Advanced Beings and a Fork in the Road of Evolution

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The first book in the Advanced beings series unveils a unique story. The story that will let you look at the things you are used to, the inviolable truths from a completely new and unexpected perspective. The boundaries between the reality and fiction are somewhat blurred in the narrative, so you will have to define them for yourself.

Disclaimer: This book may transform your understanding of the world forever.

During the creation of this book, the predominance of the higher vibrations over the low ones in the narrative was provided for and ensured, as indicated by the V+ marking on the book cover. In other words, the author took care that the events described in the book trigger the feelings within the spectrum of positive emotions in its readers.

Part I. An Accidental Finding

High up in the snow-capped Alps, a cozy restaurant was filled with live music: A jazz band was enthusiastically playing Christmas songs in the soft light of vintage chandeliers. The small wooden building was situated within the territory of a luxury hotel boasting magnificent mountain slopes that are favored by wealthy skiers from all over the world and breathtaking views.

The restaurant was full, which was not uncommon for the Christmas and New Year season, the time of great hopes and faith in a better future. Lively conversations and lots of laughter could be heard at every table, so the room was filled with chaotic noise that was not unlike an orchestra rehearsal for a concert and was occasionally interrupted by a long delicate solo of clinking crystal glasses.

Outside the enormous picture windows surrounding the guests of the restaurant who were absorbed in the vibrant restaurant atmosphere, large snowflakes were dancing slowly in the air.

The snow covered the land in a fluffy blanket, sparkling like millions of tiny diamonds in the streetlight, and wrapped the fir trees in radiant white coats, getting the size just right for each of them. All this snowy bliss gave unspeakable joy to both children and adults spending their time outside.

Although it was getting late, there were still lots of people. Enchanted by the magic of the white winter, they kept running and jumping around, having fun, dressed in their cozy warm overalls and hats. Over here, right by the restaurant, children were diligently building a man-sized snowman. A little further away, joyous cries resounded in the air. A snowball fight was in full swing. Snow angel imprints were seen on the snow here and there. And of course, there was a constant flow of local mountain pilgrims. Tired but satisfied, these skiers saw it as their duty to devote a few hours a day to the ski slopes. The shepherd dog of the hotel owner, extremely social and acquainted with all the guests, was barking loudly and running around in circles as if it was not sure who it should play with. The atmosphere of the place was fantastic.

Surrounded by this amazing panorama behind the restaurant windows (the one you could contemplate eternally), a small group of men was sitting in comfortable armchairs at one of the tables located by the invitingly crackling fireplace. The men had various foreign accents.

They had the most ordinary looks; however, the content of their conversation was quite exceptional. No one could ever guess, even in their wildest dreams, who these people were and why their meeting that looked like a routine for them was far from being a usual business from the point of view of the rest of the humankind.

«What a wonderful winter, with all this snow,» a short stocky man with dark glasses said, looking through the windows and enjoying the view. «We have met here so many times and the local mountain scenery still gets me.»

«The peace, incredible landscapes, great food,» one of his companions chimed in. «All that one can wish for.»

«The Alps, that’s love,» another man at the table said.

«Alright, enough with lyrical digressions. We have gathered here again in good health, which means it’s time to review the preliminary pragmatic annual results,» the man with the glasses said in a calm confident voice. No one knew his real name, they all called him «Boss».

«Right, Boss. As for the implementation of the experiment, as we can see, it all turned out even better than we expected. And, therefore, the profit exceeded our grandest expectations. We are speaking of trillions.»

«Very good! I was impressed with the report on the deposit redistribution, these new trillion-strong commitments from the governments are beyond all praise. Brilliant!»

«The stock manipulations worked perfectly.»

«Great job!» Boss was really pleased and so were his companions.

«Your fish, sir,» a waiter brought over a plate with a steaming grilled fish fillet garnished with thin green asparagus spears and a slice of sour lemon and put it carefully on the table in front of Boss.

Boss drizzled the hot fish with a fair amount of lemon juice and began to cut off appetizing light-pink pieces of the fish, the fork in his left hand and the knife in his right, eating with zest and using his fork nimbly.

Meanwhile, other waiters brought over various delicious dishes to all Boss’s companions, and the life seemed even sweeter than ever.

«The poor get poorer and the rich get richer. This social gap will never cease to exist,» Boss said, elevating his fork with a bit of the freshly-cooked juicy fish on the top of it towards the ceiling. «Even if all the money was divided equally amongst the world population, it would be back to square one after a while: The big money would be back in the hands of the same people. However, the best is yet to come.» Boss paused, savoring the great taste of the dish, and gave his companions a look, with an air of mystery around him. «Scientists say that the Earth has been spinning around its axis faster lately. Does any of you have a faint idea of what it means?!» Boss peered at the men sharply, as if he was trying to read in their faces whether they understood the gravity of the situation.

«The energy’s intensifying! It means that the gap between people will increase even more dramatically: The hard lives of some people will get even worse, while the nice lives of others will get better; there will be growing awareness of the world order among some people, while the rest of them will be drowned in incomprehension. In other words, the contrasts will be expressed like never before.»

«Well, these are great and remarkable days we are living. A new age unlike anything we have ever seen,» one of the companions said.

«There’s one more thing. In addition to the two opposing groups of people I have already mentioned, there is a third one.»

«A third one? The wavering ones?»

«Exactly! Those who are kind of standing at a fork in the road but will inevitably join the ranks of the first or second group. There is currently a battle underway for this third group of people, mainly through the swamping of the public sources with various kinds of information. But the forces are unequal. The truly valuable information, or, rather tiny nuggets of it, is blended into the sea of delusions, rigmaroles, nonsense, and outright harmful pieces of content. Plus, then there are not the most progressive traditions of elder generations. And here you are, sucked into the swamp you will never be able to get out of.»

«Those seeking the right way have a greater chance of joining the back seat group.»

«I’d say they have every chance,» after a brief silence, Boss heaved a deep sigh, took a small book out of his bag, and put it on the table. «I’ve engaged in some creative work lately. I want to write a book series, literary works, you know. Why not? I want to try something new, discover new facets of my personality.

But what can I write about? It should be something I know well…» he cast a meaningful glance at the men at the table. «I present to you the first book. It’s my copy. I’m not sure yet if I should publish it.»

«That’s great!» all the men at the table exclaimed. «You have decided to contribute to the development of society in the end, haven’t you? To try and help those who are stumbling through the darkness find the right path?»

«Well, again, my book is a drop in the ocean. Even if it or other books do get published, they won’t be able to alter the general course. People will take them as pure fiction.»

«Which they are not!»

«We are the only ones who know it,» Boss resettled his glasses on his nose.

A short pause was followed by the talking of the Boss’s companions over each other:

«Creative work is admirable!» the companions flipped through the book in turns. «You should definitely publish it!»

Meanwhile, the waiters took the empty plates away.

«Bring us some green tea,» Boss said to one of the waiters casually. «That beautiful tea, the one that unfurls into a big flower. And would you kindly add some hot water to the teapot each time we finish the tea?»

«Coming right up, sir,» the waiter made a polite bow.

A moment later, small elegant cups and saucers as well as two glass teapots appeared on the wooden table. Each teapot had a little bundle of tea leaves inside that were slowly opening and «blooming» into big flowers of incredible beauty: One was white, the other was red.

It was fascinating! The tea was served with two cake stands featuring devastatingly delicious and beautiful fine pastry.

When the men got to dessert, the music faded away: The musicians left. It was almost eleven, the time when the restaurant closed, and the only guests left at the restaurant were the same group of men. The staff of the restaurant seemed to know them well and let them stay late. Needless to say, all the restaurant workers who had to stay were lavishly rewarded for such a long shift.

As the men were animatedly discussing something while enjoying the wonderful pastry and drinking the tea with a subtle, delicate flavor, some of the bored waiters and the owner of the restaurant went quiet, hoping to hear at least something of what the mysterious guests were talking about over the monotonous crackling of fire.

It was the middle of the night when, satisfied and a little sleepy, the men decided to leave. They left a rather generous tip and headed for the expensive cars that reflected the lights of the street lamps with their shiny curves. The drivers had already been waiting for the men. After long hours in the restaurant, it was especially nice to breathe in the crisp and crystal-clear air of the Alps.

The men got into their cars with spacious interiors without further ado, and the cars drove them away into the dark of night, slowly and gently, as if knowing the special value of their passengers. Only tire tracks remained in the squeaky snow but soon a blizzard hid them.

And in the meantime, the waiters in the cozy restaurant were hastily clearing the table which was so recently occupied by the generous men, hurrying home to get at least some rest and sleep.

When one of the waiters finally came to get a wipe down on the table, he suddenly stepped on something. The young man stepped back, bent down, and saw a book lying on the floor. There was not a single word on the dark-green leather binding. The waiter flipped through some pages but they turned out to be empty. Frustrated, he put his finding on one of the armchairs and took the cloth again but suddenly noticed the gold lettering glistening on the book cover: «Advanced beings and a Fork in the Road of Evolution». He opened the book again in disbelief: All the pages were covered with text.

«It seems I should have some rest,» the young man thought with a shake of his head. «The book though seems interesting, I’ve never heard of it,» he fiddled with it pensively. «I have just been thinking about reading something new and unusual, and here it is, getting right into my hands. Of course, I will give it back later… However, I’d better see if I can find anything about it. It’s so intriguing to learn what such serious gentlemen read,» the waiter put the book into his pocket, took out his phone, and began to slide his fingers across the phone screen routinely but, surprisingly enough, without success. «The book doesn’t seem to exist.

Curious. Maybe it hasn’t been published yet?» the thought struck the young man. «Then I will quickly read it tonight and report the find tomorrow. Nothing bad will happen. Right, that’s what I am going to do.»

«Hey, Adam! What’s taking you so long? We are leaving,» his colleagues, wrapped up in warm winter clothes, were already heading towards the exit. «There’s going to be a boxing competition tonight, the transmission is about to start!»

«Okay, okay, I’m coming,» Adam shouted back and rushed to the dressing room.

«It’s either sleeping or watching box live. I bet Adam will choose the second option, so don’t expect him to get here on time tomorrow,» one of the waiters concluded.

When Adam, tired but satisfied, finally got home, into bed, he first looked around for some reason, listened to the silence but neither saw nor heard anything suspicious. Only then he got his today’s trophy out of the nightstand drawer where he had thoughtfully hidden it upon returning home. The book was yet unpublished but it definitely contained some valuable information, since it had had the attention of the great and the good.

The young man turned on the lamp over his head, switching the rest of the lights off, made himself comfortable, placed a pillow behind his back, pulled a soft cozy blanket over his chest, and heaved a deep sigh, as if preparing himself for a possible shock.

With the increased interest, he carefully opened the book. Of course, he was very tired but you don’t lay your hands on something like this every day. That was a million-to-one chance and he had to give it back tomorrow. Adam was looking forward to learning something jaw-dropping and he was somehow sure that his expectations will be justified.

«Chapter One. The Curious Incident,» Adam only had a chance to read the title of the chapter when a cat suddenly jumped onto his bed.

The young man gave a cry but realized it was his own Sphynx cat and breathed a sigh of relief.

«You startled me! Look what I’ve found today. Are you curious? I am too,» Adam was talking to the cat as if it was able to understand him. It was a hairless Sphynx with pink skin and huge green eyes on the tiny chiseled head. The cat stared at Adam, meowed as if giving a positive answer, purred, and curled up in a ball on the blanket.

«Thousands of years ago, in the part of the world that is covered with impassable hot sands…» Adam swallowed the words as if fearing that something would stop him from reading the book, the accidentally found book that had mysteriously slipped from the firm grasp of its owner, to the end. The young man’s imagination was slowly carrying him into some alternate reality.

Part II. Advanced beings and a Fork in the Road of Evolution

Chapter One. The Curious Incident

Thousands of years ago, in the part of the world that is covered with impassable hot sands stretching for hundreds of kilometers, one of the first civilizations was born. Plenty of misconceptions have accumulated about its great achievements while very few know the truth. It’s time to lift the curtain of secrecy for those who are ready.

As is often the case, the great was born from the ordinary. You might argue: «How’s that?! It is not uncommon for the ordinary to remain ordinary unless it is not wiped off the face of the earth yet. But what would undoubtedly result in the Great?» You are right, there is a very important ingredient. It is known to one and all since the dawn of time and yet it doesn’t come easy.

But let us talk first about the events of the bygone history and you will find the answer to your question yourself.

It was the end of a sultry day. The outlines of several slowly moving human figures could be seen against the fiery horizon. We don’t know where they came from and what made them travel such an arduous path. By the look of them, it was likely they had been traveling for days and were exhausted.

«I can’t believe it! We’ve found it! We’ve finally found it!» Pharoum, the most athletic of the travelers, yelled as he saw a thin blue line in the distance. «A river!»

The word «river» seemed to be the sweetest and dearest sound in the world for the travelers. It filled their hearts with joy, overshadowed the sense of fatigue caused by the grueling journey, and gave them quite unexpected strength. The travelers ran as fast as they could. The large and deep river was rich with fish. The travelers were saved.

After they quenched their thirst, washed their bodies, and bathed in cool waters to their hearts’ content, they got back to the shore. They hadn’t felt so happy in a long time. For a while they all just sat on the sand, enjoying the view.

«There’s no point in further wandering,» Pharoum broke the silence. «This place is the best we can find.

From now on, this place is our home. This is our land and our river. We are staying to live here.»

Pharoum was supported by all the travelers. He was their leader and he held such a position due to his wisdom and strength.

One of the women, Noana, who was Pharoum’s beloved one, was pregnant and went into labor, apparently due to the surge of emotions.

The day seemed to be already filled to the brim with happiness but the joy that Pharoum and Noana felt was even more overwhelming now that their baby was born. However, the happy parents had no idea that once their son grew up and reached manhood, he would not be satisfied with the little he had. His desire for greater power and self-confidence would become extremely powerful and soon would be able to get him much farther than his parents had ever gone, so far away from them that a fork would appear in the road of the evolution of humankind (a fork no one saw coming). His name was Pharaon, it was an elaborate combination of the names of his loving parents.

Pharoum and Noana could not stop looking at the cute face of their son under the last golden streaks of the sunset.

«Pharaon, we love you! You were born on a happy day and it means you will be happy. That’s what your father and I want for you very much,» Noana whispered to her son, looking into his beautiful eyes that looked like two jewels, iridescent in the sunlight.

«Mark my words, Noana! He will be happy,» Pharoum said with confidence. «Our son will grow strong, and fortune will favor him because you and I want the very best for him with all our hearts.»

As Pharaon grew older, he hardly ever cried. He was a cheerful, affable, and very curious child. He enjoyed playing with other children of their settlement. They competed to see who could catch the biggest fish, run or swim faster, hold their breath underwater for a longer time, and so on and so forth.

As Pharaon’s parents watched him play, they dreamt that when he grew up, he would easily provide food and water for himself, have decent clothes instead of rags, and become strong and brave. Pharoum and Noana enjoyed those dreams, they helped them take their minds off the pains of their lives.

One day the boy’s parents noticed something strange in his behavior. Pharaon was running around in the sand as if he was playing catch-up with someone and they heard him talking loudly and laughing as if he was in someone’s company rather than alone. But no one else was there.

«Pharoum, have a look. Who is he talking to?» Noana asked, sounding very anxious. Pharoum watched his son closely.

«It’s not fair, you are faster than me!» little Pharaon shouted joyfully, trying to dodge something. He moved his little legs quickly and shrieked with excitement.

«It’s alright,» Pharoum said to his beloved Noana. «Many children have imaginary friends. It’s ok, as long as it goes away eventually.»

Pharoum was right. Soon those games were forgotten and the parents’ concerns melted away.

Nineteen years have passed since Pharaon’s birth. One evening, while the women were taking care of the children, the men of the settlement went to the river to have some man time, telling astonishing stories and trying to guess whether they were true.

Here’s what Pharoum, Pharaon’s father, said at that meeting:

«I once met a man who told me about snow, i.e. cold white sand falling from the sky. Every single one of the snowflakes has its own unique pattern. When snow is warmed by the sun, it turns into a river. Do you believe it?»

«That’s impossible!» the men, sitting around the head of the settlement, were saying.

«And yet it is absolutely true!» Pharoum exclaimed.

«It is hard to believe. Tell us something else,» the listeners asked.

«Those cold lands are infested by fantastic beasts,» Pharoum continued. «According to the story of this man, his father once came face to face with a huge cat. It was a mountain lion. It had huge paws, sword-like claws, a strong club-like tail, and a massive jaw. And his fangs were as big as my thumb,» the men were open-mouthed with astonishment. «It was a very strong and fast beast. There was no escape from it!»

«But how on earth did the man survive?!» the men of the settlement were excited to learn the outcome.

«The mountain lion roared and bared its fangs like this,» Pharoum imitated the roar and fangs, which scared the gathered men. «No man with bare hands would ever stand a chance against the beast. That man’s father had no choice but to try and placate the wild cat in spite of his fear. He talked to it gently and tried not to move.»

The listeners didn’t dare to move or make a sound, in anticipation of the attack. The most impatient ones asked: «Did it attack him all the same?»

«The brave man kept on talking to it. Slowly, the mountain lion closed its mouth and headed towards him.»

«That’s it! It’s going to attack him! That’s for sure!» the listeners tried to shout one another down.

«That man’s father held onto the hope. The mountain lion was slowly approaching him,» Pharoum’s voice fell to a whisper.

«That’s it! It’s over!» someone let out a desperate scream.

«You will never guess what it did!» Pharoum said in a teasing way.

«What?! What did it do? Get on with it!» the shouts came from all directions.

«It began licking his hand, purring loudly,» all the men were amazed at such a development. «And that man’s father took it home, tamed it, and they lived together ever since. The puma even protected him from other predators,» Pharoum said self-contentedly. «Do you believe it?»

«No!» a wave of indignation rippled through the gathered men. «You can’t tame a predator! And they can’t purr!»

In the meantime, while the men were shouting, trying to figure out whether the story was true, a small group of strangers was energetically approaching the settlement, using the cover of darkness. They had heard the voices and were now following them.

«It’s the truth!» Pharoum kept saying but no one believed him.

«I’ve also heard a story about taming wild cats and it’s even more improbable!» they heard the loud jolly voice of Etan, a young man with raven-black curly hair that reached his shoulders. He was one of the two Pharaon’s close friends. «Somewhere in the hot lands, people managed not only to tame cheetahs but also to turn them into their hounds.»

«What is that supposed to mean?» someone asked.

«It means that those cheetahs were taught to hunt on command of a man and give their kill away instead of eating it themselves,» Etan said so proudly as if he was the one who tamed the cheetahs.

«That’s impossible! A predator that gives away its kill to a man?! That will never happen!»

A ripple of laughter ran through the men.

«Shush!» Pharaon suddenly said, stretching out his hand and showing everyone his broad palm.

That got everyone’s attention.

«What’s going on?» someone asked after a while.

«It seems we are not alone,» Pharaon replied quietly.

All the men could hear was silence, however, it did not last long. The next instant they were attacked by robbers who were screaming and waving their clubs. There was a fight. The attackers were well-trained and, a few minutes later, most of the men of the settlement were lying on the ground, unable to move.

«You shall not go any further!» Pharaon yelled to his opponent in a dreadful voice. He was punched in the stomach pretty hard but bounced back quickly and hit the robber over his head with enough force to knock him off his feet.

Pharaon came rushing up to his friend, Etan, who was holding one of the attackers back with his last bit of strength. Together they knocked the enemy out with hard and swift blows.

Pharoum and Noumat were trying to hold off several strangers at once. Noumat was the other one of Pharaon’s two close friends and the same age as he was.

Suddenly, something flashed in the darkness. The robbers’ faces were wreathed in smirks: They were holding knives in their hands. There remaining attackers turned out twice as numerous as the men of the settlement. Before Pharoum, Pharaon, Etan, and Noumat knew it, the robbers threw the knives at them. The faces of the men froze with terror. Time seemed to stop. They did not have a chance to survive and protect their women and children.

At that very moment, something inexplicable happened. Pharaon’s desire to fight back got so strong and filled his heart with such a powerful energy that he let out a horrendous shriek, unable to contain the energy inside.

The next instant, all the strangers with their knives were thrown away for about a hundred meters as if knocked out by an air blast. The landing was hard, many of the robbers suffered various fractures. Silence fell. Everyone who witnessed the entire thing was appalled. The strangers quickly came to their senses and ran away like mad with cries of horror.

Pharoum, Pharaon, Etan, and Noumat rushed to the aid of their friends.

On the following day, Pharoum, the head of the settlement, addressed his people with a speech. He devolved his powers upon his son who proved it in the fight of the previous day that he was mature enough and ready to replace his aging father for the benefit of the people.

Pharaon took his new position very seriously and began to think about the future of their small settlement.

Since no one could explain what had happened to the strangers, the entire story was soon forgotten. Our memory has a tendency for order and gets rid of all things that are out of whack with our traditional views of the world, incendiary or discomfiting.

However, Pharaon would secretly think back to that night again and again. Somehow, he felt that it was he who released the power that threw the strangers back. From that moment on, Pharaon began wondering who he really was.

«I clearly remember the overwhelming feeling of the energy burning inside me,» Pharaon would contemplate each night before going to bed. «It made me shout.

And then that energy seemed to splash out of me and I saw something. I saw a wave that was sort of powdered with glittering colorful dust. It swooped down to those villains. I could have sworn I’ve already seen something like this. But what actually happened? What else don’t I know about myself? Will I be able to do it again?»

After that fateful day, Pharaon’s eyes, iridescent just like colored pieces of glass in a kaleidoscope, began glowing even brighter from under his thick prominent brows. His dark oval face with a chiseled jaw and strong neck made the effect quite striking. He had a blatantly masculine face and build, his movements were steady and precise, he spoke coherently and rather bluntly. Pharaon usually pulled back his black long hair, shining in the sun, into a tail to keep it out of his face and eyes.

Back in those early days, people had relatively short lives, no one had a full understanding of illnesses, there were no medicines. Death rates in the settlement exceeded birth rates. Pharaon wanted to increase the population of the settlement but the number of his people was not his only concern.

Pharaon chose Etan and Noumat, men of strong build and great fighters, who were almost identical, both in appearance and in character, for a journey. Only Pharaon’s closest friends could be entrusted with such a difficult mission.

«My dear friends,» Pharaon began in a firm, naturally tuned voice. «Our life is a constant struggle. We barely have enough food, our clothes wear out too quickly, our shoes that protect our feet from the burning sand are too uncomfortable, we have nowhere to sleep.

We can’t go on like this. Living every new day, granted to us by the gods, in the same way as the one before, not striving for more. Go to the nearest lands. You are likely to meet people who lead lives much different from ours. Bring the best of them with you to help us change our way of life. I know in my gut that we miss something big, something important. We have to get a hold of it.»

«Pharaon,» Noumat said, without hesitating, his large hands clenched. «We promise you that we will find such people, learn their customs, and bring their masters to you. No matter what it takes and how difficult it may be.»

«Yes!» Etan nodded, swinging his curly hair. His eyes shone with determination. «We will do it. We want a better life for our people. So be it!»

Chapter Two. Meeting with the Unknown

After saying goodbye to their parents and friends, Etan and Noumat set out on their way. They stayed close to the river, the source of life in the desert. They walked for a day, two days, a week and still didn’t meet anybody.

The men couldn’t say how many times the sun went up and down since the beginning of their journey when they suddenly saw some silhouettes over the horizon.

«Etan, I can see something in the way,» Noumat said carefully.

«It’s people,» Etan confirmed the suspicions of his friend.

Etan and Noumat were brave. They walked on, void of fear.

A man came forth from amongst the group of people and headed toward the brave travelers. The stranger was tall, lean, and oddly dressed.

«Who are you?» the man shouted, scowling.

«We come in peace,» Noumat shouted back with his ringing voice. «Our names are Etan and Noumat. We went off on this journey by order of Pharaon, the head of our settlement. We are here to learn. We will be your apprentices.»

The tall man eyed them with suspicion but he believed that Noumat had told the truth. After some thought, he said: «Follow me. I will introduce you to the chief of our brotherhood. My name is Verum.»

Etan and Noumat followed Verum straight away.

«Come over here. I know who you are,» a man, standing in front of the others, said rather huskily. Neither Noumat nor Etan had ever seen such an old man. «Yes, I remember your manly faces very well. I’ve seen you in my dream. My name is Laurus. They also call me Dream Seer. We’ve come from faraway lands, rich with lush meadows and thick forests, the lands that are nothing like this barren ground, in order to meet you. Pharaon’s desire (yes, I know who he is) was so strong that I could see him and so I set on a journey towards you together with my faithful friends and companions.»

Etan and Noumat’s amazement gradually turned into fear of the unknown power. They were in awe of the astounding knowledge of the old man. But they didn’t undertake such a long journey just to yield upon meeting the unknown they were looking for. Moreover, the young men did not want to let down the people of their settlement, who needed help and support from the outside.

«There is no need for you to beware anything or anyone here,» Laurus said. «We’ve brought two spare camels with us. For you. So let us not waste any time and set forward, to the lands that will captivate you. You will be given special knowledge and your people will be able to multiply and replenish.»

Etan and Noumat had never seen camels before since their lives were so poor and meager. The friends of Laurus helped them get on the bizarre beasts and walked by their side, making them safe from a fall.

«You know why I love the desert?» Laurus spoke again, sitting on the back of a leisurely walking camel. «You are alone with your thoughts here. There’s nothing to distract you from yourself, your inner voice. I like meditating here. But first things first.»

The desert was indeed lovely, especially now, embraced by the late sunlight. The sandhills imitated the wild waves of a vast ocean as if they had frozen motionless only to offer the travelers a chance to get an eyeful of their magnificence. It was easy to lose the way in the endless desert, as their tracks were immediately covered with wind-blown sand. But the travelers moved with confidence, easily navigating the peculiar waters.

It got absolutely dark. The sky dressed up in its best apparel, sprinkling stars, shiny like diamonds, over travelers’ heads. They rode in silence and only the quiet conversation between the wind and sand could be heard.

«I wonder,» Noumat thought, «what do the sand and wind know? What are they talking about?»

He remembered what his father had told him when he had been a child: «You can confide your secrets in the sand and wind, they will never betray you. If you wish for something, ask them for it and they will help you get it. Before a man was born into this world, the sands and wind had already been inseparable. They know the secret of eternal life and undying love.»

Lost in his thoughts, Noumat was swayed by the powers of the dream world and sank into a deep sleep. Etan fell asleep too. The camels kept walking, leisurely carrying their heavy bodies.

But Laurus’s people didn’t have time for rest. Laurus raised his hand, barely visible in the darkness, and then all the travelers stopped and dismounted. Only Noumat and Etan were still sleeping right on the backs of their camels. It didn’t seem to bother anyone.

Laurus and his companions sat on the sand, forming a wide circle, reached for the sky, and closed their eyes. The night was far advanced. Suddenly, Laurus began whispering quietly. If you listened closely, you could make out words of gratitude.

«Almighty World around us and within us,» Laurus said in a low voice, «we thank you for the travelers you have sent us in response to our prayers. We took the Great Path and we won’t wander from it. We can feel your support.»

The rest of the words got lost in the murmur of wind that was carrying the sand from one hill to another. But one thing was clear: As Laurus uttered those words, he looked happy and pleased, and his companions did too. For a little while, they kept nodding their heads rhythmically, then opened their eyes, stood up, and continued on their journey.

The next morning, when Etan and Noumat woke up from their deep sleep, they thought their eyes were deceiving them. The sands were gone. The mountains around them were buried in verdure. The air was thick with the chatter of birds and the soft rustle of waterfalls.

«What a fertile land!» Etan said in bewilderment as he dismounted his camel. Noumat stood agape, trying to get a good view of the surroundings, and couldn’t say a word.

There was a clap of thunder and it suddenly began raining hard. All the travelers hid under the crown of an enormous tree: Only rare drops of the rain could get there.

«My dear companions and new friends,» Laurus said in a calm voice. «Let’s sit down. Many of you are marveling at the metamorphosis of the surroundings. You keep asking yourselves about the sources of these phenomena.»

His wrinkled face betrayed a good-natured man: The deepest lines had to be caused by laughter. His stately body was wrapped in something like a dark, shabby long-sleeved robe. Silver curls framed his face with bright green eyes; surprisingly good teeth and full lips were hidden behind his mustache and beard. You could say that Laurus was handsome, confident, and composed. Everything around him seemed to give him real pleasure.

There was a nice chill and freshness in the air. Ants were running around tirelessly, engaged in some very important and urgent work. The whole world around them was moving, full of joy. The whole world welcomed the rain.

«Close your eyes. Take a deep breath,» Laurus said with deliberation. «Listen to nature.»

Etan could not stop looking at the beautiful, abundant landscape. He did not want to miss the rave of colors around him. However, he paid attention to Laurus’s advice and concentrated his mind on his breath. He felt in harmony. He was merging with nature. It was amazing.

Noumat could not concentrate. A swarm of midges was flying around his face and he couldn’t get comfortable on the hard ground, no matter how hard he tried.

Laurus kept on with his speech: «Everything in the world is connected: The sky, earth, stars, you, and me. Everything is just a thought at the beginning. But this thought is persistent, familiar, a thought of conviction, a thought of truth, your truth. Everything we see around us is this thought, already «ripe’, «begotten’. Poor thoughts build a poor world, thoughts about plenteousness build a world of plenty. But nothing in the world is unwanted. Nothing is wrong. All its parts complement each other. One thought leads to another. We feel each and every thought deep in our bones; each thought is the energy we feel within us. But you already know that. A thought of the terrifying will make your breath quicken, your palms sweat, or it may even turn your hair gray. A long-lasting thought of the horrible will cause ghastly diseases, set the wheels of destruction in motion. And by contrast, a happy thought will bring out the most pleasant emotions, a state of euphoria. Long-lasting happy thoughts will heal your bodies, attract happy events.

Everything around you and you, yourselves, are the ripe thoughts, fit for consumption right here and now, just like a fruit fallen from a tree. The good news is that nothing is static; things change.

Our friends came from the lands where soils are not as fertile as here. But if they choose to turn things around, it can be done. Now open your eyes. It’s time for us to go to the cave for the meeting we all longed for.»

No one wanted Laurus to stop. His speech was soothing, mesmerizing like the sounds of a wondrous instrument. The listeners’ bodies seemed to become as light as feathers, and they felt as if they were soaring.

Everything Laurus had said was bizarre for Pharaon’s friends but the old man seemed to know what he was talking about. Etan and Noumat decided to put themselves in his hands and followed him into the cave. They were growing more and more curious.

They saw an amazing sight. The rain had already stopped. The sun was shining bright, clouds were floating in the sky, constantly altering their peculiar shapes, reminding of a playful cat.

Laurus’s companions, Noumat, and Etan slowly headed towards the highest mountain. They passed by luxuriant growths of vegetation; the soil under their feet was alive with millions of living things running around and bustling, stirred by human footsteps. Finally, they reached a clearing and the mountain appeared before them in all its grandeur.

«My dear friends,» Laurus addressed the travelers, «follow me and have no fear.»

There is no way to describe the beauty of that mountain. Blanketed with broad-leaved trees, it looked soft and cuddly despite its monumental size. As the travelers came closer, they saw a small opening at its foot.

Laurus entered the cave first, followed by the rest of the travelers. He took something out of his pocket and the mysterious object lit up the dark cave.

The travelers went further down and, still not too far from the entrance, found themselves in a spacious cave. The walls were covered with inscriptions but no one could read them. Laurus placed the shining object into the center of the cave and sat down on the floor. The others sat down too.

Then, something unimaginable happened. Laurus closed his eyes, whispering quietly. His head was moving oddly and then froze. As he woke out of trance, he gave the travelers a strange look. Something changed in it.

«What is shining over there?» Noumat whispered into Etan’s ear.

«I have no idea,» Etan said, equally baffled.

«This is a stone that accumulates sunlight and then glows in the dark,» Verum, who was sitting next to Noumat and Etan, said calmly and quietly.

«My word!» Etan and Noumat said in unison, trying not to make too much noise.

«I’ll tell you what. I didn’t even think that learning can be so exciting and enjoyable!» Etan said.

«I know, right? And this is just the beginning!» Noumat said eagerly.

«I am glad to be here with you,» Laurus said in a strange voice. «It is good to see you. I welcome Etan and Noumat who came from far away. I know why you are here. Your land can be fertile too. You will manage to go far since Pharaon possesses the great power which he will discover soon.

He is the chosen one. Take these seeds and young plants and put them into your sands. Have faith, there will be a heavy crop.»

The faces of all the people sitting around Laurus expressed astonishment. His voice died down and there was silence. No one who was there had ever witnessed anything like that.

They left the cave and followed Laurus again. The old man was walking alone, at some distance from the others. When Etan and Noumat approached him, he said: «A long time ago I dreamt that two men would come and learn something in the cave. Something that would be precious for them and all humanity,» the eyes of the old man twinkled mysteriously. «And now let’s get to the nearby village, have a meal, and ask for seeds and young plants.»

«Tell us, Laurus,» Noumat said as they were walking towards the village, «who was it, talking through you?»

«It is hard to say,» Laurus said broodingly. «It has never happened to me before. But those were not my thoughts. I marveled at the words I was saying. But one thing is certain: I felt really good as if happiness spilled into my body. I felt like I was flying. That thing, it was not evil. It is good, peaceful, and even loving energy. It wants the best for us.»

«Laurus,» Etan said. «Where do you live? Do you have a family?»

«I have children but I am mostly wandering the world. My friends follow me everywhere, they have been a second family to me. We give knowledge to those who seek it. In that, we find joy and purpose of the earthly life.»

«Where do you get this knowledge from?» Etan asked. «It was so interesting and unusual what you said about our thoughts. I sometimes ponder over it myself: What do I have so many thoughts for? What good are they doing to me? Where do they come from and where do they run? Or are they stored somewhere, motionless? But it turned out, our thoughts are what gives birth to the things around us. How marvelous!»

«I get my ideas from my dreams,» Laurus replied. «Or, when meditating.»

«Laurus, what do you think a dream is?» Noumat asked.

«A dream is a reality of another world, another dimension,» Laurus replied, without a moment’s hesitation.

«I am not sure I understand,» Noumat muttered.

«Then you will, later,» Laurus gave him an encouraging smile and patted his shoulder.

«After we get everything we need for the crop,» Noumat turned the conversation to the matter he understood better, «we will have to go back as soon as possible. I think our people are waiting for us. Laurus, can we take some of your men to help us in Pharaon’s settlement and maybe stay and live with us? Our people are kind, they will give your men a warm welcome. Our home will be their home too.»

«We will all go to the settlement with you and spend some time there,» Laurus said. «Relying on today’s revelation in the cave, there will be great changes. Those who want to stay and live with you will stay.»

«Laurus is quite hopeful, that’s for sure,» Noumat said to Etan quietly. «I doubt anyone would want to stay and live in a desert after they’ve seen such an abundant land.»

«Yes, the chances are slim,» Etan said.

Deep in conversation, they came to the village. They asked the first people they saw for what they needed and it was not long before they received a generous gift. Two pretty young women helped put woven sacks on the backs of Etan and Noumat. The sacks were not large and did not prevent them from walking properly.

«What are your names?» Noumat asked the women.

«I am Ichel,» the one Noumat took a liking to said.

«And I’m Dune,» the one who charmed Etan said humbly.

«Would you come with us to our settlement? It will become your home, and Etan and I will become your family. We will take care of you, love you, and protect you.»

The young women happily accepted the proposal. They had been longing for a family for a long time and they liked Etan and Noumat who were well-built and kind.

Laurus kept smiling while watching them. He remembered how he had first met the mother of his children.

They had been both just as young and happy, eager to see life in all its shapes and sizes.

«Laurus,» Noumat broke the thread of his happy thoughts. «Laurus, we are ready to head back to our native land.»

«Right,» Laurus said quickly. «I will tell my companions.»

About twenty people agreed to come, those who were most excited about Laurus’s thoughts on the world order. They felt that his words were true. Laurus never imposed his ideas on them. Listeners came to him willingly, aching to look at the world from a completely different perspective. Laurus used to say that where is a ready learner, there is a teacher. All the people of like minds were looking for the answers to their questions. It was them who would find Laurus rather than the other way round. Some of the listeners accompanied him on his journeys to learn as much as possible about this new peculiar vision Laurus shared with them.

Before leaving, Ichel and Dune wined and dined the travelers, serving the best local dishes. The travelers were absolutely happy.

And so, Noumat, Etan, Ichel, Dune, Laurus, and his followers started their journey back to the desert where Pharaon’s settlement lay. They were all riding camels since there was a long way ahead of them. However, the travelers were elated. Some of them were going home, others were euphoric at the thought of starting a family of their own, while others were in anticipation of wondrous events.

The camels walked slowly, swaying remarkably. Every now and then, someone would get sick from this swaying. This forced them to take breaks from riding and walk on foot by the camels in order to clear their heads at least a little.

Etan and Noumat were riding side by side.

«You know,» Noumat said, squinting in the sun, «I am so glad it shaped so well. We fulfilled the mission Pharaon had entrusted us with: We are bringing him new knowledge, new people, and you and I even managed to find the loves of our lives. It’s marvelous!»

«Yes, it is,» Etan agreed. «We were incredibly lucky to meet Dream Seer. Remember he said he had been waiting for us? I can’t imagine how it is even possible. Every minute spent with him seems to be filled with light. It feels so good just being around him. Now I see clearly why there are people who willingly leave their settled lifestyles behind in exchange for constant wanderings. They get the chance to feel his incredible energy and listen to his wise words.»

There was a buzz of conversation around the group of travelers. The companions did not mind talking to each other as well, breaking the monotony of the journey. Some were talking about the beauty of the surrounding landscapes, others were sharing their plans for the future, still others were fantasizing about sharing the knowledge they had been given by Laurus with other people so that they better understood the world around them.

All the companions came from different places, were completely different from each other in their looks but they all shared one common feature. They looked at the world around them with their eyes wide open. They were learners, future teachers, and inspirators.

Meanwhile, the lush green lands were left behind, and the travelers were passing through the barren sands, blindingly familiar and dear to the hearts of Etan and Noumat.

«My dear friends,» Laurus said to the travelers. «Let us halt for a while and meditate.»

They all dismounted, sat down on the ground in a big circle, raised their hands, palms facing the sky, closed their eyes, and focused not to miss a single word Dream Seer was saying.

«My dear friends,» Laurus repeated. «Listen to your breath and try not to think about anything else. Get yourselves in the calm frame of mind. Then, if any idea comes to you from the world of thoughts, remember it, for it is precious.»

The travelers gave heed to Laurus’s words. They sat in silence, listening to their own breath, interrupted only by occasional gusts of wind. If we could take a closer look, we would see looks of pleasure coming to their faces. Such meditations could put people into an indescribable state of both relaxation and vivacity. Not everyone could get there on the first try but the longer they practiced the better the result was.

Noumat couldn’t focus on his breath and opened his eyes every once in a while. He was a little upset about being unable to achieve a state of meditation and open his mind to new precious ideas.

Travelers spent around twenty minutes meditating. Then Laurus told them to stop and carefully asked what ideas they had had at the end of the process. Two of the travelers said that they had felt anxiety, the others found it hard to answer.

Laurus stood up and said, calmly but confidently: «I managed to get a message: There’s a sand storm coming.»

«What?» the travelers began asking in agitated voices. «A sand storm?! Is this a big one? What shall we do now?»

«We have to hurry up. We are going to leave the direct path in order not to get into the eye of the storm. Prepare pieces of cloth. You will cover your faces and breathe through them when the need arises.»

No one argued with Laurus, their trust in him was infinite. Some of the travelers thrashed about for pieces of cloth, others just tore off pieces of their clothes.

While everyone was fussing about, Noumat came up to Laurus and asked: «Laurus, what does «meditation’ mean? I can’t really master it.»

«Meditation,» Laurus said as he was putting a piece of cloth around his neck, «is a go-between. It is a state where the bond between a person and the world of thoughts, the world of energies is strengthened and this person finds himself or herself between the physical self and energetic representation.»

«It’s very difficult,» Noumat mused.

«You shouldn’t search too hard for an answer or try to understand everything right here, right now,» Laurus said encouragingly. «You will understand it when the time is right if you set your heart on it and wait for it patiently.»

Meanwhile, the wind started rising.

«Noumat,» Ichel said. «I am afraid. I have never been caught in a sand storm before but I’ve heard it can be really dangerous. What if…»

«Don’t!» Noumat did not let her finish. «There is nothing to be afraid of. The storm won’t hurt us. Stay close and you’ll be fine.»

At heart, Noumat was just as scared. And only the calm face of Laurus gave him confidence.

They could already see the storm in the distance. Worried, the travelers saddled up and urged the camels forward, hoping there was time for them to save themselves. However, it looked like they were rushing towards the storm instead of running away. Etan and Noumat were inflamed with rage, angry at themselves for obeying Laurus, for abandoning their path, and finding themselves trapped.

The wind roared. A wall of sand was growing in front of them, obscuring the sun. The travelers were both terrified and amazed at the hypnotic view, at the power and beauty of nature.

They breathed quickly, feeling the increasing helplessness. Their camels stopped dead, unable to move, paralyzed by fear.

The travelers could not take their eyes off the horrifying wall of sand, sweeping towards them with devastating speed. The storm seemed almost alive, it was like a hungry wild beast, chasing its prey and not letting it go. The travelers appeared to be the prey.

The hot breath of nature nipped at their faces. The storm was about five hundred meters away from them; it had already opened its jaws, ready to devour the travelers.

Following along Laurus, they all dismounted, covered their faces with the pieces of cloth, their hands shaking, and clang to the ground.

They could not see anything, it was as dark as midnight, but they could hear the increasing roaring sound and feel the mighty blasts of wind with their whole bodies. The wind whipped them with sand. They were aware of their helplessness and were scared to death, blinded by fear.

Noumat felt that this was the end. The happiest moments of his life flashed before his eyes. He remembered his childhood, carefree laughter, playing with other kids. For a brief moment, he even forgot what was going on around him.

Hugging the ground, Etan was agonizing over the failed task, regretting that he would die, leaving no descendants behind.

Ichel and Dune were nearly fainting, unable to cope with fear.

Heaven only knows what Laurus and his companions had on their minds.

Suddenly, the roaring went down. It was withering, drifting away. The travelers felt a glimmer of hope. They uncovered their faces, sprang to their feet, and saw that the sand storm was somehow moving away from them as if it went astray, pushed or maybe frightened, or drawn by some unseen force. Imagine the travelers’ surprise when they realized that the storm swooped in the direction where they would be if they didn’t slant off from the path at the insistence of Laurus. It seemed impossible! The travelers could not help crying, their faces wet with tears of joy. Many of them dropped down on their knees, weak from what they had just endured.

How could it be? One thing was clear: It had all been predetermined. Someone, or something, had warned Laurus so that he could warn the others. Whoever, or whatever it might be, it was a friendly force that had just saved their lives.

The travelers approached Laurus to thank him. Ichel and Dune were slowly coming to their senses. All these anxieties left their mark on them.

«My dear friends,» Laurus said in a clear voice. «What you have just witnessed is not something unique, something that few can master. Each of you is able to chime with the world of thoughts, the world of knowledge where you can learn about everything that has happened in the past and ever will happen and where you will be helped and supported, no matter what.»

Mesmerized, they were listening to Laurus, unable to break the ringing silence. Now, when the travelers had witnessed that Laurus’s words were true, his words were of even more importance, had even more influence on them. It’s one thing to hear about something and it’s quite another to experience it. The travelers hung on his every word, every turn of his head, every change in his facial expression. They did not want to miss a thing.

«Laurus,» Etan cried out. «May we call you Master?»

«Of course, Etan,» Laurus replied and exchanged glances with his companions, flashing a mysterious smile. «But you need to understand, you can all be masters. We are all tarred with the same stick, figuratively speaking. We are all the same. All I can do you can do too. You just don’t know about it yet.»

«Master, will you help us do it then?» Noumat said emphatically.

«Of course I will!» Laurus looked happy. It felt so good to share knowledge with those who are really eager to gain it. «But first you need to understand and accept that the whole world is filled with energy. It’s what the world, you, and I are made of. Now, the most intriguing thing is that energy is somewhat alive. It is capable of thinking, it knows everything. And it also loves us like our mothers do though it is never upset with us. Even if we let it down. It is always eager to help and believes in our success without reservation. It was this energy that warned us about the storm.»

«It’s too good to be true!» a murmur of surprise ran through the listeners. «So it means we are in good hands, doesn’t it? Someone or something that knows everything willingly takes care of us. This is incredible!»

«It’s the best thing I’ve ever heard!» Noumat exclaimed.

«And now,» Laurus said. «Sit down, close your eyes, and listen to your breath, leaving all your worries behind. We’ve undergone a severe experience, so we have to restore the emotional balance and return harmony.»

They all did as Dream Seer had told them. Many of them succeeded, especially among those who had spent a lot of time accompanying Laurus on his journeys and had the chance to practice meditation many times.

«Laurus,» Noumat said with a hint of annoyance in his voice. «No matter how hard I try to concentrate, I’m getting all itchy every time! What does that mean?»

«Just try not to pay attention,» Laurus said quietly.

«Try not to pay attention…» Noumat thought. «Easier said than done! Maybe it’s this energy that’s tickling me? Otherwise, I don’t know how to explain it.»

Etan, Ichel, Dune, and other travelers looked concentrated and relaxed at the same time. They seemed to be successful at mastering the art of meditation.

Ichel felt her body to become as light as a feather. She could not quite understand whether she was still sitting on the ground or started soaring above it. It was a weird feeling but she made up her mind not to open her eyes and keep meditating until Laurus told her to stop.

She was impatient to see what would happen next.

Etan felt vibration passing through his whole body and was no longer aware of the position he had taken. He ceased sensing his body as usual, as if it has lost all of its weight.

And then, all of a sudden, Laurus told them to stop. The travelers did so, albeit with great reluctance: They grew quite fond of the state of meditation. This time no warning messages were received, and they were all ready to continue their journey to Pharaon’s settlement.

Chapter Three. A Fork in the Road of Evolution

It was hard to say how many days the travelers had spent on the road when they saw a familiar land in the distance. That’s it! Pharaon’s settlement was at a glance distance from there.

Pharaon, his father Pharoum, and a dozen other men were staring intently at the approaching big group of people. Among them, they saw Etan and Noumat.

«It’s amazing how many people they managed to bring along,» Pharoum said calmly, letting the wind kiss his face.

«Well, they’ve spent so much time away with a good reason,» a contented smile lit up Pharaon’s face as he was looking forward to finally meet the travelers. «And the best is still to come!»

Etan and Noumat rushed to hug their parents and friends. All the people of the settlement were happy to see them.

While Etan and Noumat had been away, they had been living the same monotonous, uneventful, and boring life. Every day had been the same.

«Pharaon!» Noumat ran up to him. «I am so glad to finally see you!»

«It’s good to see you too!» Pharaon said as he hugged his friend.

«You won’t believe what we have endured! We brought Laurus, a wise old man, and his fellow thinkers with us.

Some of them will stay with us. Oh, and they possess thorough knowledge of incredible things and they want to share it with you and all those willing. Also, Laurus said that you are the chosen one.»

«The chosen one, you say?» Pharaon said matter-of-factly. «And here comes my friend Etan!» Pharaon hugged the other one of his two close friends, beaming.

«Listen up, everyone!» Pharaon addressed the people of the settlement in a deep, strong voice. «Travelers from far away came to us to greatly increase our knowledge. Some of these people will stay with us forever! Let us give them a warm welcome!»

The people of Pharaon’s settlement were really happy to hear the news since their lives were incredibly uneventful. The days went by, one after another, as identical as grains of sand in the endless desert.

What did the settlement look like? It didn’t take up much land. Its territory was covered with soft sands but the settlement was lying on the bank of a large and deep river with the blue water of incredible beauty, rich with fish, big and small, and thick bunches of moss. The river was everything to the inhabitants, and besides, its banks were covered with grass and bushes. The people of the settlement used its waters to cool off on hot summer days, wash their bodies and ragged clothes, or just enjoyed taking a swim there. The river served as their food source, mirror, the main attraction, and heart of the settlement with around thirty inhabitants, all of whom were still pretty young. However, now, just like any other summer, the river went low, and there was not much fish in its waters.

Women mainly looked after children while men provided food for the settlement. Every day they hoped the next day would be better and bring joy and comfort.

«My name is Laurus,» Laurus addressed Pharaon. «I am really glad to meet you! These are my fellow thinkers. We are going to spend some time with you.»

«You are our dear guests that we’ve been waiting for so eagerly! Can’t wait to get to know you better,» Pharaon looked at Laurus, his iridescent eyes glistening with joy.

«You have the most astonishing eyes, Pharaon. I’ve met many people on my journeys but I have never seen anyone with such eyes. I’m sure it’s for a reason,» Laurus broke into a smile.

«I was born with it,» Pharaon said. He had not thought that the color of his eyes was unique, until now.

Meanwhile, the travelers were meeting the people of the settlement. There was hustle and bustle. Laurus drew Pharaon aside to talk privately.

«Tell me,» Laurus said in a confidential tone, «what takes up all of your thoughts? What do you want from life?»

«I’ve been put in charge of this small settlement,» Pharaon replied as he felt that he could trust Laurus. «Since then, I only think about meeting the hopes of the people, not letting them down. I believe that it lies in our power to change our lives for the better. I have a dream that one day there will be plenty of food, water, fresh air, verdure, and joy in these lands, the lands I call home.»

His eyes were glowing with excitement, he choked with emotions. He was absorbed in his ambitions, envisioning everything he was talking about.

«Pharaon,» Laurus began carefully, «your desire was so great that I heard it and went right away to meet the men you had sent to us on their way. Everything you believe in will happen. I will help you.»

Pharaon was struck by the words of the old man. How could anyone hear him, being so far away? And why was Laurus so confident about what he was talking about? But Dream Seer made people feel comfortable. He always focused on the strengths of people he talked to, completely ignoring the less appealing traits. As a result, his eyes shone with sincere admiration, and there seemed to be inner light inside him.

«Your people are living in the open, they have no dwellings, no shelter,» Laurus said. «Your land is barren. But everything will change soon since your desire, commitment to succeed, and anticipation of upcoming changes are so strong and powerful.»

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