You can catch up with the Great Master and her previous stories in Xerxes and before on this link:
The woman known to some as the Great Master couldn’t leave the ruins of Xerxes.
“There’s more here, Engagé.”
“There’s always more. That’s history.”
She put a hand on his shoulder, looking deep into his eyes.
He smiled, melting into that gentle, but powerful gaze.
“What is asking to be felt.”
Gage nodded, but he didn’t feel anything but her gaze and the warmth of her hand on his shoulder in the frigid north.
She waved to him to follow.
They wandered out of the great house in which they’d camped to explore. They followed this pattern for several weeks.
Their supplies got low. Gage worried about getting to the next town to get re-supplied. As usual, the Great Master was unconcerned.
They’d explored many parts of the ruins of Xerxes. Once a bustling, expansive city, most of the buildings had collapsed. The remains were primarily stone structures, walk ways, and a few statues.
Gage paused in front of one of the better preserved statues. A man with a cloak and raised fist pronounced strength and confidence.
“This is my favorite,” Gage pronounced.
She looked up. Saw it as if for the first time. “That’s not who they were.”
“What do you mean?”
“That’s not who they were. Look.”
Gage sighed, but he followed the suggestion. He looked.
He looked as deeply as he could. But it just looked like a statue.
Then somehow, something shifted. His eyes did something. It’s like the statue blurred and re-shaped. He felt like he could feel the hands of the stone carver trying to create a picture. He could feel the worry and the need to present an image to earn the patronage of the person who’d hired him. And he almost felt the patron who wanted to believe an idea and to get other people in the city to believe this idea.
Gage took a step back out of a strange dizziness.
She looked meaningfully at him.
“What was that,” he asked.
“What did you see?”
“I saw…I saw…” Gage fumbled for words. “Desperation.”
She nodded. “This statue is too new. It was made later after…something had changed.” She headed into older parts of the city.
He looked again, but then it was just a statue. He turned and followed her deeper.
Now they found fewer structures. A couple small stone foundations covered in moss and snow were all that remained. There wasn’t much to investigate, but the Great Master pursued relentlessly. Before long, they stood in an area with mounds. She bent over and removed snow and debris from a rock.
Gage looked over her shoulder, “Sophia Te.”
She lay a hand on the stone and breathed. “So quickly it goes.”
A brief moment of silence held them in frosty air.
Then a blast of frigid arctic air howled at them, into them.
Gage shivered and then his stomach growled. They’d rationed food for the last three days.
“It’s this way,” the Great Master said.
Gage looked ahead, but all the saw were more burial mounds, some still covered in snow, others peaking out covered in dead vegetation.
She headed towards a small pile of stone. He watched her lift different pieces of rock. She started putting the pieces together, seeing patterns in the old worn rock that Gage hadn’t noticed.
A light snow started to fall despite being mid-June.
She wiped away the snow and continued to inspect different pieces of rock. Gradually a small arch structure came together, which likely stood as a part of a door into an official graveyard? tomb? That reality was lost to them.
She dug into the moss and pulled out more pieces. Finally, the full archway was reconstructed.
“There are symbols,” Gage noticed. He squinted at them. “You found something, but I can’t read it. And I know most of the languages of the northern expanses.”
She was very quiet.
Gage almost spoke when she did not respond, but he noticed tears on the side of her face. He knelt beside her. Put an arm around her.
“What does it say?”
Her breath was shaky. “Ubey h’roken.”
Gage blinked, confused. Then an idea sprung to mind. “Is that…is that the old language?”
Gage felt something stir inside him. A kind of flicker of remembrance, weak but there. He wanted to ask how she knew this forgotten language, but instead asked, “What does it mean?”
Moments passed without a response, but finally she said, “We forgot.”
The wind howled again, a deep longing with relentless energy. Snow quickly covered the inscription. The two huddled close to each other for warmth amidst the countless mounds and the vast expanses of the Deep North.
She stood up, wiping her eyes. “We found what we needed.” Her eyes shown clear. “It’s time to go.”
Interpretation of The Secret of Xerxes
Such an intriguing story, isn’t it?
You know how I like to add in things from other languages, but in this case, I’m actually creating a language to be the original language of this world.
Honestly, I love languages. They’re amazing, and I thought to myself that having an original language would be a powerful one in these stories.
In our mythologies (and this world is very much a kind of mythology as well as a teaching tool about spiritual development and freedom), there is often an idea of an original perfection or balance. Xerxes is the first example of that in my stories.
More will be revealed about that as we go, but at the heart of the original language is a culture that thinks communally and cooperatively. Their language will reflect that.
Ubey h’roken = We forgot.
What did they forget?
Why does the Great Master tear up?
So much more to tell.