The Cloak of Nothing: Chapter 59

by Mark Figueroa aka Anthony Abyss | Featured Art by A Forgotten Pen at @theforgottenpen


Chapter 59: The song of four seasons.

Kanti tilts his head. “You’re capable of that now, even with my crystalized energy. It should be fairly obvious that the cloak-bearer has a universal area of responsibility.” 

“Cool! Whe—”

“—For now, your purpose is mastery of your power. When you can find a way around releasing Aemon’s energy, attack from afar, and inhabit two places at once, then we can fathom extraterrestrial travel. If we were to leave now, we cannot be sure of the consequences.”

“Fair enough. I guess that would be bad… I don’t want to destroy life, and I—crap!” Rumbling interrupts me. The dishwasher pops and pings. Foam escapes from the door frame.

“Shiiit! Shiiiiiit! Shiiiiiiiaaaaat!” I yell, grabbing towels from the basement. Kanti appears next to me when I open the door.

“Control yourself!” He roars. “Use this situation to understand your power. Try using the crystal, or the cloak.”

I cram the towels back on the towel rack, glance at Kanti and nod. Wielding the crystal, I hover through the ceiling and back into the kitchen.

I hover a few inches above the foaming wet tiles, concentrating on the spreading water. “I should be able to make it disappear, right?”

“Matter cannot be destroyed. It can only be displaced,” Kanti responds after intruding on my thoughts.

“I know!” I stare at the rumbling dishwasher and concentrate on the swishing, gurgling and fizzing noises coming from inside it. I visualize its insides and the square indent where I placed the soap. There… all of it has to go. All the water is combined with the soap, so removing one, removes the other.

The machine stops rumbling and the water disappears. 

Kanti smiles, “Not too difficult.”

I look at Kanti. After grabbing the correct soap, I restart the dishwasher. “Earlier…” I begin, “I put my clothes on… without… I mean, by just visualizing them. I still needed to use your crystal, but the idea’s the same: I focus and move what I’m focused on.”

“Well, Young Emery, you did traverse beyond the boundary without a cloak,” Kanti says. “Given the ability to wield energy, which it seems comes naturally to you, without using your own, I surmise that there is very little you cannot do.”

I shrug. “I guess. But, crossing the boundaries of life and death don’t seem as hard as warping objects. I know myself, and I can move myself.” 

“Young Emery, moving anything real is not as monumental as crossing the rifts of reality. Teleporting to another realm requires immense focus.” 

“Fair enough. I did use the same method to put my clothes as I did to move the soap and water. I’ve warped from the Olacium Sorti Vivus back to Eliza’s house only once.”

“Wait a minute!” I stare at Kanti in disbelief, remembering what he said before the dishwasher erupted. “Did you say before, that I can be in two places at once? Why hasn’t that happened?!”

“Mastery, Young Emery. One cannot do that which is not yet known. Moving an object that does not possess mental functions is not comparable to simultaneously operating in two different spaces. The basics must first be mastered.”

“Maybe under normal circumstances. I’m the first cloak bearer who doesn’t have to leave their body to go astral, and I can even make my physical body take astral properties. I dressed myself by imagining my clothes. I don’t even need to use my own energy. The basics might not exist for me.”

Kanti opens his mouth, but holds back whatever he’s about to say.

“What?”

“Nothing, Young Emery. If you are so inclined, then try it at some point; however, you must continue learning how to harness external energy. I will meet you in the backyard. I recommend that you go astral first, as I am unsure what may happen to your physical body if you teleport into a wall.”

“Well if my physical can take astral properties… maybe I can just—”

“When you placed your clothing on your body, did they take on physical properties?” Kanti interrupts.

“I don’t know. I wasn’t looking at them…”

“Then, I suggest we play it safe. If you decapitate yourself, you might lose a significant amount of time in The Meta.”

“Right. Alright, I’ll meet you by that tree,” I say pointing to a large tree with red leaves, directly across Eliza’s gazebo.

Kanti appears outside.

I focus on the crystal, then visualize being outside. Everything vibrates, until breaking into thousands of lights moving in every direction, finally becoming black for a split second. Then a bright flash. 

Kanti looks up at me as I lean on the tree I pointed at. He nods in approval.

“I want to try something.” I stare at Eliza’s dining room window. Clutching the crystal, I think about my room and focus on my manga collection. The trees, grass, houses and patio furniture dissolve into tiny lights then the lights reform into my bedroom. I get startled and knock the book shelf back with my own energy; four books fall from the shelf.

“It is similar to using your energy is it not?” Kanti asks, as I turn to see him sitting on my bed. 

I shrug, leaning against my bookshelf. “It feels like it takes a little longer. I don’t just poof everywhere. Everything dissolves first and then my new location reassembles around me. But, again, it isn’t my energy that I’m using so, I expect it to be different.”

Kanti nods. “Understandable. I am curious as to what kind of weapon your soul creates.”

“My soul already is a weapon.”

“Yes, but the energy of an experienced cloak bearer can manifest itself into a weapon that represents who the bearer is: a spirit gun, a spirit sword, a mace, club, axe, a whip… even a book with incantations.” Kanti stares at my manga collection. “Some of those works may have been inspired by cloak bearers.”

Sigh. “Honestly, I’d be more excited if I knew why Eliza got rid of me. I love my room at her house. It’s more spacious. She has the money to take care of me.”

“Trivial. What difference would it make in your existence thus far? The circumstances of one’s birth, parentage, and familial ties are inconsequential. It’s what one does with their existence that defines who they are.”

I pet his head. “Where to?” I ask. 

“Follow me,” Kanti says, vanishing. 

I focus on his presence while channeling the crystal. Eliza’s backyard pops into my mind. When I turn my face, the rest of my room turns into Eliza’s backyard, and I’m staring at her gazebo. Hmmm.

“What is the matter, Young Emery?” Kanti asks curiously.

“Weird. This time, there were no lights, no cool swish sounds or anything anymore. I just cut and pasted through reality or something.”

“Perhaps, since it was not your own energy, you saw lights because your mind needed to comprehend the action. There was no need for your brain to fill in the gaps, the second time around.” 

“Makes sense… I was expecting it though. It was pretty cool because it was new. Teleporting with a loading screen just seems cooler than poofing.”

Kanti sighs and warps to me. “Does it always have to be so grand? When a bird takes flight, there are no magnificent jingles or chimes to indicate the glory of its wings spreading. When a child is born, lights don’t flash. When a being dies, time does not freeze, there is no last gasp of air that dramatically follows. Teleportation is not special.”

“It is to me. It’s new,” I say, levitating over the frosted grass. “I grew up thinking that gravity dictated the universe, god was in religion and people can’t teleport or do anything I’ve done in the last few days. It feels amazing.”

“Then hang on to the feeling, but be aware that there are creatures that take this for granted, even in this realm,” Kanti says, stoic and soft spoken. “You are not, from an existential perspective, unique or special because of what you are capable of. The only ability you possess that makes your existence noteworthy is that you harbor Aemon and possess a divine cloak. Unlike other creatures, you cannot die unless you go out of your way to do so. Other than that, anyone can do what you are capable of. It just requires more effort from them.”

“Comforting. Thanks. So what are we doing, Kanti?” I ask.

“This.” Snow accumulates around an astral humanoid figure. “You will defeat this and return the energy to me,” Kanti responds.


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