“What vision do you use?”
“For the rites?” Mal replied, He kept his head bent and eyes closed as he replied.
“Eggs.” He said after a while.
“Eggs?” Tenil coughed out a laugh as he asked.
“Ya.” Mal reassured him. “I think about two eggs. One black, one white. Just barely touching, and they are spinning together, but not rotating. I can feel every microscopic crevice in their shells as they rub together, and hear the vibrations that the movement makes. I feel in them the balance of life, the danger of death, and the power and honor of the shell.”
“Have you ever thought about smashing them?”
Mal hesitated. No one had ever asked him such a peculiar question.
“Smashing them. What would happen if—“
“Why would I do that?” Me realized he had forgotten where they were. They might as well have been his eggs, spinning in the non defined space of his mind. The sights and sounds of the monastery and the night sky above rushed to his senses, his meditation was broken. He rose to feel a breeze as it passed through the garden, tumbling over the walls of the monastery and creeping daintily over the rocks and clear pond to reach him.
“Arc Rhea says we should always visualize order and control if we want our powers to be ordered and controlled.”
“And what if we don’t?” Tenil had always been one for jokes, especially once they were old enough to train for the rites, but his face showed no hint of humor as he stared up at the full moon, his skin shimmered like porcelain in its light.
“You want to lose control of your powers? On purpose? That’s an odd way to try and become a Degree of Arc”.
“The Degrees are meant to be a circle. Encompassing humankind. How can you encompass everything without knowing what bounds our ability to know?”
“I am sure there are reasons we don’t have those answers, we haven’t even finished all the rites yet, I’d rather not act rashly” but Mal wasn’t sure he really believed his own words. He was curious, too.
“Its not rash.” Tenil said flatly, “curiosity is one of the great virtues, if anything happens you can just say you were curious and Arc Rhea will praise your attention to rigor. Tomorrow during our lesson with the other students, when we channel a divine gem, smash your eggs. I’ll break my vision too, but I don’t think anything will happen with me alone, there are 6 of us after all.”
Mal looked up at the moon, and took it in for a long while. The Arcs said that the Moon was a powerful symbol, a sign of the perfect geometry at the center of reality. “Ok” he said eventually. “But if anything goes wrong we have to let Arc Rhea know immediately.”
“Of course” Tenil said, and finally a bit of his usual self crept back into him as he smiled briefly. “I’ll see you tomorrow in the classroom then”
“Wait! Tenil?” Tenil stopped in the hall, his legs still in the light of the moon, but the rest of him now obscured. “Yes, Mal?”
“What do _you_ use? as your vision, I mean”
Tenil smiled. Then turned to keep walking, and replied: