Chapter 10 - Losing Direction

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"What are the weapons of the Night? Pain. Darkness. Fear. What are the weapons of the Light? A blade of righteous fire."

—Bellamy Clayhaus Martin, Prophet of the Light.

Back in the material world, Michael and Jaylina left her hamlet and walked together along a dirt road that followed the coast south, and all of Jaylina's instincts told her they traveled towards desperate and perilous lands. Thoughts of the previous night's encounter with the Darkness left her wondering what other dangers lay ahead. She did her best to hide her fear.

The weak sunlight caressed Jaylina's skin with warm and gentle fingers. Everything about this day had more substance to it—more life—than she could ever recall knowing. She bit into an apple Michael picked for them from an old tree that offered its fruit from the roadside, and it tasted sweet and earthy.

"It's a sword," explained Michael impatiently.

Jaylina brushed her hair from her eyes. "The weapon of great power you've been looking for is a sword? That can't be too hard to find."

"In the Spirit World it's a sword and perhaps the only thing that can harm that blasted demon chasing us. And maybe the Shadow Queen. Here in our universe, it might have some other form."

"Then how will you find it?"

"That's where I need your help. I have seen it before in the astral plane. But despite my best efforts, I have never been able to find it here in the material world. Every time I think I am moving closer on the other side, I return to this world and find I am moving away. If you can align the paths between this world and the not-world, I am told you may succeed where I could not."

Jaylina tasted a hint of bitterness in the apple's flesh. "So in this universe an object has one form and in the other it takes a different form?"

"Yes, some things. Specific objects."

"Show me."

"You cannot take my word for it?"

Jaylina shook her head. Since she met Michael, the universe had become a bigger place than she had ever imagined, and she wanted to see it all.

Michael thought a moment and reached into a hidden pocket within his coat. He removed a translucent yellow stone ringed with orange lines. Inside it was a large brown dot of an insect. He held it before him as if performing a magic trick.

"This is a firefly trapped in amber," he said.

He looked around to be sure they were safe and reached out his free hand to take hold of Jaylina's. Together they crossed. In Michael's hand, where the amber had been, he cupped a small glowing lantern that hovered just above his hand.

Jaylina giggled, using her hand to cover her smile.

"Light in dark places and all that," he said, sounding almost embarrassed.

"I told you she would not believe," chided Bellamy from behind them.

Michael ignored him and brought Jaylina back.

Jaylina marveled at the transformation. "How do you know what an object will become in another universe? Where did the stone come from?"

"I found it on a beach along the eastern continent, in the sands of an alluvial fan at the mouth of a green river flowing into the sea," he said.

"And you just knew it was a light source in the other universe?"

"I was travelling between both worlds when I came across it. I have been collecting special artifacts like this for a very long time."

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