Kat and Yuri looked up at the floating castle. “See any way inside?” Kat asked.
“There is a door,” Yuri stated. “There is, however, no visible way to reach it. Even with a flying craft, it would be ill-advised to attempt it.”
“She probably uses the same tech that she used to transport you and Allison,” Kat said. “So, we have to either figure out a way to get her to send us up or we need to borrow something that flies and do something ill-advised.”
“It does not seem likely that she will send us to the source of her power,” Yuri stated. “We may have to consider the feasibility of finding a suitable craft.”
“We see that you desire an audience.“ Kat jumped, shocked. Yuri looked back as Lunais appeared. “We will permit you one at our residence.”
“Hurry up!” Leon cried. “We need to reach them before it’s too late.”
“I think we can take our time,” Allison argued. “It’s not like they have any way to reach the bloody thing. Unless Yuri has a jet-pack function I don’t know about and if she does I’m gonna be pissed that she flew with Kat before flying with me.”
“We should still hurry,” Farah said. “The longer they’re trying, the more likely they are to cause some kind of trouble.”
“And they’re supposed to be the responsible ones,” Allison muttered.
Kat and Yuri reappeared in a cosy vestibule. Lunais was nowhere to be seen.
“Is this really the castle?” Kat wondered.
“I will check,” Yuri stated. “Please stand back.” She opened the door. They could see the tops of several crystalline towers. Looking down, Kat could see people but couldn’t make out any details. Yuri shut the door. “It would appear that we are.”
The two continued into the castle, checking each room they passed.
“It looks like a normal house,” Kat said.
“I detect no signs of any advanced equipment running,” Yuri stated. “Yet this is where the power source was detected.” The two searched the entire ground floor before going upstairs to the first floor. Which they thoroughly examined before moving to the second floor. In that fashion, they eventually reached the fourth and final floor. Never seeing any sign of advanced equipment nor any signs of life.
The fourth floor was dedicated primarily to books. It had various kinds, both fictional and non-fictional from various cultures and parts of the universe. Some of which Kat didn’t even recognise. They found themselves in a comfortable sitting room with a canopy bed and a pair of heavily cushioned chairs. Lunais was sitting in one of them.
“We see that you have searched every inch of our home,” she stated. “Some would call that discourteous, but we will forgive it. If you will explain why.”
“We were searching for the technology that powers this garden,” Yuri stated. “Our ship’s scans indicated that it came from here, but we were unable to locate the source.”
Lunais laughed. But you have found the source. We…” she rose and put a hand on her chest “are the source.”
“How is that possible?” Kat asked.
“We have absolute power over everything within this area,” Lunais said. “We are surprised that explorers such as yourselves would have such difficulty with so simple a fact.”
“I have seen a lot in my travels,” Kat conceded. “But the kind of power you’re talking about is impossible.”
“Impossible?” Lunais asked. She snapped her fingers and several small mammals with equine heads, furry bodies and hooves appeared. “We can create life.” she snapped her fingers again and the creatures vanished. “We can transport it elsewhere.” She looked at Yuri and Kat. “We can alter it.”
With a snap of her fingers Kat suddenly felt very strange. She brought her hand up, realising instantly it wasn’t her hand but Yuri’s. She looked around, and saw her body with Yuri’s head and one of Yuri’s arms attached to it. Yuri was pressing her hand to Kat’s as though judging how the mismatched limbs felt against one another.
“Will we return to normal?” Yuri asked, sounding exactly like Kat.
“We will return you,” Lunais said. She snapped her finger and the two found themselves with their normal bodies again. “We didn’t mean any harm. We just wanted to demonstrate.”
Yuri looked over at Kat. “As improbable as it seems, all the readings I have taken since entering this castle indicate that the power does, indeed, stem from Miss Lunais.”
“I’m starting to believe it,” Kat said, still feeling rattled.
“I am curious,” Yuri said. “If you possess such tremendous power, why do you not stop the fighting? It clearly causes you distress.”
Lunais turned away from them. Her body trembled very slightly. “We tried. We appeared throughout this world to stop the fighting. But, no matter what we did, they quickly returned to their folly once we were gone.”
“Why not just control the whole planet?” Kat asked.
“I believe I have the answer,” Yuri stated. “This is only speculation, but I believe that Miss Lunais has a range of effectiveness to her abilities. It would explain why she does not simply appear everywhere at once and why the garden itself is a perfect circle. It would, however, not explain the multiple Lunais’ within the garden.”
“We remain in this room,” Lunais said. “We can project ourselves within our territory, but our projections do not allow us to channel our power. To maintain that, we must remain here.”
“I understand,” Yuri stated. “You created this paradise to safeguard.”
“Ignoring the world going to hell around it,” Kat added.
“We are not omnipotent,” Lunais snapped. “If the Yujin insist on fighting we can not stop them. Not completely. We are… weak.”
“I can not agree with that assessment,” Yuri stated. “With your power you have crafted and continually protected a veritable utopia. The Yujin you have safeguarded here may even be instrumental to the future of this world.”
“We thank you,” Lunais said. “But we did not allow you here just to explain ourselves to you. We need a favour and we wish to charter your crew.”