed gracefully over into it. The front and back of the machine – if it could be said to possess a front or back – were identical: here too there were no straight angles, but at both ends the oblong resolved itself into a high, basically semi-circular forehead, which then descended and pushed outwards to form a massive snout.

HOO-SHA-HA: HOO-SHA-HA… CLICK! ZRRRR! CLICK! HOO-SHA-HA: HOO-SHA-HA…

Zy’s initial impression was of sleekness and of enormous weight. The machine appeared seamless – cast from a single block of sculpted zuth – a metal of rich, glowing, silver-like sheen. There was no snow on it: although Zy could see no vent, the machine was steaming with a very fine, almost invisible pale vapour. The air around the machine rippled faintly with exuded heat. The ground seemed to be throbbing and trembling in time to the rhythm of the machine.

After standing for a few moments, contemplating the wall-like bulk of the machine’s sides, which flowed down and then flanged out to form a kind of armoured skirt at the base, the two riders walked along a little way towards one end of the machine, where the mighty, snub nose gleamed in the firelight. Here, near where the forehead began, Zy now made out a metal ladder, which seemed not so much fixed to the main frame, but to grow out from it. The ladder looked at first very dainty – against the mass of the machine, it had a rather slender delicacy – but seen close up, the ladder itself had a moulded, chunky weight to it. Glancing upwards, Zy could just make out faint seams in the metal, which appeared to indicate a door or at least a break in the flawless surfaces.

About a third of the way from the ground, the machine’s snout emitted two large, short, horn-like prongs, which ended in flattened discs of shining metal – if the machine had arms and hands, then these stubby protuberances were its arms and the discs its hands, the palms held up and outwards. These were towards the sides of the snout: from the centre, a hooked extension was sited not far from the base of the machine.

HOO-SHA-HA: HOO-SHA-HA… CLICK! ZRRRR! CLICK! HOO-SHA-HA: HOO-SHA-HA…

At first, Zy had thought the machine was standing on perfectly flat, level ground: now, though, he could see that one end was slightly higher above the earth than the other, and that the machine was also tilted over a bit to one side – the more Zy stared, the more definite was his impression that the machine had sunk into the ground and subsided a little as well.

The broad swerving snub nose – so smooth, it seemed to have been drawn from an immaculate, gigantic mould; and so shining that it appeared as if someone must come every day and polish the metal (but the machine was so big, a single person would take hours and hours to do that) – held a square plate that didn’t seem fastened on, but an integral part of the fundamental structure of the machine; and within the square, bone-like struts of metal formed an unusual Gonfic cluster. This cluster wasn’t like any Zy had seen before – it was more sophisticated than any LateAncient cluster, and yet it didn’t possess the dizzying complexities and asymmetries of truly Ancient hypergrams; and Zy was able to interpret it only very tentatively, and only in part – although of a rather alien configuration, the boy reckoned he could make out, at the centre of the dense array, in a large, bold cluster: AmAm Trai – “No. 3”.

Walking right the way round it now, Zy had a quite swooning sense of this gigantic machine. His earliest intuitions about it were confirmed: weight, power, patience; mass, strength, weight.

HOO-SHA-HA: HOO-SHA-HA… CLICK! ZRRRR! CLICK! HOO-SHA-HA: HOO-SHA-HA…

It seemed to be breathing. Breathing, not like a person of course, but like a machine. That hoo-sha-ha sound, repeated over and over again in what felt like an utterly regular and ceaseless circuit – it was the sound of metallic lungs. From somewhere within that sleek cladding, there must be moving parts – the innards of such a machine were unimaginable, but Zy had the sense of giant but beautifully organised elements working through a very limited sequence of actions, over and over again. The metal breath of this No. 3 machine was like a kind of panting, only, paradoxically, Zy didn’t feel the machine was exerting itself, or had exerted itself – it was simply there, breathing, waiting, prepared.

He became conscious again of the sounds that were rippling through his flesh, it felt, and moving up through the ground, and the thick soles of his boots, passing into his bones and treeing off through his whole nervous system. The clicks the machinery uttered were profoundly interior, but, like the exterior, sculpted, precise, integral. The zrrrrr!, a buzzing, toothed noise, seemed to indicate movement, as if, under the burnished cladding, one part of the machine was being passed along, then halting, then being passed back again in an endless shuttling cycle.

Zy felt flushed with the heat from the fires. The two riders moved slowly on, coming to the end of the machine, the one that was slightly sunken into the ground, but which otherwise appeared a perfect replica of the end they’d already walked round: there was the same forehead and snub nose, the ladder, the door-like seams, the moulded protuberances. Seen now from every angle, the machine – bigger than many single-storey peasant houses – stirred Zy’s imagination and his senses: the machine was brutally beautiful, it seemed a thing of dense, almost tragic power – though why tragic, Zy couldn’t have said. As big as a house, and like a house, in some ways – a house for power, a place power sheltered. It was staggering.

Yes – staggering. But what did it do?


Excerpt from Mask [iv], Volume 12 of Dustless

Please consider…

Dustless | Volume 1