Apotheosis (Part II)

Bloody was the battle between father and son, as long as the seasons that give life and death to the colors of the earth. And the rest of the warriors stayed to watch in silence and refrained from eating and sleeping, many of them fell faint, until no one was present to see the outcome of the conflict. And it was the impetus of youth that endured and fatigue took away the strength of the ancestors. Iran – Zalur fell defeated after 300 days and no man cried for his loss. Iris – Zalur kept silence for ten days beside his father’s body and then left the east to wander through the forest toward the west, seized by a dark spot that found him in sleep every time he closed his eyes and did not allow him to rest.

The warrior walked without stopping until he found himself as far as no man had ever gone before and on his way he encountered a torrential river and the roar of the waters brought him enough peace to finally fall asleep. And it was a coincidence that just then Irinia-Holan was passing by the side of the river and thought she had found Iran-Zalur lying by the waters. Then she had the idea to take the life of whoever caused her so much suffering, taking advantage of the fact that he was sleeping. She approached him with stealth until she was so close that the true identity of the man was revealed to her; it was her son. Irinia – Holan woke up Iris – Zalur and greeted him as a loving mother receives her little child. And the young man knew maternal warmth for the first time in his life and the pain in his chest was soothed. Irinia – Holan took him home and let him rest. Iris – Zalur slept for 28 days and when he woke up he felt that the shadow had abandoned him. Then, Irinia-Holan asked him about his story and Iris-Zalur told him everything that had happened up to that moment. In silence, Irinia-Holan celebrated the death of Iran-Zalur and the end of the tribe of men and enjoyed the company of her son. But it turns out that Irinia-Holan had a plan for her life, she asked Iris-Zalur to help her collect the ingredients of a magic potion that would give her eternal life. The missing ingredient was a feather from the phoenix that lived on top of Altar – Raziz the towering mountain that rose above everything in the land of Aham – Raz.

It was then that Iris – Zalur started his journey again, this time towards the top of the mountain and the road was difficult and many times he was about to lose his life. Many times he wondered why his mother had taken him through so dangerous places, in search of the flaming bird that defies death. But the young man did not give up and after a while he managed to reach the summit of the mountain. As Iris -Zalur had given up the fight and did not wish to harm the Phoenix, so he chose to talk to her. “Mighty bird of the morning, I ask you to grant me one of your feathers, that it may be one of which you have no memory to regret”, said Iris-Zalur and the bird laughed at his words because “it is strange that men ask with grace what they usually take by force”. But Iris – Zalur was ashamed and kept silence, then the heart of the phoenix was moved and gave one of its flaming feathers to the young man, but also asked him “why do you look for one of my feathers? Iris: Zalur replied that it is not he but his mother who wants it. Then the phoenix changed his countenance and was concerned, saying “because your heart is pure I warn you that men cannot know eternity without losing themselves and blind desires lead to ruin”. And the young man was grateful for these words and walked back to his mother’s house.

However, on the way the dark stain enveloped him again, like the grotesque shadows that kidnap the forms of the world at sunset. But this time, Iris-Zalur kept his pain to himself and handed over the flaming feather of the phoenix to Irinia-Holan without saying anything about it. While she was preparing the immortality potion, Iris-Zalur returned to the river bank and felt again peace within, so he was curious about the imperishable waters and their turbulent but constant movement, and wondered about existence, being silence his only answer. Then, Irinia-Holan finished her potion and let it rest. She approached her son on the river bank and he asked her why she desired immortality. And she answered ironically “isn’t that what everyone is looking for? Iris-Zalur stayed a while longer by the river, remembering the words of the phoenix, and feared for his mother, whose countenance now seemed to him to be one of latent suffering. And Iris – Zalur wondered again about existence and felt the call of the waters, he felt himself as the waves that describe beautiful forms, reflections of light that do not last and yet have always been there. Then, the shadow that surrounded him came out of his body and appeared in front of him. Iris – Zalur was afraid and wanted to run towards Irinia – Holan’s house, but he didn’t. And the shadow told him that he had done well because “the woman who lives there has already betrayed you before and in that house you will find nothing but pain”. Iris-Zalur wanted to know more and the shadow took the form of a raven. The raven flew through the skies and ended up among the branches of the apple tree, where his deep eyes saw Irinia – Holan handing over her son to the beasts of the forest, in exchange for his own life. The young man dried his tears and let them go in the warm wind, thanked the shadow and let himself be wrapped by it. The next day, the potion was ready and Irinia – Holan deposited the contents of the preparation in two silver containers, gave one to Iris – Zalur on the river bank and took the other one for herself. Irinia-Holan asked him to wait until noon to drink the potion at the same time, but Iris-Zalur did not drink it. Irinia – Holan did drink the concoction and was angry when she saw her son reject her. She wanted to force him to drink the potion, but his feet could not move from their place, because tree roots came out of her feet and were buried in the ground. Irinia – Holan wanted to beat his son, but her arms no longer moved from their position, long branches came out of his fingers and elbows. Then her torso swelled and hardened, before sunset she had become an apple tree, but Iris-Zalur did not eat from its fruits.

The next day, the young man cut down the apple tree and, with the wood he got, built a small barge to navigate the river. And so it was that Iris – Zalur left the land that had sustained him all his life and threw himself into the inexhaustible torrent of waters. Countless days passed and the young man remained in his impetus that did not break and in this way he was able to keep the barge safe from the storm, until the torrent was diminishing and finally everything became quiet. A thick fog covered all the corners of existence and the sky was one with the waters. Then, Iris – Zalur forgot himself and was then in front of the eye of Aramantia, who recognized him as a reflection on crystalline waters. Then, Iris – Zalur left the existence behind, entering through the eye of the God and disappearing in the inner emptiness. And a tear fell from Aramantia’s eye and that tear hit the waters, causing a new storm.

Long time later, the last of the men left alive wandered through the coasts of the world, remembering the good times along with the tribe, and wanted to leave a proof of the existence of men on earth. This man was called Ilain – Ilak and was considered beautiful among his peers, now alone in the world, and wished more than anything to be seen by others. But the beasts had left the eastern lands long ago, tired of making war on men had chosen to travel southward. So it was that Ilain – Ilak began the construction of a stone statue, made in his image and likeness. The man built the statue near the waters and yet it took him a long time to reach the skill needed to carve his own beauty into the stone. And his beauty was diluted over the years, until he was so old that his hands only carved memories. On the last day of his life, Ilain – Ilak was resting in the hut and listening to the waves on the shore, then he heard the singing of the seagulls and wanted to know what the commotion was all about. Ilain – Ilak looked at the statue, still standing in front of the sea, and next to it he found a man looking at the horizon. Ilain – Ilak wanted to get up, but the man spoke to him in the distance, asked him not to get up, “because his time had come”. And it was then that Ilain – Ilak recognized the man, it was Iris – Zalur, “the traitor who had led men to ruin” was what he thought. But Iris-Zalur said then that “ruin is companion of man, for man is a state in which a being disguises himself and later learns to leave behind”. And after having said these words, Ilain – Ilak had died in his hut, in silence, but accompanied by the compassion of the whole universe. Then, Iris – Zalur dismissed the last man and then hit the statue three times and named it “desire”, gave him the order to guide the hearts of the newcomers. And desire wielded the sword of Aramantia, splitting the body of Iris-Zalur in half. And both halves were transformed into two children, a woman and a man. And desire stayed with them.

THE END.


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