Prologue

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I'd heard about this book from day one. I knew that it contained some sort of magical wisdom that would help me on my spiritual path, but I always thought that there was no way I would ever actually see it up close and personal. I always felt unworthy. It was as though this book was the Holy Grail of Arcan and I was just some lowly peasant who could only dream about seeing it. Yet, there I was in the same room with this mystical opus and I stood there frozen in admiration of it and the beautiful crystal pedestal where it rested.

I approached cautiously and I noticed it was larger than an average binder notebook. It was made of a material I had never seen before, it appeared translucent; a blue crystal in the center of the cover.   I gently picked it up and hugged it close to my chest. The energy from the book made me feel as though it was just as excited to see me as I was to see it. Was that even possible? Oh, wait. Everything was possible here in Arcan.

I took a few moments to check out the outside of the book. I couldn't tell exactly how old it was, nor could I determine what the translucent binding was made from. It wasn't anything I was familiar with.  It had beautiful designs embedded on the outside and I lightly and lovingly traced them with my right pointer finger. Once I did that, as if by magic, the designs gave way to a spot that looked like a right hand print.

Wait a second . . . no way! Did it match my hand? I gently placed my right hand onto the design to test it out. Within moments, the crystal in the center of the cover turned; its top half faced right.  Down the center of the cover a ridge appeared, separating it into two halves.  My hand opened the right half of the book.

I was in awe as I stood staring at the pages in this book. They were old, older than any other book I'd ever seen before. And the pages had multiple languages written on them, all throughout time. Though this was an oversized book, only half of the pages were open to me. I turned to the last page and noticed that the entry was in my own handwriting, except I had absolutely no clue what language I'd written in. It looked as though it was in some scribbled, cryptic notation and I was a little disappointed. What good was this book if I couldn't read a word of it?

I felt him come up behind me. "Hello, Princess. Glad to see you finally decided to come in here."

"Decided?" I questioned. "I had to work my way up to being allowed in here...didn't I?"

He shook his head. "This has always been yours to visit."

He leaned over my shoulder and traced the design on the other half of the book. Again like magic, a spot that looked like a left hand print appeared. He placed his left hand on the book and it opened. Not only did it open, but it also widened and expanded much like multiple centerfolds in a magazine, expanding to the width of several books.

"Whoa!" I couldn't contain my excitement.

"Just wait," Chico said. "There's much more."

"Just how big is this book, anyway?" I wondered.

"Larger than you can possibly imagine." a voice responded to me.

"Who is there? Who was that?" I wondered.

"Just wait." Chico repeated. "Watch."

I watched as the pages of the book continued to expand, but upwards this time, until they formed into the shape of a large bird, a blue phoenix. I was awestruck.

"Hello, Hira." Chico addressed the bird.

"This is Hira?" My jaw dropped. "I have heard so much about you and have seen your image everywhere! What are you doing in a book?"

"Hello," Hira's whimsical voice echoed in the great hall. "I am so pleased to see you both again."

"Again? But–"

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