The Epic Dialogs of Mhyo [MultiFormat]
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eBook by Charles Nuetzel
eBook Category: Fantasy
eBook Description: He must kill the required number of dragons to win the hand of the lovely pricess. That was the duty of all promising young warriors! But more dangerous than the dragons are the Walls that Speak, including the most powerful wall of all--Godwall--and the most deadly--Deathwall! An "adult fairy tale."
eBook Publisher: Wildside Press, Published: USA, 2007
Fictionwise Release Date: May 2007
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This book is being presented as an "adult" fairy tale. But it is far more than that. What follows is based on the only existing record of a very ancient document, The Dialogs of Mhyo. The original text was discovered several decades ago in a small shop in India. Since then it has been in the possession of Col. Joseph C. Gaberial. When he died, his nephew, J. Clifford Davis, found it among many other items in the man's private collection of artifacts. It was obviously very old, on parchment paper and tied together with a small red ribbon. Mr. Davis gave it to the local museum. The director, Dr. Thomas Gordon Waymans III, was able to translate it into English. J. Clifford Davis acquired a photocopy of the original text and a copy of the translation, both of which his son Carlton Davis showed the present publisher's wife.
Even a casual reading reveals that, while very ancient, the text was collected from much older source material, quite obviously lost in time. This is, in fact, a collected "anthology" of incomplete quotes and scenes.
There is much evidence that the original "myth," upon which this document seems to have been based, was nothing but a fairy tale. Though some experts in ancient text have their doubts concerning the whole project, there are enough who believe that all myths are based, at least in part, on actual historical events. There are many people, the most prominent being Dr. Major James C. Clarment, III, who believe the original text to relate to a very real warrior general of an ancient land, perhaps still undiscovered. Perhaps these "Epic Dialogs" are the only evidence of its existence. Perhaps, perhaps, perhaps. Nobody knows, for certain, its exact origins.
For this edition a few editorial liberties have been taken in order to offer something that can reach the widest possible audience. (The original text can be found elsewhere in libraries devoted to preserving such specialized material.)
The publisher believes that The Dialogs, in the present form, will not only find a place on the shelves of today's reader, but in the libraries of those who follow us in the 21st Century and beyond.
[Editorial Note: Throughout the body of the "Dialogs" brackets are used in this manner to indicate missing material: [ ... ]. At places where we are uncertain concerning some word or words they will be enclosed is brackets in the same manner.]
Thousand Oaks, California
July 2006 * * * * ONCE UP ON A TIMER
Once up on a Time there was a land that we will simply call the World of Walls.
[ ... ]
As in all good fairy tales there is, in this world of Walls that spoke, this, we might call it, mythical land--universe--many legends, fantasies, witches, and wizards. Most importantly there is Godwall and Deathwall. Of course, these Walls that speak created conflicts between the People of the lands. [ ... ] Warriors were sent forth to slay dragons and do great battle against evil wizards. In such a manner heroes won the hearts of noble women by bold and daring deeds.
I believe that just about tells the beloved Myth as we have all learned to accept it.
[ ... ]
But we must always remember that in the lands of Godwall and Deathwall all may be nothing more than illusional reality.
[Editor's note: This "Once up on a Time" is from the Dialogs of Mhyo, and it reveals the Events of Mhyo's First Conflict against Deathwall.] * * * * HIS AUDIENCE WITH GODWALL
"So you wish to become more than you are?" Godwall spoke for the first time, voice seeming to bounce off the shocking white walls of Its Holy Temple. "And whom is it that would say you are worthy of becoming more than you are?"
Silence answered It. Because the large, powerfully built young man standing there in front of the awesome Deity found it difficult to even think of anything to say, let alone make use of his voice. All his life he had waited for this moment when Godwall would give him Audience as was prescribed by Law. He had rehearsed a speech of many profound and simple statements all of which merely announced he was ready for his assigned post in life. Now he stood before the Beloved Ruler, the Creative Deity that directed the True destiny of all the People, and was unable to speak. He felt no fear of being struck down instantly by some deadly ray or killing beam. That was not Godwall's way. Yet the anxiety, the uncertainly, the very fact of this experience was overwhelming.
"Answer me, you are human, you have a body, you have a head, you have a brain, you have a tongue, you have a mouth, let them speak, form words and answer my question. Who is it that would say you are worthy of becoming more than you are?"
"I do not wish to become more than I am, only to learn what I am to be."
"The same thing. All the same thing."
"Who is this that stammers before me? Speak!"
"Mhyo ... Janton," he managed.
"I know that. But who is Mhyo Janton?"
If Godwall did not know the answer then what or who would know? Godwall certainly knew all there was to know about the People. Many Learned Ones of great Nobility and Status suggested that It even knew more about Deathwall than was generally suspected or reported in the Folk Papers.
"Who is a Mhyo Janton?" Godwall demanded, not really having waited for an answer to the first question. "Where is there a man, for that matter, who could answer a question concerning his identity without knowing all there is to know? No where. There is no such man. Nobody knows all things. Except, perhaps, myself! But I am Godwall. So, that's a different matter. Thus it must be a nobody who is given the mission of self discovery. For if one is somebody, they know what they are--which is very little if they are totally honest with themselves. A nobody much admit knowing nothing--and thus be willing to discover knowledge of the world around them. Only thus can they decide if they are more than nothing. But then he might discover he is nobody--or that simply there is no difference between a nobody and a somebody other than understanding the fine difference ... understand?"
Mhyo Janton, of course, did not understand a word that Godwall spoke. It, like all gods and wizards and witches went out of Its way to be confusing; or so it would seem. That was, naturally, the way of all gods.
"You do understand the importance of being a nobody?"
Godwall quite obviously required, demanded, commanded, decreed an answer. The very tone of his voice left no doubt about the matter.
"I ... yes..." Mhyo Janton lied.
"Yes. No. Maybe. And then ... well, sometimes. Women's words. Maybe I love you, of course, means: yes I do love you; only you must win me through daring deeds. Or she might say, no, I do not love you and I can never love you. All of which means the same: Go and prove yourself worthy of my love. Maybe then I'll admit that I do love you. All words that have little true meaning. Confusion. Illusion. Masks. Scripts. Mere walls to restrict, mystify, confound. But so it is with the People. Beyond the walling mask is another and beyond one convoluted script a more complicated one. One wonders where the real mask or scripts hide. Surely under the final real mask must be the utterly foolish and stupid and useless self that one never wants to reveal to the world--or to himself. Well, herself, too, if you want to be fair concerning the total confusion that is female. It is all the same to me. I really cannot see the difference between man and woman; oh, a few little physical differences, I'll admit, but not enough to make an issue of. Well, never mind. The fact is you do no know what I mean because you are a nobody. Being a nobody you deserve to begin your adult experience by learning what you are: somebody or nobody or maybe a no thing
"As it is written, as it is so computed in the history of events, you are the son of Miij Hanna and Tol Janton. Your parents were very common farmers, who have toiled hard to survive. They have made it possible for you to enter the School of Heroes in order for you to become a Warrior. You have been a good son. You worked hard in the fields of your father's small food-growing farm. You have honed your warrior's skills and have built yourself a strong body. You exist, you breathe, you have suffered childhood and you have enjoyed the friendship of a man called Golter, who has become your servant by choice of my words. This just about covers it. And now you stand before me and wish to become even more than you are in order to win Princess Ginnia."
Godwall became suddenly silent, as if out of breath, though, of course, it did not breathe.
Mhyo Janton stood there waiting nervously. He had worn a finely woven Warrior's garment of silken white cloth. It draped tightly about his wonderfully handsome, muscular form, belted at the waist by a thick, white strap of the finest leather. A simple warrior's sword hung from the belt.
It was soon obvious that Godwall would say no more. When the prolonged silence became too painful, Mhyo Janton said: "I have come to learn, I have come to embrace Godwall's blessing and be assigned to my unit and--"
"Rot! You have come to seek wisdom and to seek understanding and to learn about yourself and to know what the future might bring. And you have come before Godwall to discover what it is you must do in life. You wish to know what you must do to gain honor in our lands. What, must you do in the name of Godwall to become accepted as a fine and true Warrior? Now is that not right? But, of course it is. And that is one hell of a lot, if you ask me. In fact, a bit too much!"
Silence followed, like black, liquid ice. Desperately, Mhyo Janton offered: "I come to understand."
"What? What the future holds? I will tell you what to understand--is that it?--and everything will be simple, and you will not find it necessary to think too much or to move aimlessly through life without a goal. Is that not correct?"
"I come to offer my service. To you. Godwall." Mhyo desperately countered.
"What kind of service could you offer that I would consider of any value? What could a simple nobody, a no thing, offer a God?"
"Willingness to serve?"
"That is quite obvious by the very fact that you are standing there before me. Okay. You wish direction. You wish to serve. You wish to please. You wish to do that which will make it possible for you to discover why you are a nobody. You wish to correct that condition and become a titled somebody. Okay. Then I offer you simply this:
"Seek your answer from Deathwall!
"Only from the Voice of Deathwall will you learn what you wish to know. But remember: It is not always the end results that offers the greatest rewards. It is through the process of discovery that we learn the most. It is the movement from beginning to end that reveals the real truth.
"Go to Deathwall. Ask Deathwall: 'How can I become more than I am?'
"And, my bold nobody friend, Deathwall will be more than eager to offer many wondrous and marvelous answers. It will tell you how to begin your search of discovery. Deathwall is a Wall of many voices and a very powerful and destructive Voice it is.
"Through Deathwall's wisdom one could quickly learn the way to become more than they are. But you must penetrate beyond the very barrier of Its existence to truly understand anything.
"Of course nobody has successfully managed that; but warriors who survive the mission and return to me, have, at least, learned how very difficult it is to become more than they are.
"If you survive and return you will truly have earned a place of some value here in my domain. Go. And don't return until you have become more than you are."
Godwall was silent. It was a long silence. It continued and would not end. Then the bright glare of the room dimmed, as if the deity had gone to sleep.
Mhyo Janton slowly realized the interview had ended. He had experienced the first, and perhaps only, meeting with Godwall. Having been given his assigned duty he slowly turned and left the magnificent Temple of Godwall to begin his journey. * * * * A FRIEND AND SERVANT, GOLTER
"What did Godwall say?" the beefy, muscular young Golter quickly asked, as Mhyo Janton stepped up to him. The man and two horses stood just outside the magnificent temple. The clean lines of the building lifted up around Godwall, encasing It in a shimmering pure white cylinder that disappeared into the billowy clouds above.
"What did It say," Golter repeated.
"To seek ... Deathwall."
Golter shuttered, visibly, as if attempting to shake off vile insects creeping into his arm pits. His large lips drooped for but a moment, then slowly spoke, as if finding the words difficult to form. "Deathwall? But ... why? Has he doomed you to die? Even before beginning your magnificent career as a Wonderful Warrior of the Folks? Does it all end now?"
Mhyo Janton glanced at the huge Temple, considered the tip that penetrated the distant clouds. The Wall to which this large cylinder was attached, continued in both directions, to the very horizons. This Wall was a never-ending barrier between the World of the Folk and the Mysterious Void that surely must lay beyond.
What might be beyond the Wall, Mhyo wondered. What was the Wall really hiding? Was there anything at all beyond it? What could possibly exist behind this Wall of the Gods? Perhaps the Universal answers to Universal Questions! Nobody really knew, for no living person, creature, monster or Wizard had ever left the Land of the Walls.
Actually, Mhyo wondered why anyone would want to leave the protective heaven of this Eden. The Lands had just about everything one would want. Not only were there the Working Folk, but the Gods, and all the Wizards and Warriors and Dragons and Magical forces and Powers and so many exciting, places to explore. Or, at least, so he'd been told. Of course, Mhyo had never been more than half a day's ride from his parent's farm.
Now things would change.
He could be busy for the rest of his life, even if he lived forever more, just exploring the Land of the Walls. Why would anybody want to go Beyond the Walls?
A strange and disturbing concept, he realized..
Thus his thoughts continued to torment him for some time. Such thoughts circled back and forth, coiled around each other until choking all reasonable conclusions.
When the silence stretched beyond a reasonable period, Golter broke it: "But Deathwall has deadly rays and beams and the Power of Death. Why, in Godwall's name, would one want to face It? And..."
"I know." Mhyo Janton shrugged, helplessly, resigned to his assigned duty. What could he do other than what Godwall demanded? Everybody must do what the Deity demanded. It was expected. And the People always did what was expected of them. After all, the farmers farmed, didn't they? Warriors warred! And pretty little Princess' tormented and teased their doting warriors...
Golter's voice faded back into focus, chewing away at Mhyo's thoughts. "...but that is not an Assignment, it is not a Rank in any Army, it is not a Commission. I thought that's why you were appearing before Godwall."
"I know." Maybe felt a bit tired, disappointed. "I know. But Godwall's ways are mysterious and we must follow his commands, as we willingly follow his Laws."
"Was that ... all Godwall said? Go before Deathwall?"
"There was a lot more. But I have to think as I ride ... come, let's get away from here." The young Warrior glanced once again at the Temple of Godwall, repressing a shiver. His eyes followed those clean, gleaming walls, that stretched off into the distance, disappearing into those bright fleecy clouds.
Without another word the two men mounted the horses and started down the neatly gardened pathway. Off in the distance the road lead to rolling hills spotted by lovely deep green trees.
It was a beautifully warm, sunny day, but Mhyo Janton felt none of the excitement and thrill he had experienced before entering the Temple of Godwall. Now he experienced an empty disappointment, a slight edge of uncertain, nagging anxiety.
It was a long time before he spoke.
"Do you understand how being a somebody can make you a nobody and that being a nobody is ... I guess, better than being a somebody?
The other man's laughter exploded on the lands. "What does that mean? Foolishness. Insanity. The ideas of a madman. Only a Fool would talk that way. Only--"
"Godwall. Godwall spoke those words!"
Golter gasped. His huge head jerked, turned, glanced at the distant temple they had left behind them. He looked as if he expected lightening to strike them blind. "God ... wall?"
"Want does it mean? Then..." Golter sounded desperate.
"I don't know."
Golter muttered, under his breath: "Somebody. Nobody. Foolishness? Forgive me ... Godwall ... but I'm only a simple person, a mere servant and I don't understand such..." His voice got louder and higher pitched as he continued: "But I am convinced there surely must be great and wonderful and powerful meaning to anything Godwall might say. Even if I, a dumb fool servant--and humble, I might add--who does not understand." The man glance behind them as if hoping Godwall would understand--and Forgive--him. "I am nothing, if but a servant fool..." The words faded, as the men continued riding along the dirt road.
After a long while, Golter, apparently beyond his earlier confusion and fear, asked, in an almost conversational manner: "Where are we going? I mean, right now?"
"Directly at right angles to Godwall. If you must know the exact facts as I understand them to be. That is the Direction, so I've been told, to find the path that leads to Deathwall. You should know that. Everybody knows that. We all know that from birth. That's our Birthright."
"No. No. No. I meant ... now. Right now. Where are we going. Today. This moment. Now. Out to kill a dragon?" He sounded almost hopeful, as if such an adventure would certainly delay the journey to Deathwall. "Though, quite frankly, I'm not overly anxious to come face to face with a dangerous, meat-eating, monster TerribleRex Dragon. At least, not right now, here at the very beginning of our Grand Adventure Together. I just fear them less than I do Deathwall. Dragons can be a drag, so I'm told. So ... well ... I'm simply in no rush to thrill to their overwhelming killer jaws and crushing, scraping claws. Even with you, Mighty Warrior, Dragon-Killer-to-be at my side. In no hurry at all. You can believe me. You sure can. No hurry to run into no dangerous Drags."
Mhyo Janton laughed heartily at that. "I've been up against enough dragons for one morning." A gleam of desire flared in his eyes. "I thought maybe we could arrange to see--"
Golter's arms few up in the air, as he cried out in mock-horror: "Don't say it. Don't. Please!" He knew his friend well enough to understand that gleam of desire. "Don't say it. I don't want to hear ONE word"
"Anything but that! Deathwall would be safer than ... her. Please, don't force me, master, to be a party to this terrible deed. Give me Drags. Anything. Even Deathwall!" His words were filled with quite convincing terror. "You know how Princess Ginnia's father feels."
"I know." The magnificent warrior sounded dejected, though a wide grin spread across his handsome lips. "Anyway ... he's not home right now. Ginnia is alone."
"That's bad enough. Bad enough. Do you have any idea what might ... happen?"
"Anything. The female is a very mysterious and dangerous creature. Well, for men like you. That is. You are very ... well, idealistic when it comes to maidens. And she is--well ... she is--
"So you say. All men think their women are wonderful. Tell me something new."
"She's the woman I love."
"So. I said tell me something new."
"She's the princess I will win by great deeds."
"That is if you survive Deathwall."
Ignoring that, the young warrior said: "She's a--"
"A spoiled brat." Golter stated in a matter-of-fact manner.
"Of course. All Princess are spoiled. It is their very nature. Otherwise they would hardly be called a Princess. The title defines."
Golter merely nodded, then, after a moment, stated in an almost all-too reasonable voice: "Then her father, quite naturally, is no different from all fathers. And he believes that no man is good enough for his daughter. Until such a man proves himself--or whatever. Fathers are fathers because they Father." The last was almost a direct quote from the Dictionary of the Folk. Then added: "Not just sperm donors, either."
"Really. You can be so crude."
"Crude? I'm just your basic, common servant."
"Does that mean you have to be crude?
"Your problem is you're too shy with the maiden sex. Now, as for me, since I'm just a common folk servant, maidens are to be made ... love to."
"I agree. And I love her."
"I talking about being loved ... in a ravishing way. Mount them like you would your ... mount. Attack them like you would the enemy. Conquer them. Body, mind and soul."
"Mind, soul, then body."
"You have it backwards, Golter. Mind, soul, then body."
"Wizard lizards! You have it backwards. Gaze upon the treasures before offering your life--"
"Look, but don't touch."
"Seeing isn't believing. Experiencing the touch, the feel, the texture, the very innards of your woman is what life is all about."
"You are crude." Though the expression in the Warrior's eyes was quite envious. There was no doubt that Mhyo held a great passion for his Princess. "You're crude to the point of being--"
"I'm blunt, unlearned in the finer arts. But I know the fine joys of wanton pleasures. I know what a maiden is there for. I know--"
"Too much for a young servant."
"I know what to do with a maiden."
"I know to protect all maidens, Warrior-fashion."
"Sure, I know that. You bought into the con that maidens are ladies and pure and innocent and should be respected and protected and--"
"Warriors are Gentleman." Mhyo sounded proud as he continued: "And to be a Gentleman--"
"Does not mean being a fool," Golter finished for him.
"I thought we were talking about Princess--"
"Yes, yes. But her father. Remember? What about her father. Remember that father's father."
"I know. Name defines. And daughters daughter."
Golter's eyes made a dramatic skyward movement of repressed mock-confusion. "Whatever that means."
"Means a lot to them." The young warrior's mouth tightened, stubbornly.
"I suppose. But, anyway, I think you are a wonderful and fine fellow, a future grand and mighty Warrior. But the Princess and her Father--"
"Just want me to prove myself."
"Just as the Father/Daughter Book demands," came the almost shuttering retort.
Mhyo shrugged. "Fine with me. Quite honestly it almost makes more sense than what Godwall said."
Golter chose to make no comment about Godwall. He had experienced his moment with it; that was only two days ago. His Audience had been very short, and far more satisfying, at the time. Godwall had simply said: "Be Mhyo Janton's servant; that is enough for you to be."
"Why must we see Princess Ginnia?" he asked, with just the edge of mockery to his voice. As if he didn't know!
"To say good-bye, of course."
"I ... well, guess I should do my ... well ... good-byes to Mara..." There was a wicked gleam in his eyes.
"You treat her like a gutter-slut."
"I simply treat her like a passionate, wonderful, full-bodied woman should be treated."
"I must! And if you had any ... well ... er ... well ... guts..."
"Don't hesitate! Say it. Hurt me. Damn me. Stick it to me! BALLS. Right? You wanted to say Balls."
"Well, if you had them you'd use them!
"There's a time and a place. By the Rules--"
"By the Rules my foot. I might not war like you; I might even be considered, by many, a shivering, cowardly fool. But I know what a maiden is there for. A maiden is to be ... made--love to."
"I think we covered ... er ... uncovered ... that topic."
"Well, you do it your way--I'll be a crude servant and have my pleasures with my chosen maiden. And I will not settle for anything so small as a silly little kiss." The twinkle in his beady eyes communicated lustfully blunt desire.
Mhyo Janton laughed. "Considering our conversation I do believe you'd take advantage of this young woman..."
"Hardly, I'll let her take advantage of me. Women do the seduction; not the men. I may be a fool, or even as crude as you say, but when it comes to the maiden class--"
"You take advantage of them."
"Advantage? No such thing. I just give 'em what they want de mostest! A maiden wants pretty much the same thing a man wants ... when it comes to matters of ... love."
"Maybe maidens are different from Princess--"
"We live only once--and I will gladly embrace all Mara wishes to offer. In fact, I'll embrace all de maidens that offer themselves up as delicious deserts to travel-tired Warriors and their servants." Grinning eagerly, he added: "I'll take 'em all on! And ask for more!"
"And I will do what is right and proper, as any and all good Warriors have been taught to do, and honor my princess' highest desires. Law dictates she must have the standards of a Princess, otherwise, by definition, she wouldn't be--"
"And if a princess' were to offer a kiss ... or more?"
Mhyo Janton felt a hot surge of desire flush up through him. The idea of embracing the Princess was enough to inspire him to attempt the most impossible deeds Godwall might demand. He would kill the greatest Dragon in the Land of Speaking Walls if it would win him a passionate kiss from this princess he loved so much.
But, of course, a true and Royal Princess would never submit to such desires without the Wedding Ring. There were Rules; and the People of the Lands surely must follow all the Rules, otherwise the Walls might come tumbling down.
What a horrible thought!
"Enough!" Mhyo cried, spurring his horse into a rapid run. "Enough to say good-bye to my Princess!"
"Enough," his companion roared in quick pursuit, "to do good-bye to my maiden."
Enough, thought Mhyo, longingly, to but touch the lips of a Princess. He didn't dare to let himself continue that wicked and overwhelming thought. Instead he let himself experience the chilling wind on his face as the horse raced up the hill towards the castle of his beloved Princess.